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Dodge's daring Alfa-based Jetta rival

Published Dec 7, 2011


At least in recent history, Dodge has never had a compact car that could run with the cream of the class - in fact Caliber and Neon could be considered more dodgy than Dodge. But some bold change is afoot with the all-new Dodge Dart that the American brand plans to unleash at the Detroit Motor Show in January next year.

With a daring design and Alfa Romeo Giulietta underpinnings, could this new Dodge do some damage to the mostly-boring C-segment sedan crowd? It wouldn't surprise us.

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While full pictures will only be released closer to the car's reveal date, the official teaser shots you see here show a decidedly sporty design, with aggressive headlight and grille treatment at the front and a muscular rear end inspired by the latest Charger muscle sedan.

Not that the Dart will become known for its muscular performance, but with some Alfa Romeo technology beneath the bonnet, it's certainly going to be competitive.

The line-up will include three four-cylinder petrol engines, these comprising a 1.4-litre turbo and two naturally aspirated units in 2.0-liter and 2.4-litre guises. The 1.4 and 2.4 will receive Fiat's advanced MultiAir technology that improves efficiency by allowing direct control of the air intake and combustion processes.

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Built (in the USA) on a lengthened and widened version of the Fiat platform that also underpins the Alfa Giulietta, the Dart promises class leading interior space and aerodynamics. Agile handling is also on the cards, with independent suspension at both ends and available 18-inch wheels.

According to Dodge: “The Dart is a thoroughly modern vehicle that's fuel-efficient, beautifully designed and crafted, agile and brings fun back to driving in the segment.”

This is going to be interesting, indeed.

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