Number of Cylinders: 8
Model: Other Pickups
Drive Type: rear
Number of Doors: 4
Middletown, Connecticut, United States
Dodge has revealed what it calls Scat Package Stage Kits that enhance the performance of the Charger and the Challenger equipped with the 5.7-liter V8, and the Dart equipped with the turbocharged 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine. The Scat Packs use Mopar performance parts that also can be bought separately. Most of the upgrades increase engine output, but Dodge somehow manages to not specifically mention the power gains associated with each Scat Pack.
The three Scat Packs offered for the V8-powered cars focus on higher power ratings, and each stage comes complete with a unique engine-management calibration to optimize output. Stage one comes with a cold-air intake and a cat-back exhaust; stage two adds a performance camshaft; and stage three really gives you the goods, adding ported polished cylinder heads and performance headers.
For the Dart, the Scat Packs focus on engine, transmission, chassis and brake upgrades. Stage one will net you a cold-air intake, a short-throw shifter and slotted rotors with performance brake pads; stage two adds a cat-back exhaust system and an engine-management calibration to increase output by taking advantage of premium-octane gasoline; and stage three adds 13-inch vented brake discs up front clamped by four-piston calipers, suspension with adjustable springs and struts and performance front and rear antiroll bars.
Chrysler owners are hopping mad after experiencing a series of electrical gremlins in some of the company's vehicles. Issues range from mere annoyances - windows rolling down and radios turning off of their own accord - to serious safety issues, with headlights that randomly shut off at night and cars that stall and refuse to start.
The issues are being blamed on the total integrated power module, which can cost up to $1,000 for customers to replace. This, of course, has led to a hefty batch of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with 240 owners expressing their displeasure so far. Another site, CarComplaints.com, has registered over 300 complaints relating to the 2010 to 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, alone, according to The New York Times.
Chrysler has acknowledged that it's investigating the complaints and is analyzing the faulty TIPMs, but that isn't quite enough for customers of the affected vehicles. The newspaper has snagged a few of the more harrowing tales with the electrically challenged Chrysler products, culled from the NHTSA complaints.
To be honest, we're surprised something like this didn't pop up sooner. Chrysler is riffing on gift registries for couples getting married or expecting babies and cross-pollinating it with a social media funding website like Kickstarter to help customers buy its 2013 Dodge Dart. The Dodge Dart Registry allows people to build and customize a new Dart exactly how they want it, then let other people purchase some or all of the components as gifts.
The registry lets you add features like dark headlights, dual exhaust, various wheels and even interior options without choosing a specific trim level. This sounds a lot like the system Scion uses to let its customers configure cars, and this could be a great idea for Dodge. Of course, this system has the added benefit of being a social media affair for you to share with your friends... you know, so they can help pay for some of the parts, too.
The best thing about the registry is that you can configure your dream Dart from the comfort of your home computer, which strikes us as much better than walking around Bed, Bath and Beyond for the better part of an afternoon with an electronic scanner. The one thing that Dodge doesn't offer? "Thank You" cards. Those are on you.