2013 Dodge Dart preview on WNWO

So, I wasn't really in San Antonio. And, well, the car got lost before the interview. Sigh. I suppose, even the best laid plans go awry, but all things considered, for a live Skype on the streets of Austin, Texas,  at 4.30 a.m. ... I didn't think this went too badly!

Dodge launched the all-new Dart in January at the North American International Auto Show. Over the past couple weeks, they rolled it out to journalists around the world. While the body is built at the assembly plant in Belvidere, the 3 engines come from Dundee, Mich. So, I had a quick chat this week with WNWO in Toledo, Ohio, about the car that people in their viewing area will have a hand in building.

 

Some additional notes:

  • Hands-down coolest feature: Optional cordless charging mat for smart phones. Dealer installed, available for $200. Well worth the price if you ask me!
  • Most interesting thing about the Dart: The fact that you can get every up-level feature available across the Dodge lineup in this compact, entry-level car. For a price, yes, but it's really awesome that it's even an option!
  • Engine availability: All 4-cylinder engines that have horsepower ratings ranging from 160 to 184 -- 2.0-liter TigerShark, 1.4-liter turbo, 2.4-liter TigerShark
  • Pricing: SE ($15,995), SXT ($17,995), Rallye ($18,995), Limited ($19,995), R/T ($22,495)
  • Most disappointing thing: Base SE doesn't come with A/C. It's a $995 option.

Comments

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  • The female anchor probably isn't old enough to remember the Dart but the male one is.

    The 40 mph was part of the requirement that Fiat had to develop a domestically built 40 mph car to get another 5% or so of the government's interest in Chrysler, post bankruptcy.

    The engine range seems to be what is being consistently proposed for the next generation of cars of that class, including the Acura ILX. I said before that, like the WNWO stuff, it depends on whether it is assembled in Ohio, but it turns out it is assembled in Indiana, but that's not a difference.

    The questions with all these cars is whether they are a gussied up version of something else, but in the Dart's case not something previously sold in the U.S. However, having an Avenger, I am suspicious of a foreign platform assembled in Illinois, although the abNormal, Ill. workers were more aggrieved. For that matter, a Hegewisch Taurus or Explorer comes within that category.

  • It's a little weird, but I have a photograph of Jill from last Wednesday when she was one of the journalists driving the Dart around Central Texas somewhat north to northeast of San Antonio.

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