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    Rumorpile: Dodge Dart To Get SRT-ified


    William Maley

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    January 31, 2012

    The Dodge Dart has been getting rave reviews since being shown earlier this month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Since then, rumors of an SRT version of the Dart have been floating around and Motor Trend has put together some information for this possible model.

    Powertrain wise, the Dart SRT4 could use a turbocharged version of the Tigershark 2.0-liter four-cylinder or Alfa Romeo's upcoming all-aluminum 1.8L turbo-4. Horsepower rating for the Dart should be over the Caliber SRT4's 285 HP. A upgraded six-speed dual-clutch transmission from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf is expected.

    The Dart SRT4's chassis will get stiffer springs and dampers, larger wheels, and upgraded rubber. Also, the Dart SRT4 will get a new aggressive aero pack to help it out.

    Source: Motor Trend

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    Nice addition to the Mopar lineup. But don't count on the power rating to exceed the Caliber SRT. Afterall the Caliber uses a 2.4 liter mill. Plus, if the new car is lighter it may not need as much power to have equal or superior performance.

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    dammit, Dodge is becoming what Pontiac should have been.

    Oh really? In 4 years you guys will be comparing the Dart unfavorably with its replacement and calling it a POS. No thanks. Pontiac should have stayed Firebird-GTO-Solstice-G8... (and marketed properly)... these will be remembered fondly 20 years later... which is like Dodge with only the Viper, Charger and Challenger.

    Edited by SAmadei
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    I wonder if it will be AWD? My son likes the looks and would be willing ot have a Dart SRT4 AWD, otherwise he is going to stick with the tight fitting to large people subaru WRX. :(

    Hope America finally gets on this small turbo AWD for better handling idea.

    Just think if the Cruze was a performance AWD car or the AWD Terrain had a proper Turbo 4 as the new Terrain Typhoon.

    Edited by dfelt
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    I wonder if it will be AWD? My son likes the looks and would be willing ot have a Dart SRT4 AWD, otherwise he is going to stick with the tight fitting to large people subaru WRX. :(

    I don't know at moment. Trying to think if the Dart's platform can fit an AWD system. For now, I think its safe to assume the Dart SRT4 will be FWD.

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    I don't know at moment. Trying to think if the Dart's platform can fit an AWD system. For now, I think its safe to assume the Dart SRT4 will be FWD.

    CSUW (as well as the related C-Evo, D-Evo, C-Wide, and CUSW Plus platforms) can fit an all-wheel drive system.

    There's a chance the Dart SRT-4 can be all-wheel drive, but it's more than likely safe to assume it will be front-wheel drive, probably with a limited slip differential.

    Edited by black-knight
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    dammit, Dodge is becoming what Pontiac should have been.

    Firebird-GTO-Solstice-G8... (and marketed properly)... these will be remembered fondly 20 years later...

    No they won't. What will be remembered is more than a quarter century of lameness and contrived attempts in making lousy W-Bodies look appealing. And horrid design philosophies. And Aztek's.

    In contrast, this car will be remembered fondly. Because it's deliciously attractive and sporty. How many Pontiac's since 1973 can use both of those adjectives at the same time?

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    I don't know at moment. Trying to think if the Dart's platform can fit an AWD system. For now, I think its safe to assume the Dart SRT4 will be FWD.

    CSUW (as well as the related C-Evo, D-Evo, C-Wide, and CUSW Plus platforms) can fit an all-wheel drive system.

    There's a chance the Dart SRT-4 can be all-wheel drive, but it's more than likely safe to assume it will be front-wheel drive, probably with a limited slip differential.

    I still think they would have a market for the youth by offering the SRT4 in AWD. Guess am gonna have to start a letter writting campaign. Good thing for computer bots to flood the email of Chrysler ;)

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    Firebird-GTO-Solstice-G8... (and marketed properly)... these will be remembered fondly 20 years later...

    No they won't.

    I'll agree with SA and say that I think those four particular Pontiacs will be remembered fondly.

    The Firebird (including the Trans Am) was the sole model that gave the brand any shred of enthusiast credibility during many of Pontiac's dark years. The Holden-cum-GTO may not have been what buyers were expecting styling-wise, but it proved itself to be a solidly built boulevard-crusing coupe with decent performance and driving dynamics to boot. The Solstice wowed the press, especially in concept form, and arguably became one of the best looking Pontiacs to be built in decades. Yeah, yeah, I know you couldn't stuff a dead body in the trunk without first chopping it's legs and arms off, but that's not why you buy a roadster in the first place. The Solstice GXP also was something of a performance bargain. The G8 also was mostly praised by the press and the GXP version took the title of the fastest Pontiac ever produced.

