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First Drive: 2013 Dodge Dart GT

Successfully reviving an old formula.

by on Jul.08, 2013

Dodge adds some muscle to its initially anemic Dart with the launch of the GT model.

Even during a quick couple spins around Chrysler’s suburban Detroit test track, it is very hard not to be impressed by the performance of the 2013 Dodge Dart GT.

Just now reaching showrooms, those two little letters speak volumes about the latest version of the Dart, a promising and generally well-executed sedan that had one big problem when it came to market a little more than a year ago: a set of seriously underpowered engines.

The GT is, as those letters are meant to suggest, the sort of sporty addition to the Dart line-up that Dodge desperately needed.  That’s all the better in light of the fact that the lavishly equipped GT packages comes with more standard equipment than many a car costing twice as much.

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But what is likely to sell most potential buyers is the new 2.4-liter “Tiger Shark” inline-four engine that packs 184 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque into a compact platform that is both fast and nimble. The enhanced sports suspension only adds to the car’s excellent feeling out on the road, even jouncing over the lumpy pavement built into the Chrysler test track in Chelsea, Michigan.


Chrysler Re-launching SRT Performance Brand

Redefining the muscle car for $4 gas.

by on Jul.15, 2011

Ralph Gilles with the Dodge Challenger SRT-8.

While fuel prices may be hovering near record levels, there’s plenty of demand for performance – or so Chrysler is betting as it readies the ambitious re-launch of its SRT brand.

The make is rolling out four new SRT models that have been equipped with a new 6.4-liter hemi-engine that delivers not only better performance but also markedly improved fuel economy compared to the old Chrysler 6.1-liter Hemi.

The engine in each of the cars has been equipped with cylinder de-activation technology that Chrysler claims can boost mileage by as much as 25%, while upgraded vehicle dynamics, performance-oriented brakes and race-inspired seats – as well as a new high-end sound system – should appeal to traditional muscle can fans.

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The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 produces 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque and can propel the SRT versions of the Dodge Challenger , Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 to top speeds of 175 mph. The SRT version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee with its 20-inch, highly stylized wheels – designed to show off the new Brembo brakes – tops out at “only” 165 miles per hour after the vehicle’s ground clearance was reduced by an inch to make the SRT SUV more aerodynamic.