Chrysler's Dart Returning, Via Appia
Last produced in 1976, Chrysler is bringing back the Dodge Dart, via Appia. The car makers Dodge division last manufactured a Dart pre-IT age, back when people used rotary phones and when many still had black and white television sets with rabbit-ear antennae.
The new Dart, a 2013 model, is to be Chrysler's first vehicle based on a Fiat architecture of Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The Italian car maker Fiat owns Alfa Romeo and owns the controlling interest in Chrysler. Group-think among all three companies is emerging in auto development and design. Full details of the new car will be announced in January at the Detroit auto show.
With Americans buying more compact vehicles due mostly to above $3 gallon gasoline, Chrysler expects sales to move quickly upwards. It expects the 2013 Dart to be on sale in the first half of 2012.
The Dodge Dart will come in three engine sizes: 2.0-liter, and 2.4-liter four-cylinder options and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four. In Italy, the Giulietta is rated at 170 horsepower and the equivalent of 41 MPG on the highway. Originally introduced in 1960, the Dodge Dart retired after the 1976 models. The new Dart will replace the Dodge Caliber as the compact entry vehicle.
The vehicles will be manufactured in Belvidere, Illinois as part of the automaker bailout deal that the Obama Administration made with Fiat having control over Chrysler. Fiat will gain 5% more shares of stock in Chrysler once they start to manufacture the Dart under terms of the deal.