    With depreciation included as a factor, the Firebird/Trans Am and the GTO are seen as performance bargains for what you can pick up a used example for. The same will be true of the G8 and Solstice in a few years.

    If there's anything seriously wrong about those four cars is that they weren't advertised properly. Those cars were at the beating heart of the Pontiac brand and GM chose to neglect them. You neglect the heart and it'll stop beating. That's exactly what happened.

    Stop and look at the fifth-gen Camaro as an example of what spectacular advertising can do for a car. Facing facts, the first Bay-directed Transformers film was pretty much one long advertisement for the upcoming Camaro that came out two whole years before anyone could actually buy it. Then, when people could buy one, another Transformers film came out.

    If the current Camaro was advertised in the same lackluster fashion that GM used for the fourth-gen model as well as Pontiac, I don't think it would be selling 60,000 units a year.

    What will be remembered is more than a quarter century of lameness and contrived attempts in making lousy W-Bodies look appealing. And horrid design philosophies. And Aztek's.

    Hold up and think in a broader scope for a moment.

    Say, for example, you have a very good friend that has passed away. When you think about that friend who used to stick by you through thick and thin when he was alive, you're going to think of all the good times you shared with him and the great things he stood for. You'll think about the postive acomplishments he made when he was still living. You'll choose to remember his best attributes fondly. You won't choose to think about his flaws. You may accept them and maybe even acknowledge them in a conversation, but you'll never focus on them.

    ... What I'm trying to say though my incoherant rambling is that there are people who don't focus on all of the terrible cars Pontiac has built over the years. They saw Pontiac the same way that you see that good friend. They could see the good the brand had to offer, even when the brand was circling the drain. They aren't exactly denying the bad, they're choosing not to focus on it. After all, no one said you have to let a few bad apples spoil the entire barrel.

    The things you've listed are also flaws that in no way spoiled those four cars although they did spoil 80 to 90 percent of the line up.

    Going back to styling since it essentially comprised two of your three complaints, when Pontiacs were slathered with washboard cladding, cartoonish front-ends, and random tumorous growths, the Firebird remained mostly unadorned. As I'm sure the resident ex-Opel employee that trolls these forums will explain to you, the problem with the GTO's styling wasn't that it was horribly bland or hideous, it was just growing old. The Solstice was a clean design that relied on proportions to make a bold statement. The G8 was again barnacle-free and rather handsome.

    In contrast, this car will be remembered fondly. Because it's deliciously attractive and sporty. How many Pontiac's since 1973 can use both of those adjectives at the same time?

    I think it's too early to make this call honestly. The Dart is a great car so far and probably one of the best American compact cars ever built, but it's also a car that we've yet to experience in person.

    In any case, this is a thread about a new Dodge and here we are talking about Pontiac. We've been down this road far too many times. Let's live and let die and stop picking scabs only to rub salt in the open wounds. What's the fun in that? (I'm not just directing that at you, but everyone else.)

    Edited by black-knight
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    I still think they would have a market for the youth by offering the SRT4 in AWD. Guess am gonna have to start a letter writting campaign. Good thing for computer bots to flood the email of Chrysler ;)

    All-wheel drive would be nice, but I'm not sure if it's really needed. The Neon SRT-4 was a strong seller and it was only front-wheel drive.

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    dammit, Dodge is becoming what Pontiac should have been.

    Oh really? In 4 years you guys will be comparing the Dart unfavorably with its replacement and calling it a POS. No thanks. Pontiac should have stayed Firebird-GTO-Solstice-G8... (and marketed properly)... these will be remembered fondly 20 years later... which is like Dodge with only the Viper, Charger and Challenger.

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    the dart has a lot going for it. it is the first love child between fiat and Chrysler. that right there will have it remembered for many years. its good looks are a huge improvement over the caliber. and an SRT edition would draw those who thought this was just another econocar in. show me some modern Pontiac with these good looks, this hype, the sport to go with it as well as its history making status and i can say you are right.

    Edited by fullmoon97
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    Sure, sure. 1983 C&D Top Ten and MT Car of the Year winner AMC/Renault Alliance. It was talked about all around at the time. Will the Dart win both awards?

    I'm not saying the Dart is a bad car... it has one of the best taillight treatments in the last decade, even if its copied from the Charger. I am making a comment that you new-car-fanboys have a VERY short attention span and will move on once something more shiny comes along.

    I made the comment. I stand by it. C&G, Internet Archive and Google have archived it. We've revisit in 4~5 years and 20 years to see how it pans out.

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    dammit, Dodge is becoming what Pontiac should have been.

