Alfa Romeo Giulietta-based compact saloon revealed at Detroit motor show
9 January 2012

The Dodge Dart has made a comeback at the Detroit motor show, in the shape of an all-new Alfa Romeo Giulietta-based compact saloon produced for the North American market.

The Dart was a classic of the American car market in the 1960s, when it served as an entry-level model to the Dodge brand, and was well known for the unusual push-button transmission Dodge offered. However, Dodge officials claim the new Dart is not a retro car, claiming it to be “a thoroughly modern vehicle”.

It will line up alongside such compact segment stalwarts as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, as well as newer rivals including the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra.

The Dart is the first product in the Chrysler line-up to get an injection of partner Fiat’s DNA, courtesy of its Alfa Romeo brand. It is based on a platform adapted from the Giulietta, underscoring the increasing ties between Chrysler and Fiat. Dubbed the Compact US Wide, or CUSW, architecture, it will appear under the skin of a variety of new products in both the United States and Europe.

In keeping with Chrysler tradition, a significant emphasis has been put on the design of the newly revived Dart, which adopts a more aerodynamic and appealing shape than that of the old Dodge Caliber hatchback it replaces.

Familiar features include the Dodge ‘crosshair’ grille and ‘race track’ tail-lamps, as well as a dual exhaust system borrowed from the bigger Charger saloon.

On the powertrain side, the Fiat influence is obvious, with the Dart offering a turbocharged 1.4-litre MultiAir engine and a 2.4-litre ‘Tigershark’ Chrysler unit fitted with MultiAir technology. There is also a new Tigershark 2.0-litre, 16-valve four. The Dart also gets a new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

The Dart features independent suspension all round — unusual in the segment — to enhance what Dodge claims to be a more European-style ride. A hi-tech interior is another feature, with the centre console dominated by an 8.4-inch touchscreen.

Paul Eisenstein

 

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Comments
17

9 January 2012

Doesn't look bad at all!

If the cabin quality is reasonable this (in my opinion) looks like the most cohesive product they've produced in used.

Will be interested to see how it drives.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

9 January 2012

Spot on Teg.

Tidy, not too flashy and with sporting intent. Hopefully the new 2l is as good as Alfa's 1750, an engine that I assume would have fitted the Dart character well.

9 January 2012

How can the car be "all new", and yet based upon a Giulietta?

9 January 2012

[quote Si_G]How can the car be "all new", and yet based upon a Giulietta?[/quote] This is an all new model based on the Giulietta's revised chassis. Every manufacturer builds all new model on existing chassis.

9 January 2012

Maybe some decent Americian readers can clear up something for me. If my memory serves me - wasnt the Dodge Dart one of the worst junk heaps churned out over the last 15 years? Terrible performance - cruddy interior - body-rot came free and reliability was woeful?

If I am right then - throwing this name together with a name which at best has always been IFFY on the reliability side - is asking to stand in front of the firing squad.

Looking at it - thats about what i would do anyway - cheapness like an old whore seems to stand out on a maintreet !!

9 January 2012

[quote petrolheadinrussia]wasnt the Dodge Dart one of the worst junk heaps churned out over the last 15 years?[/quote] Nope, it was from the 1060's apparently

[url]http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/260785/[/url] [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Dart#Beyond_1976[/url]

9 January 2012

I think it's quite a looker.

9 January 2012

Apparently its going to cost from $15,995 which is about £10,000 - seems an absolute bargain to me!

10 January 2012

[quote glorfindel]Every manufacturer builds all new model on existing chassis[/quote] What? Where did you get that from?

10 January 2012

[quote fhp11]

Apparently its going to cost from $15,995 which is about £10,000 - seems an absolute bargain to me!

[/quote] As usual, in USA you'll have much more of the car, for far less money than in Europe.

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