Dodge Brand President and CEO Reid Bigland introduces the new 2013 Dodge Dart at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Dodge Brand President and CEO Reid Bigland introduces the new 2013 Dodge Dart at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

AUBURN HILLS, MI – Chrysler unveiled its 2013-MY Dodge Dart compact sedan at the Detroit Auto Show. Built on the Fiat Group-based Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) architecture, the vehicle will be available in in five trim levels: SE, SXT, Rallye, Limited, and R/T. The new sedan will offer three powertrain choices, three transmission options, 12 exterior colors, and 14 interior colors, along with a range of additional features.

You can view a gallery with more photos of the new Dodge Dart here.

“The all-new Dodge Dart is a groundbreaking car that will surprise and delight customers who want a no-compromise, fun-to-drive car that’s a great value,” said Reid Bigland, President and Chief Executive Officer — Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC.

Chrysler said it based the new CUS-wide platform on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The automaker lengthened and widened the Giulietta platform to create a compact sedan for the North American marketplace.

The automaker stated it will build the vehicle in the United States at Chrysler Group’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill., and production will begin in the second quarter of 2012.


Chrysler stated the new model offers a 160 horsepower Tigershark 16-valve 2.0L engine, a 160 horsepower 16-valve 1.4L MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine, and a new 184 horsepower Tigershark 16-valve 2.4L MultiAir 2 four-cylinder engine. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, or a six-speed dual dry clutch (DDCT) transmission. Chrysler said MultiAir engine technology is designed to deliver optimum combustion, at any speed under all driving conditions, by controlling air intake and combustion directly and dynamically. This results in up to a 15% increase in low engine rpm torque and a 7.5% improvement in fuel efficiency.

Although Chrysler hasn’t formally announced fuel-economy numbers yet, the automaker said a pre-production model of the Dart reached 40 mpg in tests.

The Dart features lightweight MacPherson strut front suspension, tuned to provide more responsive steering, handling, better ride quality, and reduced road noise. It also features a bi-link independent rear suspension, allowing the vehicle to lean into corners and adding to the ride quality.


The 2013-MY Dodge Dart offers three engine choices.

The 2013-MY Dodge Dart offers three engine choices.

Chrysler said the Fiat Group-based Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) architecture’s low, wide, and long dimensions give the new Dart a stable “body-in, wheels-out” stance and a “coupe-like” silhouette. The vehicle’s architecture is modular, allowing the automaker to build multiple models on the platform. Chrysler said this approach will reduce cost, development time, and tooling costs going forward. The body structure of the Dart is comprised of 68% high-strength steel, for lighter weight and added safety.

“The Dodge Dart was a dream to design,” said Joe Dehner, Head of Dodge Design — Chrysler Group LLC. “The Alfa Romeo-based architecture allowed us to design an exterior with great proportions that say ‘fun-to-drive’ when you look at it. Add in the Charger-inspired ‘racetrack’ taillamps, a new, sleek crosshair grille and piano black accents, and it all adds up to a performance-inspired design with just the right amount of attitude.”

Chrysler said it styled the front of the Dart with the Dodge “split crosshair” grille, but with a modern, look that “floats” in the front fascia. The automaker said it designed the front end for smooth airflow without compromising engine cooling requirements. Dodge engineers also positioned a lower radiator close-out panel below the front fascia, which helps reduce drag but still allows for an 8-inch curb clearance. In the back, the 2013 Dodge Dart features an available Charger-inspired “racetrack” full-width taillamp with 152 indirect glow LEDs, and class-exclusive dual exhausts in the rear fascia.

Chrysler focused on aerodynamics when designing the new Dart. The vehicle features an “active grille shutter” system, which automatically stops airflow through the lower intake at highway speeds when the vehicle requires less engine cooling. The system opens or closes automatically based on engine coolant temperature and vehicle speed.

The Dart features a number aerodynamic styling features, including an integrated decklid spoiler that's designed to optimize the air wake behind the vehicle.

The Dart features a number aerodynamic styling features, including an integrated decklid spoiler that's designed to optimize the air wake behind the vehicle.

The vehicle also features an aerodynamic integrated decklid spoiler that’s designed to optimize the air wake, among a number of other exterior changes, for example aerodynamic mirrors and underbody panels.

The all-new 2013 Dodge Dart will come in 12 exterior colors: Redline Red Pearl Coat, Header Orange Pearl Coat, Blue Streak Pearl Coat, True Blue Pearl Coat, Winter Chill Pearl Coat, Laguna Blue Clear Coat, Maximum Steel Metallic Clear Coat, Tungsten Metallic Clear Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Citrus Peel Pearl Coat, Pitch Black Clear Coat and Bright White Clear Coat. The Dart also offers seven wheel options.


The Dart's interior is designed with easy access to controls in mind.

The Dart's interior is designed with easy access to controls in mind.

Inside, Chrysler said the Dart features a “driver-centric” cabin layout, with all controls in each reach of the driver. The driver can customize the dash displays, the seats are “comfort-tuned,” and the automaker said the new compact has the interior space of a mid-size sedan, with best-in-class hip and shoulder room.

“The all-new Dodge Dart is the showpiece for Dodge’s next generation philosophy of interior design,” said Klaus Busse, Head of Interior Design — Chrysler Group LLC. “The Dart interior takes the beautiful, precision-crafted interiors we rolled out last year and adds a little bit of fun with surprises of color, eye-catching ambient lighting and some really cool technology.”

The Dart features a class-exclusive “floating island bezel.”  The bezel houses the segment-exclusive available 7-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) customizable gauge cluster display. The cluster, which features a light pipe surround, also houses the available class-exclusive Uconnect Touch 8.4-inch touchscreen Media Center.

The Dart offers customers the choice of 14 interior color and trim combinations with seven interior color environments in cloth or leather fabric: Black denim, Black/Light Diesel Grey, Black/Light Frost Beige, Black/Ruby Red, Diesel Grey/Citrus Peel, Diesel Grey/Light Diesel Grey and Ceramic White/Light Diesel Grey.

In terms of interior storage, the glove box has room for an iPad; the center console features auxiliary jacks for electronic devices; and center console side pockets have room for small items, such as mobile phones, pens, and paper.


The new Dodge Dart comes with a number of standard and optional safety features. The sedan provides 10 standard airbags, including dual-stage adaptive venting front driver and passenger air bags, front-seat-mounted driver and passenger pelvic and thorax air bags, two rear-seat-mounted pelvic air bags, front driver and passenger knee air bags, and all-row side-curtain air bags.

The Dart also features a reactive head-restraint system; available Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection, three-point safety belts in all five seating positions; front driver and passenger dual seat belt pretensioners at the anchor and retractor positions and active load limiters. All three rear seat positions feature Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH).

The 2013 Dodge Dart also comes with four-wheel, four-channel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution and traction control system on all models. Following is a list of additional features:

  • Brake Assist
  • Brake-lock differential
  • Ready Alert Braking
  • Rainy Brake Support
  • Hydraulic boost compensation
  • Electronic stability control (four-channel active handling system ESC)
  • Electronic Roll Mitigation
  • Hill-start Assist
  • Trailer-sway Control
  • ParkView rear backup camera
  • ParkSense rear park assist