    Oh really? In 4 years you guys will be comparing the Dart unfavorably with its replacement and calling it a POS. No thanks. Pontiac should have stayed Firebird-GTO-Solstice-G8... (and marketed properly)... these will be remembered fondly 20 years later... which is like Dodge with only the Viper, Charger and Challenger.

    I'd have to disagree. we knew the Caliber was crap when it came out because it was a (bad) attempt at making a mini Magnum. We knew it was ugly. That's why it didn't sell. We knew the Sunfire and Grand Am weren't going to sell. we were all disappointed/frustrated when the G6 came out looking incredibly boring and nothing like the concept.

    We do however know what the Giulietta is like it's been tested by several media outlets; it's gotten favorable reviews. We do know that this is an arguably attractive design (As opposed to the Caliber which is arguably NOT), that is similar to another car (Charger) that has a measure of attractiveness.

    Look at a Charger. Sure, it's not a '62 Ferrari 250 GT, or a Jaguar E-Type but yet at the same time one is drawn to it because it has its own visual appeal. The Dart borrows some of that, and then struts its own stuff. true we don't know if the Dart will turn out to be a total piece, but it looks far more promising than any Caliberneonshadow that came before it. Compared to its predecessors, you see my point on the Dart, don't you?

    Producing ONLY Firebird/G8/Solstice/GTO would not have been a viable alternative for Pontiac. That would have made it too niche, and would have seriously hurt its sales chances, especially if it's limited to sports cars like this (which, don't forget, tend to be rather expensive). Pontiac needed viable mainstream vehicles to keep it afloat. The problem is they could have made a compact and small-midsizer that could still be sporty instead of just "look" sporty and just be a crappy Aveo underneath (and just barely underneath, remember?) Pontiac could have made competitive product that could be mainstream and affordable, but they didn't because:

    ..bombshell..

    GM didn't give a $h!. they thought they were invincible. They thought they could sell subpar product and stay on top of the heap forever and ever. but then when it hit the fan, their countermeasures were too little too late. this is why we don't have a Pontiac anymore.

    And I'm hardly a new-car fanboy. I'll point out for instance, that I still own an almost seven year old Cobalt (that I baby to death, mind you) and dislike Cruzes. I still own a 15 year old Camaro, and while i still want a new one, I'm not willing to give up my old one (It's like my firstborn son).

    Edited by Turbojett
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    the dart has a lot going for it. it is the first love child between fiat and Chrysler. that right there will have it remembered for many years. its good looks are a huge improvement over the caliber. and an SRT edition would draw those who thought this was just another econocar in. show me some modern Pontiac with these good looks, this hype, the sport to go with it as well as its history making status and i can say you are right.

    20090625083539120.jpg

    well, it does fit your criteria.

    It's just a shame that this alone couldn't save Pontiac.

    Edited by Turbojett
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    Sure, sure. 1983 C&D Top Ten and MT Car of the Year winner AMC/Renault Alliance. It was talked about all around at the time. Will the Dart win both awards?

    I'm not saying the Dart is a bad car... it has one of the best taillight treatments in the last decade, even if its copied from the Charger. I am making a comment that you new-car-fanboys have a VERY short attention span and will move on once something more shiny comes along.

    I made the comment. I stand by it. C&G, Internet Archive and Google have archived it. We've revisit in 4~5 years and 20 years to see how it pans out.

    ok not sure you should group everyone in that category. i dont wet myself every time a new car comes along. i mean sheesh i am in love with my Intrepid. can i see myself buying and loving the Dart? yea, but i love old just as much as i love new.

    as far as the solstice comparing to the dart i think thats the closest Pontiac will get but its still not close enough for me. it does not have the history behind it. sure its got looks and power but honestly i dont even see myself talking about it today and Pontiac has been gone for a few years. i think people will look back on the dart and say wow that was a good car. thats my opinion.

    Edited by fullmoon97
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    Sorry, we can't help beating a dead horse.

    Because it's funny.

    And 'new car fanboys!?' That's funny! We're not 'new car fanboys.' We're 'good car fanboys!'

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    as far as the solstice comparing to the dart i think thats the closest Pontiac will get but its still not close enough for me. it does not have the history behind it. sure its got looks and power but honestly i dont even see myself talking about it today and Pontiac has been gone for a few years. i think people will look back on the dart and say wow that was a good car. thats my opinion.

    Are you kidding? If Pontiac never comes back, even as good as the G8 was, THAT CAR will be seen as it's last great hurrah.

    Mark my words, that will be an iconic classic.

    Edited by Turbojett
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    as far as the solstice comparing to the dart i think thats the closest Pontiac will get but its still not close enough for me. it does not have the history behind it.

