The first official pictures of the Dodge Dart compact four-door saloon, which is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta architecture, have leaked out.
The car, which is a critical launch in the US as its average fuel economy was a key part of Fiat's deal to buy more shares in Chrysler, is due to be unveiled at Monday's Detroit motor show, when full technical details will also be revealed.
The Giulietta’s Compact Wide architecture has been lengthened and widened to underpin the Dart and has been renamed to Compact US Wide. The Dart will be built in America at Chrysler’s Belvidere plant – the subject of a $600 million investment - next year as a 2013 model year car.
The Dart will be the smallest, most fuel-efficient model in Dodge’s range when it is launched. Power will come from the choice of three four-cylinder petrol engine options: a Fiat-supplied turbocharged 1.4-litre MultiAir and two new 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre ‘Tigershark’ units, the latter of which gets Fiat’s MultiAir technology.
The new Dart has been inspired by Dodge’s car of the same name from the 1960s, which was also a smaller entry-level model for the brand. Dodge claims the 2013 car “blends Alfa Romeo DNA with Dodge’s passion for performance”.