Dodge is once again stepping into the compact-sedan market, which it left after the release of the second-generation Neon in 2005. This time, though, it bears the familiar Dart nameplate and will be based on an existing Alfa Romeo.
The all-new Dart is the first Chrysler Group vehicle based on a Fiat platform, specifically that of the current-generation Alfa Romeo Giulietta. While the Giulietta is known for its road-holding stability, agility and exceptional driving dynamics, the Dart leverages all of these attributes into a lengthened and widened platform that delivers segment-leading levels of interior roominess. Combined with responsive steering, four-wheel independent suspension, and available 18-inch wheels, the Dart promises to bring "fun back to driving in the compact car segment."
The Dart's exterior is unmistakably Dodge with the brand's signature split-crosshair grille up front and the full-width LED 'racetrack' tail lamps at the rear. Completing the package are the projector headlamps and fog lamps, accentuated fenders and the integrated dual exhaust which emphasizes the car's athletic and muscular stance.
The all-new Dart will be powered by three fuel-efficient yet powerful, state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines that add to the Dart's fun-to-drive quotient: a new Tigershark 2.0-liter engine, a 1.4-liter MultiAir intercooled turbo engine and a new Tigershark 2.4-liter MultiAir mill.
According to Chrysler, MultiAir technology "delivers optimum combustion at any speed under all driving conditions by allowing direct and dynamic control of air intake and combustion." This reportedly results in as much as a 15 percent increase in low engine rpm torque, a 7.5-percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 10-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
The Dart will be manufactured only at the Chrysler Group's assembly plant in Illinois, United States, which could mean importing it to the Philippines could be very expensive. Do you think it would be worth the duties and taxes government will surely slap on the US-made Dart if and when it hits Philippine showrooms?