Dodge reveals 2013 Dart compact sedan

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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The compact sedan segment in Canada is full of entries from Honda, Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi, Chevrolet, Mazda, Hyundai and more. So it's quite a surprise that Dodge has no such offering at the moment. This won't be the case much longer, however.

Dodge's parent company, Chrysler Group LLC, is partnered with Italian automaker Fiat S.p.A. which owns Alfa Romeo, another Italian automaker. Why does this matter? Well, Alfa Romeo's Giulietta hatchback will provide the base architecture for Dodge's new 2013 Dart compact sedan.

As Dodge claims, "The Giulietta is renowned for satisfying the most demanding customers in terms of road-holding, agility and safety, with exceptional driving dynamics." So the Alfa Romeo should provide a good basis for the Dart, although compared to the Giulietta the Dart will have a longer and wider platform so that it can offer what Dodge claims to be segment-leading levels of interior room.

The 2013 Dart features Dodge's characteristic split-crosshair grille, projector headlights and fog lights, and available 18-inch wheels. There are also LED "racetrack" taillights and a dual exhaust, both of which were inspired by Dodge's Challenger pony car.

No less than three engines will be offered in the new 2013 Dodge Dart: The smallest will be Fiat's MultiAir turbocharged 1.4-litre 16-valve 4-cylinder (the same as in the Fiat 500), with Chrysler's 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre "Tigershark" world engines filling out the range. Power, fuel economy and other performance figures have not yet been confirmed, but Dodge said it expects the Dart to achieve economy ratings of 5.8 L/100km thanks to a new 9-speed automatic transmission. A total of three transmission choices will be offered.

Like the Dart of the 1960s and '70s, the 2013 Dart infuses Dodge's styling and attitude into a smaller package. With its Italian underpinnings, the 2013 Dart should make for an interesting and competitive entry into the compact sedan segment here in Canada. The 2013 Dodge Dart is scheduled to make its world debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan on January 9.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Dodge, 2013, Dart, Compact,

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