Hyundai to supply six-speed automatic transmissions for the 2013 Dodge Dart

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 20, 2012

Hyundai Motor America will supply six-speed automatic transmissions for Chrysler’s new Dodge Dart, CEO John Krafcik confirmed. It’s not unusual for an automaker to get parts from an outside supplier but what has piqued everyone’s curiosity is how Chrysler and Hyundai are coming together so soon after the recent split of the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA), a joint manufacturing venture that the two had with Mitsubishi.

But then, it’s actually not so difficult to understand as the Dart’s updated 2.0- and 2.4-liter engines, which use the six-speed automatic, have a close similarity to engines that Hyundai still uses.

For instance, the Hyundai Sonata uses a turbocharged 2.0 and a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter. These two had evolved from the GEMA program. There are speculations that Chrysler had to quickly source a pile of six-speed autos due to fuel economy.

The four-speed units paired with the old versions of these engines wouldn’t be satisfactory and so it decided to go with the Hyundai transmission, which would easily link up with the engines. Chrysler isn’t confirming the purchase deal and Hyundai hasn’t talked about any specific details about what transmission will be sold to Chrysler.

One of the theories is that Chrysler is having difficulty with final calibrations of the Hyundai gearbox. It’s therefore interesting how Chrysler arrived at the Dart’s “unadjusted combined fuel-economy rating” of 40 mpg. This is a stingy figure that is actually one of the metrics required to trigger Fiat’s recent automatic 5% ownership increase in Chrysler.

The 2013 Dodge Dart has a classic, distinctive and stylish exterior. The Dart has a sporty, fluid and sculpted look that can be described as beautifully agile. It makes use of classic surfaces and drama to give it an edge in the compact sedan market in the United States.

Chrysler Group LLC head of Dodge design Joe Dehner says that it was a dream to come up with a design for the Dodge Dart. They used architecture based on the Alfa Romeo and gave the exterior great proportions that hint at the car being fun to drive. Dehner also says that they included racetrack taillamps and crosshair grille that were inspired by the Charger. All of these designs hint at performance and attitude that the Dart brings to the table.

The architecture has low, long and wide dimensions guaranteeing a wheels out and body in look, and giving the Dart a silhouette that is similar to a coupe. The use of this platform made it possible to highlight the fender formations while also having the wheel as far out of the car's body. This helps make the Dart look very stable. It also paved the way for the inclusion of dramatic sculpturing.

Dehner adds that when they were designing the Dodge Dart, they were inspired by beautiful, well-crafted and classic cars throughout history. Dehner explains that these cars were beautiful without unnecessary designs, relying only on its surface work.

After the basic design was finalized, the designers then worked in that signature Dodge attitude to complement the curves and the lines. The Dart has a face that sported the signature Dodge split crosshair grille. This time, however, the grille looks like it is floating in the front fascia, with a modern and sleek appearance.

At the back, the 2013 Dodge Dart has an optional "racetrack" taillamp that makes use of more than 150 indirect glow LED lights, as well as dual exhausts.

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