Oakland, Maryland, United States
No, this isn't quite the Dart SRT4 we've been waiting for - and still believe is coming - but as part of its 2013 Detroit Auto Show lineup, Dodge will be showing off the slightly sportier Dart GT seen here.
Building on the already well-equipped Limited model, the GT adds performance enhancements including a more powerful engine, 18-inch aluminum wheels, sport suspension calibration, unique front fascia and dual exhaust. Inside, you'll find perforated Nappa leather seats, a heated steering wheel and front seats, dual-zone climate control, remote start (if you spec the automatic transmission), Chrysler's 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, a seven-inch TFT display in the gauge cluster, and a whole lot more. Optional goodies include hyper black aluminum wheels, a technology group (pushbutton start, keyless go, rain-sensing wipers, blind spot monitoring and smart-beam headlamps), power sunroof, Sirius radio, Garmin navigation, Alpine premium sound and high-intensity discharge headlamps.
Powering the Dart GT is Chrysler's 2.4-liter MultiAir2 four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. That grunt is sent to the front wheels via a standard six-speed manual transmission, but a six-speed automatic 'box is optional.
The Dodge Charger R/T is all set to rocket down the drag strip in NHRA Funny Car competition with a completely redesigned body debuting at this year's SEMA Show. While only the front decal, side scallops and rear logo really signal this racer as a Charger, that doesn't take away from its promise of hitting absolutely ludicrous speeds.
The engineers' biggest tweak to the body was moving the cockpit further back. This created more clearance under the hood, and the change came with added advantage of giving the driver better visibility out of the car. Composites like Kevlar also helped make the one-piece shell even lighter, while not sacrificing strength.
The new design has already undergone extensive time in the wind tunnel and real-world runs to make sure that none of the changes negatively impacted the aerodynamics. With those tests out of the way, the Charger R/T Funny Car will have the first chance to truly prove itself in NHRA competition at the 2015 Winternationals from February 5-9 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, CA.
If you've noticed that there have been more recalls than usual this year, you may be on to something. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the US market is on pace to break a record for recalls. In 2013, 22 million cars were recalled. We're only a third of the way through 2014, though, and we've already halved that figure, with 11 million units recalled. That's wild.
Considering the past few months, it shouldn't be a surprise that General Motors is leading the charge, with six million of the 11 million units recalled coming from one of the General's four brands. Between truck recalls, CUV recalls and the ignition switch recall, 2014 hasn't been a great year for GM.
Other recall leaders include Nissan (one million Sentra and Altima sedans), Honda (900,000 Odyssey minivans), Toyota (over one million units in a few recalls), Volkswagen (150,000 Passat sedans), Chrysler (644,000 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs) and most recently, Ford (434,000 units, the bulk of which were early Ford Escape CUVs). So while it's been a bad year for GM so far, its competitors aren't doing too well, either.