Dodge Dart to feature dual-clutch gearbox image

Autocar reports that the upcoming Dodge Dart will get Fiat Powertrain’s new six-speed, dual-clutch gearbox.

Mated to Fiat’s 1.4-litre MultiAir engine, it offers 40mpg plus on the US cycle (the equivalent of 48mpg in Europe).

The new ‘box weighs in at 179 pounds and can handle up to 260 pound-feet of torque, with either four-cylinder or V-6 engine configurations.

Unfortunately, the dual clutch transmission option won’t be available until 2013 by which point most rival automakers will already have been selling the advanced transmissions for several years already.
For example, the Ford Fiesta is already offered with a dual clutch transmission and Chevrolet is expected to offer them as well in the near future.

Chrysler’s engineers based Dart on Fiat’s “compact wide” platform, which was developed in Italy and forms the basis of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The architecture for Dart was lengthened by 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) and widened by about 2 inches for buyers in North America.

But this isn’t a hatchback, and in fact it bears no resemblance to its European cousin. The Dart is a four-door sedan that will compete with the likes of Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic.

Power comes from one of three engines, all of which have four cylinders. The base unit get 160 hp from 2.0-liters. Dodge will offer as options a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine also good for 160 hp, and a 2.4-liter engine good for 184 hp.