As the aftermarket and performance arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Mopar has a duty to extract everything from the company's models that it can, and there's no better place to show all of its work off than the annual SEMA Show.
Consumer Reports has released its Annual Auto Reliability Survey and the results are, in a word, interesting. While we already covered the score-damaging effects of infotainment systems, there's another big angle to the data that's getting some attention – the utterly dismal scores of the Detroit Three's small car offerings.
Dodge is hoping that a heavy dash of humor helps it move some more units of the Dart with a hilarious ad campaign called Don't Touch My Dart. The spots star actors Craig Robinson, best known for his role as Darryl on The Office, and Jake Johnson from New Girl as neighbors and friends playing a game of one-upmanship over Robinson's new car. Johnson is envious of the ride and just wants to touch it.
Other than the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Mount Rushmore, South Dakota isn't generally a hot topic, but that just means that cool stuff can hide in the open waiting to be discovered. Case in point: the classic car dealer Frankman Motor Company that operates three locations in Sioux Falls, SD.
What do the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta all have in common? Well, actually, lots. They are all four-door sedans that fall into the so-called C-segment, and they are all trending downward in sales. This data comes courtesy of Wards Auto, and, while not all such vehicles are down – the Hyunai Elantra has been trending upward – the deficit reportedly rings in at six-percent overall for the segment.
Hidden amidst the overall very positive sales figures that Chrysler released earlier this week were a few disappointments, the biggest of which may be the Dodge Dart. While Dodge sales in general were down 11 percent from a year ago, the Dart's poor figures stood out from the rest – with 4,888 units sold, the Dart was down 37 percent in February.
The Dodge Dart is a decent little car. It's honest, basic transportation, and many of us at Autoblog are genuinely fond of the Alfa Romeo-based compact sedan. For 2014, not a whole lot changes in the Dart world, save the addition of this new Blacktop edition that makes its debut here at the Detroit Auto Show.
Dodge is getting ready to spread the Blacktop-themed love to the smallest member of its lineup. Last year, the automaker offered up Blacktop versions of the Avenger, Challenger, Charger, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey. And now the Dart, too, gets its dark on for 2014, with the $295 package offered on Dart SXT models equipped with the Rallye Appearance Group. The Dart Blacktop will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show next week.
My younger brother bought a Dodge Dart earlier this summer. It's a basic SXT, in Maximum Steel Metallic, with the 2.0-liter engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and not a whole lot else. Unfortunately, at the time, the Dart was one of the few cars in the compact class I'd never driven. I didn't know a lot about it, and therefore, didn't have a lot to say when he bought it. I think the words "based on an Alfa," popped out when I first saw it.
Dodge is only building 500 examples of the black-and-blue Mopar '13 Dart, but the majority of them are now being recalled. Part of the Mopar upgrade included replacing the stock seat skins in the Dart with black and blue Katzkin leather, but the seat-mounted side airbags were reinstalled improperly during the upfitting process, which could affect the performance of the front seat side airbags.
The fact that the Dart's launch has been a pretty dismal affair isn't what we'd call secret. Judging by its mounting inventories and poor critical reception, Dodge's successor to its unloved Caliber has struggled since it hit the market. And while both of those are difficult problems to address, at least their cause is well known - the powertrain.
Dodge has revealed what it calls Scat Package Stage Kits that enhance the performance of the Charger and the Challenger equipped with the 5.7-liter V8, and the Dart equipped with the turbocharged 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine. The Scat Packs use Mopar performance parts that also can be bought separately. Most of the upgrades increase engine output, but Dodge somehow manages to not specifically mention the power gains associated with each Scat Pack.
Dodge buyers looking for that extra performance edge, take note: Mopar is bringing back the Scat Pack. Announced at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas today, the new Scat Packages will be available in three stages for the Challenger, Charger and Dart starting next spring.
We've been hearing distant rumblings about Chrysler's new Hurricane engine for some time now, but details have been hard to come by. Now, Automotive News is adding some specifics to the scuttlebutt, citing Chrysler documents. According to the industry publication, the Hurricane will blow onto the scene in 2016, but it's not an all-new engine. Rather, it will be rooted in the company's existing 2.0-liter four-cylinder Tigershark powerplant (shown above), albeit with "many new technologies to achi