2012 Detroit Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The 2013 Dodge Dart will debut on January 9 at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, putting to rest rumors that the brand's new compact sedan would be called the Dodge Hornet, Duster or Camber.
- Dodge has resurrected the Dart nameplate, which had a 16-year run from 1960-'76.
- Dodge said in a statement that Dart buyers will get a choice of three four-cylinder engines, including a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine.
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — The 2013 Dodge Dart will debut on January 9 at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, putting to rest rumors that the brand's new compact sedan would be called the Dodge Hornet, Duster or Camber.
The new Dart is a critically important offering from Dodge, since it targets the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra and marks the brand's most serious offensive into the compact sedan segment since the Dodge Neon — which has been off the market for seven years.
Even though the Dodge Caliber ends production in 2012, Dodge says the Dart is not an official replacement. "It's not a replacement because the Caliber is a hatchback," said Kathy Graham, a Chrysler spokeswoman in a phone conversation Tuesday.
She said the 2013 Dart will go into production in the first half of 2012 at Chrysler's Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois. A specific on-sale date has not been announced; neither has pricing.
Dodge is resurrecting the Dart nameplate, which had a 16-year run from 1960-'76. It is unlikely that the younger buyers who are undoubtedly targeted by Dodge would have much recollection of the Dart name. But it should make more sense than the Duster, which was a Plymouth model (it's also used by the Romanian brand Dacia).
Dodge said in a statement on Tuesday that the Dart is the first Chrysler Group vehicle based on a Fiat architecture. It is spun off the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. But Dodge noted that the Dart has a "lengthened and widened platform." Technical specifications were not released. The Dart gets four-wheel independent suspension and optional 18-inch wheels.
Exterior design cues include a split-crosshair grille, projector headlamps and foglamps. It also gets LED "racetrack" taillamps and dual exhaust said to be "inspired by Dodge Charger."
Dodge said in a statement that Dart buyers will get a choice of three four-cylinder engines, including a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, a new Tigershark 2.4-liter MultiAir engine and a new Tigershark 2.0-liter engine. Fuel-economy numbers are not yet available because testing is not finished on the engines, Graham said.
Dodge said three transmission choices would be available, but details have not been released.
Edmunds.com says: The rebirth of the Dodge Dart — but will it be a storied or stale nameplate in the eyes of younger buyers?