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Auto blogTue, 07 Jan 2014 09:00:00 EST
Dodge is getting ready to spread the Blacktop-themed love to the smallest member of its lineup. Last year, the automaker offered up Blacktop versions of the Avenger, Challenger, Charger, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey. And now the Dart, too, gets its dark on for 2014, with the $295 package offered on Dart SXT models equipped with the Rallye Appearance Group. The Dart Blacktop will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show next week.
As with the other Blacktop special-edition models, the Dart Blacktop gets glossy black accents for a "sporty, sinister look." The blacked-out treatment spreads across the 18-inch wheels to the crosshair grille, grille surround and headlamp bezels. The interior sees a similar treatment, with black and light tungsten or black and ruby red cloth to go with red accent stitching on the instrument panel, center console and seat bolsters.
For the 2014 model year, all Dart SXT and Limited models receive the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark engine with 184 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, and since the Blacktop is based on the SXT, that's the powerplant buyers of this special-edition will get, too. Expect the 2014 Dart Blacktop to hit dealers in the first quarter, and while you're waiting, feel free to read more in the official press release below.
Dodge and Jeep are announcing recalls of a total of 895,000 Durango and Grand Cherokee models worldwide from the 2011 through 2014 model years. There's a possibility that the wiring in the sun visor can short circuit and cause a fire. It specifically affects vehicles built between January 5, 2010, and December 11, 2013, and there are approximately 651,000 of them in the US, 45,700 in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico and 175,000 outside of North America.
Screws that fasten the sunvisor to the headliner may pierce wires in the visor, if the part has been removed or serviced, potentially causing a fire risk. If the wires short circuit, they could overheat and potentially combust. The automakers report three injuries caused by this defect, and according to the investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "there may be a total of 52 unique fire incidents."
To fix the problem, Dodge and Jeep will inspect the vehicles for suspect wiring, and all of the models, whether damaged or not, will get a new sun visor spacer with a wire guide to stop the possibility of short circuits. According to the automakers' announcement, "this condition is not present in vehicles which have not had the headliner or vanity mirror serviced." They will notify affected owners, and repairs will begin in August.
A monstrous supercharged V8 engine could be in store for Chrysler and SRT products, if recent rumors are to be believed. Allpar is reporting that the forced-induction V8 - Chrysler's first, if this goes down - could make its debut this summer.
The story goes that the Hellcat would be based on a 6.2-liter Hemi engine, rather than on the existing 5.7- or 6.4-liter versions of the company's vaunted mill. In any case, the general consensus is that the motor will have gobs of power. Modest estimates call for between 500 to 570 horsepower, with some outliers predicting a figure as high as 600 hp. That figure would put the output would place the Hellcat awfully close to that of the 640-hp V10 in the SRT Viper, too. Allpar contends that a slightly lower powered version would allow Chrysler to keep costs below that of the more powerful Ford Shelby GT500, which might be a sweet spot.
The Hellcat could debut in a number of SRT products. SRT versions of the Charger, Challenger and 300 are all up for grabs, as is the rumored SRT Barracuda.