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by Brett Davis

Dodge has released some teaser images of the first project developed under the Fiat-Chrysler partnership. Based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the 2013 Dodge Dart is a compact sedan with a heritage harking back to the original Dart of the 1960s.

The Dart is going to be a very important vehicle for Dodge, and for it Fiat-Chrysler parent company. Fiat-Chrysler is planning eight vehicles for the near future to be built upon the Fiat Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) platform, including the Dart. Models will range from compact hatches to compact SUVs and crossovers.

Dodge says the Dart will “redefine the compact car segment with an all-new, state-of-the-art four-door sedan delivering class-leading aerodynamics”. From the teaser images, the styling will be more ‘sleek Italian’ than traditional Dodge. There’s a track of LEDs around the taillights and projector headlights with darkened backgrounds – and with no chrome in sight.

Power will come from a range engines including a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbocharged four-cylinder, a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder, and the ‘Tigershark’ 2.4-litre World Gas Engine. Engines, at least initially, will be backed up by a Fiat six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, as well as a manual option. Reports say a ZF nine-speed automatic will also join the line-up further down the track.

As for Australia, there aren’t any plans for the Dart to join the local line-up at this stage as it is initially expected to be built in left-hand-drive only. CarAdvice has contacted Chrysler Australia about the chances of the Dart being sold locally. We will update the story when we hear more.

UPDATE: Chrysler Australia has told CarAdvice that if the Dart ends up being made in right-hand drive, it would certainly consider including it into the local lineup in the future.




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