Then and Now: Dodge Dart

Now on the off chance you haven’t heard, Dodge has recently re-introduced the Dart as a production model for the 2013 model year. The company has been hyping it up pretty strong in the past few months and is very excited to have their first 40 mpg car on the market. For those of you who aren’t even interested in a compact car, you should be happy since it allows Chrysler to continue making big powerful trucks and sports cars while still meeting the C.A.F.E. requirements of 34.1 mpg fleet-wide. But hang on a minute, the Dart is not only awesome in that it gets good gas mileage; it also has a classic counterpart from the 60’s.

While the Dodge Dart actually goes back to 1960, perhaps the best known iteration (before 2013) is the fourth generation that lasted from 1967 – 1976. The very first generation in 1960 and 61 was a typical car of the period, all sheet metal, fins and whitewalls. However, the first three generations only lasted a few years each. The fourth generation, however, was a largely popular staple of the Dodge Motor Company. Available as a coupe, convertible or sedan and with many different engine and transmission options, the original was almost as customizable as the current Dart. Drivers could have anywhere from a 2.8 liter “slant” six up to a 440 V-8 or the 426 Hemi V-8. This car drips of the early 70’s and it looks like you could travel back in time with it a-la Austin Powers.

The new Dodge Dart is a completely different beast. This car is all about fun, efficiency, technology and personality. Dodge touts that the Dart will have over 100,000 ways to make it unique, including 11 colors, 3 engine choices, interior packages and options, wheel choices, and countless Mopar accessories.  While the engines are smaller in dimension, they still have some spunk; with the 1.4 liter turbo making 160 hp and 184 lb-ft torque and the 2.4 liter making 184 hp and 171 lb-ft! Don’t be surprised if you see these on the road soon, they look like great little cars. Check it out online or at Cumberland Auto Center when they come out later this year.

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