Fiat’s takeover of Chrysler has produced another mash-up in the form of the new Dodge Dart, shown at the Detroit motor show, and based on the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
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The Dart was one of Detroit’s nicer surprises – it’s a smart, well-finished thing, set to go on sale in America later this year and priced from just $16,000. Despite being substantially based on the Giulietta, the platform of which will also underpin Alfa’s first SUV, the design is completely different and the Dart has been expanded to fit American tastes: despite being branded a ‘compact’ in the US it’s bigger than the Giulietta in every dimensions.
Power will come from either a 1.4-litre turbocharged MutliAir engine or a carried-over 2.4-litre Chrysler four-cylinder and the Dart is fitted with an optional eight-speed automatic transmission. Although built in America, it could come to Europe as well, although it would have to be rebranded. The Dodge brand has been killed off in the UK, meaning it would have to become a Chrysler – while Jaguar Land Rover is likely to still own the rights to the ‘Dart’ name over here as a legacy of the 1960s Daimler Dart. Just as long as they don’t call it the Chrysler Neon…