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Auto blogThu, 31 Jan 2013 00:01:00 EST
We think this officially counts as a tradition. Every year going back to 2010, Mopar has rolled out a limited edition version of a popular product from the Chrysler Group portfolio. First it was the Mopar '10 Challenger, then the Mopar '11 Charger, then last year's Mopar '12 300, and this year it will be the Mopar '13 Dart, which will make its official world debut next week at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
Limited in number to just 500 units, the Mopar '13 Dart is no mere appearance package, though the demeanor of the Dart will be murdered out with a gloss black finish, gloss black 18-inch wheels, a set of Mopar blue stripes and a mean-looking Mopar ground effects kit. Likewise, the interior is touched up with leather seats (a blue one for the driver and black hides for the passengers), gloss black and black chrome trim, blue accent stitching, a sport pedal kit and other Mopar interior accessories.
Turning our attention back to the mechanical bits, the Mopar '13 Dart comes with the car's most powerful engine, a turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four (shared with Fiat 500 Abarth) that's paired with a manual transmission. Those big, black wheels get wrapped in low profile 225/40R18 performance tires, and keeping everything in check is an upgraded brake kit with slotted rotors. The steering has also been calibrated for performance, the suspension lowered seven millimeters, and the exhaust tuned for better engine breathing.
Chrysler is issuing a recall for the 2009 and 2010 Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota pickup trucks due to improper installation of the rear axle pinion nut. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 44,300 trucks are affected by the recall, and there have been 12 confirmed incidents including one crash.
The issue on both trucks is that the pinion nut is loosening on some trucks due to a lack of thread adhesive, and it is causing the rear axle to lock up resulting in loss of vehicle control. NHTSA's recall notice says that eight incidents occurred at speeds over 35 miles per hour and most also exhibited driveshaft failures as well since the loss of the pinion nut would cause the gear to separate from the driveshaft. In one complaint, the driveshaft separated from the rear axle and punctured the gas tank.
Chrysler will begin sending out recall notices to affected owners in November, but scroll down to see the official NHTSA notice.
Dodge has already shared all of the relevant information about its all-new 2013 Dart GT, but it wasn't until now that we've seen the car, live and in person. The slightly meaner front fascia and bigger wheels look great on the Dodge, and the red-on-black perforated seats are sporting in an aftermarket sort of way.
To recap: The Dart GT also gets a bit more power, using a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to make 184 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. A starting price of $20,995 will get you LED taillights, dual exhaust, an 8.4-inch touchscreen and a 7.0-inch TFT display.
Feel free to re-acquaint yourselves with the full Dodge Dart GT information in the press release below, or have a leisurely browse through our gallery of live images.