Excitement is building up at Dodge and SRT Motorsports as they announced that the 2013 Dodge Dart rally car will compete at the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) Series. The 2013 Dodge Dart rally car will be driven by Travis Pastrana, four-time Rally America Champion and 17-time X Games Gold Medalist.
According to the president and chief executive of Dodge Brand, Reid Bigland, the team’s participation in the GRC Series was the next chapter in the racing heritage of the company. Pastrana is not your ordinary rally driver as he holds four Rally America championship wins on his trophy case. Racing is a passion for him too as he also holds multiple supercross and motorcross championships.
He currently owns Nitro Circus, which boasts of several entertainment packages including a television show, live tours and 3D feature film project. Pastrana is also one of the most popular athletes in the world, having more than three-and-a-half million Facebook followers and is famous for being searched six million times in Google in 2010. Because of these, the president and chief executive of Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, Ralph Gilles thinks of Pastrana as a natural fit for driving the Dodge Dart in the GRC.
Although Dodge built the Dart rally car specifically for Global RallyCross racing, it also endowed the production Dodge Dart with some similar traits including exceptional aerodynamics and agility. Both vehicles are also fun to drive. The 2012 Dodge Dart rally car is powered by a purpose-built, 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, 16-valve turbo-charged 600-hp engine connected to a a Sedav 4-wheel drive transmission that provides over 550 lb.-ft. of torque.
Joe Dehner, Chrysler Group LLC’s head for Dodge Design, said that the 2013 Dodge Dart has been a dream to design. According to him, the all-new Dart’s architecture, which is based on the Alfa Romeo, allowed them to design an exterior that exhibits great proportions and that convey a 'fun-to-drive' personality just by looking at it. Meanwhile, the charger-inspired 'racetrack' tail lamps, the piano black accents, and the sleek new crosshair grille all add up to give a performance-inspired design complete with the perfect amount of attitude.
Moreover, the Fiat Group-based CUS-wide or Compact U.S.-Wide architecture has long, wide and low dimensions, ensuring a stable “body-in” and “wheels-out” stance as well as a coupe-like silhouette. This CUS-wide platform allowed the company to accentuate the fender formations and to push the wheels far out onto the corners, thereby creating a stable look that gave designers at Dodge awesome opportunities for some dramatic sculpturing. Designers also visually stretched the car’s skin car over the framework as if they are stretching nylon over another surface.
Dehner added that when they designed the all-new Dart, they were inspired by vehicles with a classic and beautiful design. Each car, he noted, is beautiful and has been based on surface work and presence. The designers did not need unnecessary jewelry, lines or cladding that just confuses the eye.
When the basic design has been put in place, complete with dynamic curves and lines from every angle, the designers added into the equation a little Dodge attitude. The Dart’s face has been styled with the brand’s unmistakable split crosshair grille, yet with a modern and sleek appearance seemingly "floating" in the front fascia. This gives the Dart a full-width mask marking it as a true Dodge vehicle.
The car’s rear view features a "racetrack" full-width tail lamp that’s Charger-inspired with 152 indirect glow LED lights. It also has class-exclusive dual exhausts that are mounted in its rear fascia. When it comes to the front, the 2013 Dodge Dart was designed to deliver smooth airflow all around, including above and below the vehicle, without compromising engine cooling requirements and styling. In addition, you will find a lower radiator close-out panel fixed below the car’s front fascia. Not only does this contribute to the lower front-end appearance of the Dart, but it also reduces drag and at the same time allows for an 8” curb clearance.