Currently reading: Detroit motor show 2012: Dodge Dart
Alfa Romeo Giulietta-based compact saloon revealed at Detroit motor show

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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cschepers 12 January 2012

Re: Detroit motor show: Dodge Dart

petrolheadinrussia wrote:
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?

That statement could be applied to every small car Chrysler has made for the past 40 years. Take your pick, Aspen, Omni, Aries, Neon, Caliber... all garbage.

This new Dart is pretty intriguing to me. I've (perhaps misguidedly) always wanted the opportunity to own an Alfa, and I'm kind of hoping the Dart is close enough to count. This all assumes that Alfa puts off its plans to start selling in the U.S. once again...

Although, I must admit, the new Fusion/Mondeo is looking pretty handsome as well, and would be an easier sell to the wife.

giulivo 11 January 2012

Re: Detroit motor show: Dodge Dart

glorfindel wrote:
shares just marginal part (not more than 10-15%) with Stilo/Bravo's one

Didn't know it was that little, interesting point

glorfindel wrote:
was design to be enlarged

And to be able to receive 4WD and so underpin the future Compass and Alfa Kamal SUV

glorfindel 11 January 2012

Re: Detroit motor show: Dodge Dart

giulivo wrote:
The Giulietta itself is based on the Delta/Bravo (which in turn are nearly identical to the Stilo mechanically)
Well, this is not true. The Giulietta platform is new and shares just marginal part (not more than 10-15%) with Stilo/Bravo's one. And the new platform (called C-evo) was design to be enlarged: the first car to use this enlarged platform is the Dodge Dart.