Dodge has been planning a new compact sedan for some time, but today there is official confirmation — and a name.
The 2013 Dodge Dart will debut Jan. 9 at the 2012 Detroit auto show. The compact sedan will replace the Dodge Caliber as the carmaker’s entry-level offering. The Caliber, a hatchback, will be discontinued after the 2012 model year . The Dart will be Dodge’s first compact sedan since the Neon, which left the market in late 2005.
The Dart will pack three engines and transmissions, Dodge says. Those variants include the Fiat 500 Abarth’s 1.4-liter turbo engine. Existing 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines will also come on the model, but they are now equipped with Fiat’s variable valve technology, called Multiair.Chrysler had estimated the 2.4-liter with Multiair would achieve 190 horsepower and 175-pounds feet of torque, in an earlier powertrain announcement. Chrysler has stated that at least one version of this vehicle will achieve up to 40 mpg on the highway . The Caliber can only muster 32 mpg on the highway.
The Dart is based off a lengthened and widened version of Fiat’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a car unavailable to Americans. The vehicle features an exterior look that does a surprisingly good job at downsizing attributes from the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger, such as a full-length LED taillamp and a split-crosshair grille up front. Eighteen-inch wheels are available.
Of course, these snippets don't reveal what the Dart will look like on the road. For that, we'll have to wait for more info in January from Detroit. For now, check out more photos below.