    I'm going to put the brakes on right here because this statement makes about as much sense as me trying to milk my own nipples.

    Let me start off by saying that I'm a Mopar guy these days and you shouldn't doubt my support for the Dart. However, I won't hesitate to admit that I'm trouble finding the historic foundations of the new Dart that you've somehow discovered. Is it simply because it wears the name of a completely unrelated vehicle that was mothballed in the late '70s? You know, considering the general public of the United States probably doesn't even remember what it had for breakfast yesterday morning, I doubt they're going to associate the new car with the old one. (That's not a bad thing, mind you. Those last few years for the original Dart weren't exactly anything I'd shout from a mountaintop about.)

    There's about as much history behind the Dart as there is the Solstice.

    And in what way is the Solstice like the Dart in the first place? Yeah, that's what I thought. Just can it already. All of you. How in the hell did we get to the low point where we're comparing the Dart to the Solstice, anyway? This is all a total mindf@#k for me.

    And let the record show that I really hate that I've further indulged the generally mindless Arrowhead-induced bickering around here, but I can only stand so much of the trolling and the associated feeding going along with it. Seriously. Stop killing and polluting the site with this crap. I've had enough of it. Let's move on already. Too much effort is being put into seriously turning this place around only to have it be for naught.

    tldr; I'll just repost something that I removed earlier because I mistakenly thought it was too harsh.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-iDgn6EyHPo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Enjoy your tough love.

    Edited by black-knight
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    I'd have to disagree. we knew the Caliber was crap when it came out because it was a (bad) attempt at making a mini Magnum. We knew it was ugly. That's why it didn't sell.

    And party line around here is that the Neon was crap. And the Avenger... and the Sebring... and everything Pontiac ever made... and everything that don't have SatNav...

    We knew the Sunfire and Grand Am weren't going to sell.

    Oh really? Did you post that in 1994 or in 1984? I don't have the production numbers here... but the Sunfire habitually sold more than 100K until the very end. The Grand Am sold between 150K and 250K per year for 20 years. That gives us at least 1 million Sunfires and 4 million Grand Ams. I would guessimate its closer to 1.5 and 5 mill, though.

    How many cars did Pontiac have to sell to be 'good enough' for 1995?

    Is the Sunfire the greatest car made?... Hell no. Its noisy, flimsy, made with meh parts and a crash test disaster. Oh, God, it don't have Nav, either. But it was made in coupe and convertible... and the basic shape is MUCH better looking to me that nearly every small car made since. Hell, there is still an aftermarket for it, 7 years after it ended.

    We do however know what the Giulietta is like it's been tested by several media outlets; it's gotten favorable reviews.

    Again, I'm not specifically attacking the Dart. Its very nice looking for a modern economy car. But let me ask... has ANYONE here driven one? Driven a Giulietta? Driven a Giulietta built by unhappy, union-backed employees in North America somewhere? And what about people who learn its designed by FIAT... a company not exactly synonymous with quality automobiles. In the end, its the entry level Dodge... and in time it will be judged that way even if it gets 200 mpg, goes 300 mph, only emits chocolate ice cream and has seats that feel like sex.

    Producing ONLY Firebird/G8/Solstice/GTO would not have been a viable alternative for Pontiac. That would have made it too niche, and would have seriously hurt its sales chances, especially if it's limited to sports cars like this (which, don't forget, tend to be rather expensive).

    So its better to make nothing... or badge then as even cheaper Chevys? There already was a distribution channel for Pontiac... and I'm sure the G8 alone, given a fighting chance, would have added more sales to GM's numbers than Lincoln provides to Ford.

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    so let me clarify for those who have lashed out at my comment. the "history" i refer to has nothing to due with the name. they could have called it the wasp, the venom, the what ever and i still would have said this. the "history" i am talking about is the bonding of 2 MAJOR car companies. and their first love child together (THE DART) is a history making car. the solstice (which i agree is not the right car to compare to the dart) does not have that history. i will say the same thing about the viper when it comes out. it will be the best of dodge and the best of Fiat (Ferrari) in one orgasmic car. i am not angry i am not upset my panties are not twisted. i am stating OPINION. it is obvious i have ruffled the feathers of you Pontiac lovers. i am a Mopar guy to the core and i could care less. just thought you should know

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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/SrjMkeXGfGM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    the "history" i am talking about is the bonding of 2 MAJOR car companies.

    This has happened twice in Chrysler's past before Fiat stepped in back in 2009 (first with AMC in 1987, second with Daimler in 1998). Chrysler being bonded with another major automaker is hardly historic, honestly. A historic event is a once in a lifetime thing. Chrysler has merged with another automaker once every decade for the last three decades.

    Edited by black-knight
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