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Illustrated: All-new upcoming Dodge compact hatchback

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Illustrated: All-new upcoming Dodge compact hatchback

03/15/2010, 5:42 PMBY MARK KLEIS

Although not yet named, Dodge and Fiat are hard at work developing a new platform known as Compact Wide, on which the automakers plan to build a combined one million units annually by 2014. Our illustrator has put together a rendering based on a leaked computer image that previews the first Dodge to ride on the Compact Wide platform.

According to an earlier report by Automotive News, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is planning to use the new Compact Wide architecture in order to reach one million units globally by 2014. Chrysler and Fiat have been very quiet about what the models will be that utilize the compact Wide platform, but thanks to an image leak during a Chrysler presentation we have created an illustration of what the Dodge Compact Wide model will resemble.

“In developing the Compact architecture, we looked for best-in-class performances in terms of handling and steering response, weight-to-power ratio; noise, vibration and harshness, active and passive safety,” Stefano Re Fiorentin, Fiat’s head of advanced engineering told Automotive News.

Details of the new platform are expectedly still sparse, but Chrysler did release that the new Compact Wide platform will utilize 84 percent high and ultrahigh strength steel – up from only 65 percent in Fiat’s previous C-platform.

Although Chrysler hasn’t directly confirmed which engines will be found in the Dodge variation of the Compact Wide platform, but based on earlier reports of the future engine lineup, we expect a new 1.4-liter unit as the base engine, with a turbocharged version of the same engine as a premium or sport offering. The new 1.4-liter engine is Fiat-sourced, known as FIRE, and contains Multiair technology. Fiat coined the term FIRE referring to “fully integrated robotized engine,” which describes the fully automated engine production process.

The 1.4-liter I-4 cylinder engines will feature 4 valves per cylinder and utilize fully variable-valve actuation, or FVVA, which is commonly known as Multiair. The Multiair technology helps to increase power by as much as 10 percent, increase torque by as much as 15 percent and reduce emissions and fuel consumption by up to 10 percent. The naturally aspirated engine is good for 100 horsepower and 95 lb-ft., while the turbocharged variant receives a significant bump to 170 horsepower and 170 lb-ft.

Chrysler has not released when it intends to bring a Compact Wide-based model to market, but we expect it within a two year period at the latest. Marchionne did indicate that they expect to sell 700,000 Chrysler group vehicles per year on this platform, and 300,000 in Europe by 2014.



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Not too bad.

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According to the 5 Year Plan, the compact car is supposed to be a sedan. Given the hatchback configuration of the sketch and the possible powerplants mentioned in the article, I wonder is this is actually the B-segment vehicle in the 5 Year Plan. My guess is that it would probably be aligned with the next gen Fiat Punto.

Of course, the compact sedan could be a variant of the next gen Fiat Bravo. Chrysler LLC could possibly diverge from the 5 Year Plan and offer the Dodge compact in sedan and 5-door versions (which would help it compete with the new gen Focus as well as the Mazda3). Then the car in the original sketch could possibly be a Fiat Bravo with a Dodge specific front end treatment. I still don't see Chrysler LLC putting the naturally aspirated 1.4L engine in a compact Dodge product, though.

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