By Patrick Rall
In each of the past three years, Chrysler’s Mopar division has offered up limited edition Mopar-modified versions of popular Chrysler Group products beginning with the Mopar 10 Dodge Challenger in 2010. In 2011 the Dodge Charger served as the Mopar 11 while the Chrysler 300C was the base vehicle for the Mopar 12 but it looks as though the Mopar 13 will take a very different route. The Chrysler Group hasn’t stated exactly what vehicle will play host for the Mopar 13 but thanks to the single teaser image shown above – we can make some educated guesses that suggest that this is a modified Dodge Dart.
After featuring Hemi-powered models in 2010, 2011 and 2012, many believed that the Mopar 13 would be based on the Ram 1500 and after seeing the black and blue Moparized Ram at SEMA while we also wondered if it might be a Jeep Wrangler after seeing one of the popular SUVs at the Woodward Dream Cruise with a similar paint scheme to that seen on the Mopar branded vehicles. However, the seats shown in the image above show that this is not a Ram nor is it a Jeep.The next guess from many was that the Mopar 13 would be based on the Fiat 500 to further emphasize the connection between Mopar and the modern Fiat brand but again, based on the image above this does not look like the diminutive 500. Between the Mopar clad front seats we can see the back seat and it is just too far away to be the 500 and when we played with the brightness and contrast settings of this image – things come
into focus even more.
Shown above is the same picture after it has been worked over in an editing program showing more of the Mopar 13 including the center arm rest, the seat belt buckles, the cup holders and the parking brake – all of
which appear to be identical to the ones featured in the 2013 Dodge Dart. While the seats are obviously custom, the location and shape of those other features seem to be proof positive that the
Mopar 13 will be based on the sporty new Dart.
Provided that my assumption is correct, the only question relates to which drivetrain the Mopar 13 will feature. When Mopar customized the 2010 Dodge Challenger and the 2011 Dodge Charger, they chose the 5.7L Hemi-powered R/T models while the 2012 Chrysler 300C also drew its power from the mighty Hemi.Should Mopar follow that trend, they would likely pick the Dart GT which would make the Moparized Dart the best performing package shy of the upcoming Dart SRT. This means that it would be powered by the 2.4L Tigershark engine mated to either a 6-speed dual clutch automatic or a proper 6-speed manual transmission with 184 horsepower and 174lb-ft of torque not counting any Mopar goodies that the Mopar 13 wears.The option possibility is that the Mopar 13 would be powered by the awesome 1.4L turbocharged engine that is available in the lower trimline Darts and while this motor doesn’t
have the same level of horsepower – it offers better torque and has more potential through simple modifications.
“This vehicle is the perfect canvas for personalization and customization,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “We couldn’t wait to get our hands on it and give it the Mopar treatment.”
There is arguably no vehicle sold by the Chrysler Group that has had more attention from Mopar so shortly after introduction as the 2013 Dodge Dart and Ma Mopar has shown off everything from unique body items like a sportier hood, a chin spoiler and a rear wing to things like performance goodies including new suspension components, a cold air intake, a performance exhaust package and even a high performance tuned ECU.
The 2013 Chicago Auto Show opens to the media on February 7th so within the next few weeks we should know for sure if my hunch was right and the Mopar 13 is based on the 2013 Dodge Dart.