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Dodge Darts Into Global RallyCross Series with Travis Pastrana

600 hp, 70-ft jumps and 1.9 sec. 0 to 60.

by on Mar.26, 2012

A rendering of the 600-hp Dodge RallyCross Dart.

Dodge is entering the Global RallyCross Series with a custom-built, 600-horsepower version of its new Dart sedan piloted by X Games legend Travis Pastrana.

The project underscores the increasing emphasis on motor sports at Chrysler, which recently unveiled its 2013 NASCAR entry – although the maker now has to sign up a replacement for the Roger Penske team, which is jumping to Ford for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The entry into RallyCross suggests Chrysler and its Dodge and SRT Motorsports arms are aiming for a more global profile, rallying generally far more popular outside the U.S. – even while adding a distinctly American twist.

Electrifying!

“At Dodge, racing is an integral part of our heritage and embodies our competitive spirit, so we’re very excited to announce the next chapter in racing for Dodge with our all-new Dodge Dart,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO of the Dodge Brand. “The new Dart Global RallyCross Championship car with 600 horsepower and driver Travis Pastrana takes our passion for performance to all new heights.”

Travis Pastrana flanked by Chrysler's motorsports chief Ralph Gilles (l), and Dodge brand CEO Reid Bigland.

The RallyCross Dart will feature a turbocharged, 16-valve 2.0-liter engine making 600 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque – about triple the 184 hp and 184 lb-ft of the production Dodge Dart, which is going on sale later this year.  Linked to a Sedav 4-wheel-drive gearbox, the rally version is expected to deliver 0 to 60 times of barely 1.9 seconds, according to David Bailey, senior engineering manager for SRT Motorsports.

“The sport is extremely exciting and the on-track action can be brutal on the drivers and the cars.  The cars are jumping higher than ever and landing safely,” said Bailey. “so with Travis behind the wheel, we can’t wait for the season opener.”

A spin-off of the X Games rally race, Global RallyCross aims to add a bit more excitement to traditional rallying.  Entering its second season with a kick-off race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, the seven races are held on closed courses incorporate 70-foot jumps over racing traffic.

Landing Travis Patrana to pilot the Dart is a coup for Dodge. The 28-year is a 17-time X Game gold medalist and four-time Rally America champion.  And his Nitro Circus has become a multimedia empire including a television show, live tours and even a 3D feature film project.

“When I first heard about GRC, I was really interested, and after watching some of the rounds last year and then actually competing at X Games I was hooked,” he said.

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