Number of Cylinders: 8
Model: Other Pickups
Drive Type: rear
Number of Doors: 4
Middletown, Connecticut, 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.
Dodge is just days away from unveiling refreshed versions of the Charger and Challenger at the 2014 New York Auto Show, models promising updated styling and new powertrain options. Depending on how you look at it, the company is either so confident in its forthcoming 2015 models that it's offering an interesting Double-Up lease deal on the current vehicles, or it's so eager to clear out existing stock that it's resorting to novel lease deals. In any case, what they present is an interesting scenario, one which allows buyers to get the existing model right now, and then trade up to the facelifted 2015 models in one year.
Starting April 17, when the refreshed cars debut through the end of August, buyers can lease a 2014 Charger or Challenger for one year and exchange it for a three-year lease on a 2015 model next year, with no additional money down and the same monthly payment. Customers can even switch vehicles when the new lease starts. If drivers want to buy the '15, they get $1,000 off the purchase price. To be eligible, both leases must use the same dealership and be financed through Chrysler Capital. The Double-Up deal excludes the SRT versions of both cars and Charger SE models.
To offset the flood of one-year-old models coming back to dealerships, Dodge has struck a deal with rental car agency Enterprise, which has agreed to buy them all. "One-year leases are highly unusual in the industry," said company spokesperson Ralph Kisiel, and the fleet sale deal is what makes it possible.
We won't beat around the bush: The all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger is not a brand new car. This generation launched in 2011, AWD models and all. But for 2013, Chrysler has added an optional sport package to the AWD model, available with both the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or the sweet, sweet 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The upgrades for this new sport pack are mainly cosmetic; a gloss black grille, new 19-inch alloy wheels and body-colored rear spoiler make up the list of exterior changes. Inside, there are new sport seats and paddle shifters, and the eight-speed automatic transmission has been reflashed for better performance.
But because vehicles like the Dodge Charger mainly stick out in our minds as being rear-drive bruisers, Chrysler wanted to give us the opportunity to test out the LX platform's foul-weather prowess. And perhaps no place more appropriate to test such a system was way up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the dead of winter.