2013 Dodge Dart is the first vehicle designed by Chrysler and Fiat

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 13, 2012

The 2013 Dodge Dart that made its global debut at the Detroit Auto Show would be Chrysler Group's first compact sedan since the Neon’s production was stopped in 2005. However, the first vehicle designed from the wheels up by the union of Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. doesn’t just fulfill a dream to raise sales in the largest segment of the market.

Chrysler, Detroit's smallest automaker, has made a bet that it can cause a wide adaptation of the Fiat technology in the U.S., including the 2013 Dodge Dart, and at least seven cars, SUVs and crossovers that are built on the same modified Fiat platform.

For Chrysler and Fiat to raise profits, CEO Sergio Marchionne is implementing a long-term plan, which includes the sharing of technologies and platforms between Chrysler Group and Fiat.

Marchionne addressed a letter to employees, saying that platform sharing between Fiat and Chrysler would be a “key driver” for efforts to raise efficiencies and volumes in the coming years. Knowing that there’s a lot at stake, Chrysler gave the car several features that are typically seen on more upscale vehicles.

Chrysler will also be offering consumers a variety of styling and powertrain options. The Dart's fascia uses styling cues from bigger vehicles. The Dart is built on the CUSW platform, a version of a Fiat platform that’s wider and is used for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The car will debut with three four-cylinder engine options: a 1.4-liter turbo and 2.0 liter both offering 160 hp, and a new 2.4-liter Tigershark turbocharged engine that delivers 184 hp.

Chrysler Group LLC’s Joe Dehner thinks that it’s like a dream to design the Dodge Dart since the architecture is based on the Alfa Romeo’s exterior dimensions. This helped them create the right elements that show Dodge’s “fun driving” spirit in a whole new light. The high performance design consists of piano black accents, sleek crosshair grille and Charger-inspired taillights among many others.

Stretched out proportions define most of the CUS-Wide or Compact US Wide architecture. The CUS-Wide is also characterised by a well-balanced “body-in” “wheels out” stance typical of coupe models. The Fiat Group-based platform has let them enhance the form of the fenders to push the wheels farther out the corners. This results in a more stable stance to give them more ways to create those highly dramatic curves. To do this, the designers somehow imagine that they were stretching nylon over the vehicle’s surface.

The state of the art dual exhausts and taillights (with 152 indirect LED’s) define the new model’s rear exterior. Amazingly, the front end also bears its very own unique qualities to emphasise the 2013 Dodge Dart’s lowered look. The redesigned front fascia consists of a lower radiator close out panel to optimise the distribution of airflow. This positioning does not in any way affect the engine cooling and style specifications of the car. In fact, it even provides an 8-inch curb clearance aside from reducing drag.

Dehner, Chrysler’s Head of Dodge Design, added that the all-new Dodge Dart was indeed inspired by the classic car design. He believes these beautiful vehicles don’t need much “jewellery” or accessories to get noticed. As a result, the basic design is made of the right amount of curves and dynamic lines wherever it is necessary. Then, they added Dodge’s spirit into the package to complete the Dart’s modern, sleek new appearance.

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