•  
     
    P


    DG013_169DT.jpg

    Since early last year, we have believe that the midrange
    performance package for the new Dodge Dart would wear the R/T badge because -
    well – that was what Chrysler was calling it. 
    However, the company announced this morning that the first performance
    oriented package for the sporty new compact sedan will debut at next week’s
    Detroit Auto Show under the name of the 2013 Dodge Dart GT.

    The 2013 Dodge Dart GT will come with all of the features
    inside, outside and under the hood that we expected to come in the Dart R/T
    with the exception of the familiar trimline name.  GT is more commonly associated with the Ford
    Mustang these days but back when the American muscle cars ruled the landscape,
    the performance packages for the vintage Dodge Dart wore GT while models like
    the Challenger and Charger used the R/T trimline.  Following in that tradition, the Chrysler
    Group opted to name this first performance trimline the Dart GT.

    As we expected of the Dart R/T, the 2013 Dodge GT is powered
    by the 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir2 4-cylinder engine.  This compact mill sends 184 horsepower and
    174lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a standard 6-speed manual
    transmission or an optional 6-speed automatic transmission feature the Chrysler
    AutoStick manual shift control.  Next, a
    sport tuned suspension featuring unique frequency-sensing damping shocks helps
    to improve the handling without compromising ride quality and a set of 18″ aluminum
    wheels wrapped in performance tires help to handle the corners and a good, hard
    launch.

    DG013_179DT.jpg

    The 2013 Dodge Dart GT is based on the Dodge Dart Limited so
    that means there is plenty of content inside and out but the Dart takes a
    sportier approach to offering a top of the line compact sedan.  In addition to the standard features of the
    Limited package that includes things like the 8.4 inch infotainment screen, the
    7 inch TFT gauge cluster, HID projection lighting up front and the beautiful
    LED “racetrack” tail light design out back, the Dart GT features a unique front
    fascia with black trim, a Hyper Black grille and matching fog light bezels, the
    unique 18″ dark grey wheels (with optional wheels in Hyper Black), dual exhaust
    tips integrated into the rear fascia, GT badging and premium Nappa heated
    leather seats.

    The 2013 Dodge Dart GT carries a starting price of $20,995
    and while it is the most expensive package in standard form – it is actually
    quite a deal when you compare it to a similarly equipped Dart Limited.  The Limited package comes with the entry
    level 2.0L Tigershark engine for $19,995 and to opt up to the more powerful and
    efficient 1.4L turbocharged engine, you will pay an additional $1,300 so at
    $21,295, the Dart Limited Turbo is more expensive than the more powerful Dart
    GT.   Based on that simple fact, I would
    think that anyone who really wants a spirited driving experience should go with
    the Dart GT as it is the most powerful in standard form and offers more than
    any other trimline – plus the unique appointments both inside and out.

    DG013_176DT.jpg

    As a side note, it appears that the Dodge Dart R/T isnt
    totally dead.  Today’s announcement
    detailing the new Dart GT explained that “Dodge continues to investigate a
    high-performance R/T model” which means that a slightly higher performance Dart
    R/T isnt out of the question.  However,
    with the Dart SRT expected to handle the range-topping performance duties,
    there will likely only be a very small performance range where the Dart R/T
    could exist without pointlessly overlapping either the GT or the SRT.

    The 2013 Dodge Dart GT will make its formal debut next week at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

     
     
    P