Fiat has completed its agreed buy-out of Chrysler, having met performance targets set by the US government.
As a result, Fiat now owns 58.5 per cent of Chrysler, having met its commitment to begin assembly of a vehicle with an unadjusted combined fuel economy of at least 40mpg at a production facility based in the United States.
That car will be the Dodge Dart, a compact four-door saloon, which is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta architecture and which will be formally launched at the Detroit motor show next week.
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 - and 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 if 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”.