Long known as Chrysler’s parts division, Mopar is now giving the maker’s more established car brands a little competition, the all-new Mopar ’13 Dart set to make its debut at next month’s Chicago Auto Show.
It follows the limited-edition models that Mopar released over the last three years, starting with the Mopar ’10 Challenger, the Mopar ’11 Charger and the Mopar ’12 300.
The Mopar edition Dart will, like the earlier offerings, be produced in limited numbers, just 500 copies. Each will be finished with a gloss black paint job, with matching black 18-inch wheels. There’ll be some subtle aerodynamic tweaks, including front and rear spoilers and an air diffuser in back.
A bold blue racing stripe will complement the blue interior stitching. The driver’s seat will be done up in blue, as well, with leather for the passengers. The cabin will be completed with gloss black and black chrome trim and a sport aluminum pedal kit. The car will also feature Mopar’s new wireless smartphone charging system.
If there’s one possible disappointment it’s that Mopar isn’t waiting for the release, later this year, of the new 2.4-liter engine that Dodge hopes will deliver some more pep for the Dart. Instead, the Mopar ’13 edition will opt for the current 1.4-liter turbocharged MultiAir inline-four and a 6-speed manual gearbox.
There will be some other appealing tweaks, such as the upgraded brakes which get slotted rotors. The suspension has been lowered nearly a third of an inch and tuned for a sportier ride, as has the steering system. The exhaust system, meanwhile, has been tweaked to improve breathing, though the Mopar ’13 Dart is still being rated at 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft, like the mainstream model with the MultiAir engine package.
(Chrysler planning 47 new or refreshed models over next four years. Click Herefor that story.)
Each copy of the Mopar ’13 Dart will come with a number ID etched on a dashboard plaque and other “personalized” details, including a limited-edition sketch signed by Mopar chief designer Mark Trostle.
The special model will go into production this spring along the same Belvedere, Illinois assembly line producing the regular Dart. No word on pricing yet.
Chrysler officials are openly disappointed with initial sales of the Dart but are hoping that halo models like the Mopar ’13 and the addition of the bigger 2.4-liter engine will help put the compact sedan back on track.
(Chrysler hopes to spur demand for Dodge Dart. Click Here for more.)