By Patrick Rall
While the Chrysler Group has all but confirmed the existence
of the Dodge Dart SRT4, the company has done a fantastic job of making sure
that no images or information on the high performance compact sedan has hit the
internet…until now. Shown above is what
appears to be an official company rendering of the Dodge Dart SRT4 and while it
only shows so much – it certainly shows enough to peak our interest.
This image, which first appeared online on
OntarioStreetCars.com, is a bit on the dark and grainy side but it offers
plenty of insight into the Dodge Dart SRT4 along with plenty of clues that
would lead me to believe that this could be the real thing.
The Dodge Dart SRT4 shown in the above image looks very much
like a car that the Chrysler Group could sent into production. The styling differences between this car and
the standard production Dodge Dart are enough to allow the SRT4 to stand out in
a crowd but there really arent any specific aspects of this design that would
make you question the ability to head into production. There doesn’t appear to be any exorbitant carbon
fiber panels or other things that are more likely to appear on a SEMA Show car
than an actual production model and that is a good sign. Obviously, this image
only gives us a good look at the front end of the SRT4 but what we can see if a
front end that strays a great deal the other current Dart models with the most
significant feature being the large lower fascia opening that wears the
familiar crosshair grille that is used across nearly the entire Dodge and Ram
brands. On the outer edges of the front
fascia are a set of LED fog lights that could either be floating in some sort
of brake cooling duct or they could just be mounted in black trim to match the
grille area. It is very hard to see in
the original image but there also appears to be a chin spoiler or some black
ducting mounted below the bottom of the front fascia. Finally, this Dart SRT4 wears a hood that is
not all that extreme but it appears to have a central heat extraction area that
is sunken down into the hood – similar to what we see on the new Viper, the
Grand Cherokee SRT8 and the Dodge Charger SRT8.
Honestly, should this turn out to be our first look at the
production version of the Dodge Dart SRT4, I will be a little surprised at how
understated the exterior design will be.
This image also appears to have black side sills hidden in the shadows
and if there is black base trim on the front and sides, perhaps there will be a
diffuser out back and hopefully a big ass wing like the one on the old Neon
SRT4. While this Dart SRT4 isnt as
wildly styled as many had hoped it looks good and it looks like something that
the company could actually build….but is this image the real deal?
In terms of the authenticity, this image of the supposed
Dodge Dart SRT4 has several things going for it. First, the way that the image is displayed
below a white bar which carries the logos of the various Chrysler Group brands
with the text “PF SRT Preliminary Sketch” seems like something that would be
from the automaker – although that is also something that is easily faked. However, at the bottom right corner of the
image we see the watermark of Tim Doyle.
Doyle has sketched previous vehicle concepts for Chrysler in the past
including the Durango Black & Tan styling study vehicle that debuted at
SEMA in 2010. If someone was going to
make a fake yet elaborate photoshop image of the Dart SRT4, it seems unlikely that
they would go so far as to put a specific artist’s name on the final copy. Overall, this image looks very much like something
that the company would include in a new vehicle packet for something like the
Detroit Auto Show that will serve to tease us before the car actually arrives.
The 2013 Detroit Auto Show is next week so if Chrysler plans
to do anything to tease the upcoming Dart SRT4 in the Motor City, we should