250HP is conservative for a 2.4l as others are getting that with 2.0l. Getting in the upper 200#'s of low end torque is where the fun comes in. That torque curve is flat and you can really pull that 4th 5th or even 6th gear for nice long time on the open road. Eventually someone will drop a 2.4-3.0l turbo with probably 300+ HP and 300+ ft.lbs in one of these little go-carts... That'll make a guy grin behind the wheel.
the delay of the SRT dart has made me a very sad panda. but then again by the time it actually gets released I could pay cash for it instead of getting a loan.
I think the biggest thing hurting the dart sales at the moment is the fact that Dodge is trying to unload the Avenger models before they discontinue it. With all the insentives it brings the Avenger price down to the Dart level.
Several Chrysler dealers in recent months have told me that one of the prime factors holding down potential Dart sales is in their own showrooms -- a deeply discounted Dodge Avenger.
The mid-sized Avenger was the Dodge brand's top-selling sedan both last month and last year. Across the Dodge brand, it was bested only by the Grand Caravan minivan.
Though it is not as refined, fuel-efficient or technologically-advanced as the Dart, the Avenger is bigger and has more powerful engine offerings. With consumer rebates that at times knocked $3,500 or more off the Avenger's price, the larger sedan with the older styling may have lured away more than a few Dart-curious customers.
According to Truecar.com, the average transaction price at Chrysler dealers in December for the Avenger was $20,330, while the average Dart transaction clocked in at $22,001. That's not a big difference, especially considering the Dart's better fuel economy, but how many consumers sit in a showroom and determine cost of operation versus those who just compare bottom-line price?
The sales situation with the Dart and Avenger is temporary, of course. The Avenger is expected to ride off into the sunset when the replacement for the Chrysler 200 arrives next year. And the Dart will soon get its overdue performance R/T model -- and ultimately new powertrain offerings like a 9-speed automatic transmission -- to further boost its competitiveness against other compact sedans.
In short, Dart sales are growing, and are likely to continue to grow as the vehicle matures. But like most younger siblings, I don't expect the Dart to hit its full stride until its older brother -- the Avenger -- is out from under the same roof.