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Dodge Hits Ground Running with New Dart Blacktop

Detroit Auto Show debut planned.

by on Jan.07, 2014

The Dart will become the next Dodge model to get the Blacktop treatment.

Dodge aims to put some power to the pavement next week when it unleashes the latest in its growing line-up of Blacktop models, a special appearance package that already includes versions of six of the brands other models.

The emphasis is on appearance only, the Blacktop theme meant to give the Dart a “sporty, sinister look,” according to Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis, who says, “The Blacktops have become a signature of sorts for the Dodge Brand.”

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Set to make its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week, the Dodge Blacktop package will come as a $295 option on SXT models and adds a blackout theme to such vehicle features as the 18-inch wheels, crosshair grille and surround and headlight bezels.

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Dodge Dart GT Coming to NAIAS

Still higher performance model may follow.

by on Jan.09, 2013

Dodge expands the Dart line-up with the new GT.

The Dodge Dart was introduced less than a year ago but Chrysler Group is already looking at ways to extend the brand by offering clever variations of the car, which the company says is finding a market despite a seemingly slow start.

Dodge plans to bring back a sporty version of the compact line originally introduced a half century ago, launching the 2013 Dart GT model during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.

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The decision to preview the Dart GT ahead of the NAIAS also indicates Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne’s determination to make a success of the Dart program, which is the first Chrysler product to be based on a platform jointly developed with Italian ally Fiat SpA.

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Fiat Ups Chrysler Stake Another 5%

Maker rewarded for plans to build high-mileage Dart.

by on Jan.05, 2012

A preliminary "teaser" image of the new Dodge Dart, which will debut in Detroit on January 9.

With the launch of the new Dodge Dart, making its debut at next week’s North American International Auto Show, Chrysler expects to grab a larger share of the growing compact car segment.

But the maker’s Italian partner Fiat will grab an immediate larger stake in the U.S. maker – boosting its holdings by 5% for adding a new model to the Chrysler line-up that can deliver at least 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

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That was one of the stipulations set by the White House as part of the 2009 bailout of Chrysler.  Fiat initially was granted a 20% stake and effectively put in charge of the U.S. maker’s turnaround.  Since then, Fiat has steadily increased its holdings by meeting a series of additional requirements – most recently by paying off Chrysler’s remaining federal loans and then buying out the shares in the carmaker owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments.

With this move, Fiat now holds a 58.5% stake in Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne serving as CEO of both makers.

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Dodge Dart Inside-Out

Maker offers an additional peek at new Fiat-based compact.

by on Dec.13, 2011

Dodge plans to give a decidedly upscale look to the new Dart - which will feature a high-tech reconfigurable TFT display.

Preparing for what could be the company’s most important launch since its 2008 tie-up with Italy’s Fiat, Chrysler is continuing to dole out small sugar cubes of images and information about the new Dodge Dart it plans to introduce at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

Those who count themselves part of the Baby Boom generation will undoubtedly recall the original Dart as one of the more popular of Detroit’s compact offerings in the 1960s and 1970s.  The model that will join the automaker’s line-up for 2013 likely won’t ever come close to that model’s popularity but will nonetheless be essential if Chrysler plans to maintain its recent momentum.

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The 2013 Dodge Dart notably will be the first product developed jointly by Chrysler and Fiat off what they have dubbed the new Compact U.S. Wide, or CUSW, architecture.  It will replace the largely forgettable Dodge Caliber, the result of a misbegotten triangle that paired former partners Chrysler, Daimler AG (once known as DaimlerChrysler) and Japan’s Mitsubishi.

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Dodge Bringing the Dart Back

Once-familiar nameplate returns at Detroit Auto Show.

by on Dec.06, 2011

Dodge revives a once-familiar nameplate with the rebirth of the Dart.

A name once familiar to Baby Boomers will be making its return in time for the new crop of Millennial motorists, the Dodge Dart staging its revival at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.

A fixture of the ‘60s, the Dart was one of the more popular small cars in the domestic line-up but steadily lost traction as imports came to dominate the market for compacts.  It was last produced in 1976.  But the Dodge Dart nameplate will be revived for the 2013 model-year as the replacement for the largely unloved Dodge Caliber hatchback.

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The name may harken back to an era of peace, love and 30-cent gasoline but Dodge insists this is anything but a retro-mobile, describing it as “a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s fuel-efficient, beautifully designed and crafted.”

It’s also the first vehicle in the Chrysler line-up to get an injection of partner Fiat’s DNA, or more precisely, the automaker’s upscale brand Alfa Romeo.  The new 2013 Dodge Dart will be based on a Fiat platform “adapted from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta,” explains an advance release.

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