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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 has announced a recall covering 349,442 vehicles due to ignition switches that can either become stuck or move without warning. All of the affected vehicles are from the 2008 model year, and were built before May 12, 2008.
The automaker has learned that ignition keys on some vehicles "may not fully return to the 'ON' position after rotation to the 'START' position during engine-startup," the company said in a statement. Additionally, "an ignition key may not fully return to the 'ON' position after rotation to the 'START' position and may inadvertently move through the 'ON' position to 'ACCESSORY' or 'OFF.'"
Chrysler says it is unaware of any related injuries, and notes that while reduced braking, engine or steering power is possible in such instances, the airbags are not affected. The later stands in contrast to General Motors' recent rash of high-profile recalls, and it's an important distinction that Chrysler (understandably) felt necessary to call out in bold print in its press release.
Mitsubishi Mirage, Toyota thinks of beefing up US production, Marchionne on Alfa, Dart and minivans, Ford Atlas concept, Honda Gear concept
Episode #317 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Jeff Ross and Michael Harley bookend the other podcast topics with a pair from the Montreal Auto Show, the Mitsubishi Mirage and Honda Gear concept, and in between we talk about Toyota building all its US-market cars stateside, Hyundai building a Nurburgring test facility, Sergio Marchionne's latest words about Alfa Romeo, Dodge Dart powertrains and the future of Chrysler vans. Some chatter about the Ford Atlas concept finishes up the meat of the 'cast and then we wrap with your questions. For those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Keep reading for our Q&A module for you to scroll through and follow along, too. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #317: