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40 MPG Dodge Compact Coming In Early 2012

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2006 Dodge Hornet concept

2006 Dodge Hornet concept

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Ford has the Fiesta, Chevrolet the new Cruze Eco and soon the next-generation Aveo but what car does Dodge have for customers looking for something affordable that also gets more than 40 mpg in fuel economy? Some would say that Chrysler will be offering the new Fiat 500 but this model is likely to be pricey for a compact car because of its cool Italian flair. Then there's the Dodge Caliber but the best numbers it can muster is 31 mpg on the highway.

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Dodge fans but unfortunately it is a very long tunnel. According to Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles, there is a new compact car capable of 40 mpg in the works for the brand, but its debut is still 14 months away.

The new model will be based on a Fiat platform and will likely feature a range of downsized engines with MultiAir and turbocharging technologies. Both sedan and hatchback bodystyles are expected.

Dodge doesn't have a stellar compact model in its lineup at the moment and has lacked one ever since the Neon was discontinued back in 2006. With consumers in the U.S. continuing to downsize to smaller vehicles, even with fuel prices back at reasonable levels, Dodge needs to fill the gaping void in its lineup.

Pictured above is the Dodge Hornet concept car from 2006, which was originally meant to go into production with a Chinese partner.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]
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