Dodge Dart (2012) - first pictures of the American Alfa

Published: 06 December 2011

Dodge is reviving a badge from the 1960s for its new Dart compact car - and it's based on Alfa Romeo underpinnings.

The new 2012 Dodge Dart borrows the Alfa Romeo Giulietta architecture, available within the group now that Chrysler is part of the Fiat group.

Dodge dubs its the new Compact US Wide (CUSW) platform, and we'll see this rolled out across the group. It's a very stiff structure, Dodge claiming a class-leading 68% of the body being composed of high-strength steel.

Dodge Dart: doesn't look like an Alfa though...

The style is more Detroit than Turin, judging by these first teaser photos, although some commentators have noted the influence of the VW Scirocco on this new compact Dodge.

The powertrains are also snaffled from the Alfa Romeo stable, including the 1.4-litre Multiair turbo, 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.4-litre Multiair.

So will the Dodge Dart be built in Italy?

Nope. It'll be made at the Chrysler group's Belvidere plant in Illinois, US.

This is a sign that Fiat has streamlined the group's production processes admiarbly quickly. It's not long since the Italians took control at Auburn Hills, yet the Dodge Dart is based on the latest Fiat group technology. Other groups have struggled to leverage economies of scale so quickly.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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