Claremore, Oklahoma, United States
The Dodge Dart is a decent little car. It's honest, basic transportation, and many of us at Autoblog are genuinely fond of the Alfa Romeo-based compact sedan. For 2014, not a whole lot changes in the Dart world, save the addition of this new Blacktop edition that makes its debut here at the Detroit Auto Show.
It's all very simple, this Blacktop package, and doesn't actually alter performance in any way. Instead, buyers are treated to blacked-out exterior bits like 18-inch wheels, the crosshair grille and headlamp bezels. Inside, black/tungsten or black/red cloth seats are available, with red contrast stitching throughout the cabin.
Adding the Blacktop pack to your Dart SXT with the Rallye Appearance Group will set you back a scant $295, and while it's just an appearance package, it all looks pretty nice to us.
The Dodge boys and their cousins from SRT have shoehorned the same 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 into both the Dodge Challenger and Charger. The former being a two-door, it's lighter than the latter four-door sedan. So it would stand to reason that the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat would be the quicker of the two, right?
Only that's not necessarily proving to be the case. On stock rubber, yes, the coupe beats the sedan: Dodge quotes a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds for the Charger SRT Hellcat and 3.5 for the Challenger. Same gap across the quarter-mile: 11 seconds flat for the Charger versus 10.8 seconds for the Challenger. But according to recent reports, the story changes when you put both on drag radials.
While visiting Chrysler HQ in Auburn Hills, MI, TorqueNews.com caught wind of performance figures for the Charger Hellcat on drag tires: 0-60 in a mind-blowing 2.9 seconds and a quarter-mile in just 10.7. The latter figure just barely pips the Hellcat-powered Challenger's NHRA-certified figure of 10.8, making the Charger not only the fastest sedan on the market, but also the fastest muscle car. What isn't immediately clear, however, is whether the drag radials in question have any tread on them and are street-legal, or if they're pure slicks confined to a closed strip.
Being in business for 100 years is a HUGE milestone, so we hope Dodge has more in mind to celebrate its centennial than just a special edition package for the 2014 Charger and Challenger. Called the 100th Anniversary Edition package, this collection of cosmetic enhancements will be available in limited quantities for both cars at a cost of $2,500.
Ordering a Charger or Challenger with the 100th Anniversary Edition package means starting with either a V6-powered SXT Plus or V8-powered R/T Plus model. They can each be ordered in many colors, but only the High-Octane Red Pearl Coat above is an anniversary exclusive. Each car also comes with an anniversary-exclusive set of 20-inch, five-spoke wheels with what Dodge calls "Granite Crystal pockets," a texture that's also mirrored on each car's grille.
Of course, there are commemorative badges galore affixed to the exterior of each car, including "Dodge Est. 1914" fender badges and "100" logos on the center caps of each wheel. The styling theme of each car's interior is a bit more interesting, with Dodge designers trying to evoke "the patina and machinist legacy of John and Horace Dodge," the company's founders. To that end, the leather interior can be had in Molten Red or Foundry Black Nappa, and each features a custom cloud overprint that makes the hide look like a working man's dirty dungarees. Designers also used brass-colored accent stitching on the interior's leather trim pieces, and affixed more "Dodge Est. 1914" badges to the front seat backs and floor mats. We do like the flat-bottomed steering wheel, and the Challenger 100th Anniversary Edition gets exclusive white gauges faces and the Charger black. The "100" on each car's speedometer is also highlighted in red.