The R/T package to debut as the 2013 Dodge Dart GT

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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


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.


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.

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