In recent years, Dodge has released some pretty lame excuses for cars. The first mistake that comes to mind is the absolutely terrible Dodge Journey, followed closely by the uglier-than-sin Dodge Nitro. Of course some people like these bricks with wheels, but they simply aren't my cup of tea. Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of the SRT brand, and VP of Chrysler LLC, is doing his best to make better the tarnished reputation of his company. One of the major projects he is working on is the 2013 Dodge Dart, bringing the name back from the dead since the seventies. This new rendition of the classic muscle car leans heavily towards compact competition, aimed specifically at the Hyundai Elantra, or Honda Civic.
The base model will feature one of three optional engines. The lowest-priced set up utilizes a 2.0L normally-aspirated engine that produces 160 hp. The mid range "Limited" version will sport a smaller, 1.4L engine with a turbocharger, producing the same hp, but an extra 24 lb ft of torque through forced induction. This engine is Dodges new line of motors, dubbed the "Tigershark", for some reason or another. I suppose they wanted a name that sounded catchy and noticeable. Personally, I think it's a little strange to name it after a marine animal, but that's beside the point. Finally, the last, most potent engine offered in the Dart, is the 2.4L Tigershark, which is also turbocharged.
Even though the Dart I'm most interested in will never see production, it's still worth mentioning. Travis Pastrana and America's Tire have teamed up to create the Dodge Dart Rally car. And I am nothing short of seethingly jealous. The car has an earth pounding 600 hp, and I'm not sure, but one can only assume it will be AWD. If any of you have read my work before, you will know I'm a sucker for AWD rocket ships, and this one will go down in the record books as the return of an icon.