How Does The 2013 Dodge Dart Get 40 MPG? It's The Transmission

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2013 Dodge Dart launch at Detroit Auto Show, Jan 2012

2013 Dodge Dart launch at Detroit Auto Show, Jan 2012

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When the covers came off the 2013 Dodge Dart at last month's Detroit Auto Show, the new compact sedan got high marks for style, interior design, and putting Chrysler back in the car game.

The Dart lineup will also include a model that gets 40 mpg on the EPA highway cycle, but so far Dodge has been hazy on the specs of that particular model.

Now, a report in the British Autocar says the secret is the transmission.

We already knew that the 2013 Dodge Dart would offer three engines, the smallest being a 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four. It's the same Michigan-built Multi-Air engine used in the Fiat 500, with a turbo added.

In the Dart, says Autocar, that engine will be mated to Fiat's own six-speed direct-shift automated manual gearbox, or DSG, to produce the highest gas-mileage model.

Increasingly common for better fuel economy, DSG technology essentially pairs two three-speed gearboxes and two clutches, so that shifting (on orders from an electronic control system) is faster, smoother, and more efficient.

The Ford Fiesta subcompact and Focus compact use a similar system, which has received mixed reviews due to some hesitation and lurching during idle creep.

In any case, we're eager to learn more about the new Dart compact, and will bring you more information and driving impressions as soon as we get them.

The 2013 Dodge Dart sedan should arrive at Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealers sometime this fall.


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Comments (4)
  1. This is some great news to be read... The problem is, your wrong about what kind of transmission is going to be used on the 2013 dodge dart. The correct trans will be a Dual DRY Clutch Transmission. So it's not to be confussed with VW's DSG, because it isn't.

  2. Wow! Looks like a 1996 Plymouth Breeze with a new front grille! Just make sure you aren't one of the first 100,000 buyers because those are the suckers that Chrysler/Dodge uses as test models to determine the engineering flaws after they deny those buyer's warranty claims!

  3. There is no such thing as a Dodge that gets 40mpg. That is the same thing as saying reduction for smaller government or a morally justified war. When Chrysler puts 40mpg on the window then it is probably closer to 30. D.O.D.G.E. (Drips oil Drinks Gas Everyday) is thirstier than a drunkard tailgating at a Saints game.

  4. I will wait till all the reports by owner-drivers come in, but I suspect 40mpg is possible with that engine. My 85 Dodge Omni got 35 on a regular basis when it was new so maybe now, all these years later 40 is within reach. We can hope.

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