Jan 11

The Dodge Dart unveiled.

Dodge took the wraps off of the all new Dodge Dart this week. They are putting a lot of chips in the Dart basket, but what is in the Dart? It’s an interesting little car with three engine choices. The first is Dodge’s Tigershark 2.0L 160hp engine, The 1.4l turbo Tigershark making 160hp and a 2.4L making 184hp. What? I actually had to read the press release several times to make sure I was getting it right. That’s two 160hp engines, one NA, and one boosted, and a 184hp NA engine. All four cylinders. WHAT? Why? I don’t think Dodge has quite got this business thing down yet.

The interior of the Dart is something Dodge is quite proud of, giving you all kinds of trim options, ambient lighting, and what they call a “driver centric” cockpit. I do like the sound of that. You will get a nifty customizable instrument cluster as well as a touch screen media center, seemingly becoming standard in just about every car these days. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the Ford and Chevy systems.

You will also get loads of storage compartments for your Ipad, Ipod, cell phone and something Dodge calls a “pen and paper.” What’s that again? There are also connectors and jacks for plugging in all of your devices such as Ipads, Ipods, cell phones, and pen and paper.

The suspension has been worked to be light and provide “European like handling” which sounds pretty good to us. If the engineers at Alfa and Dodge have really worked as hard on the suspension as Dodge claims, this could be a nice drive.

The car has all the great safety features you’d expect, with airbags everywhere, brake assist, parking assist sensors, back up camera, etc. It’s clear Dodge is trying to give the customer a lot for their money and maybe more than what others in the segment are going to offer.

The Dart is going to have five trim levels, 12 color choices, 14 interior trim options, and all kinds of extra goodies. This should provide a way for any Dart owner to make theirs just the way they like it. Look for the Dart to hit dealerships this year as a 2013 model.