The 2013 Dodge Dart, which will be fully revealed to the public at next week's Detroit Auto Show, achieved an unadjusted gas-mileage rating of at least 40 mpg, according to Chrysler.

But hold on; before you rush over to the dealership and put money down, consider that 'unadjusted' means that it's what's used to calculate Corporate Average Fuel Economy. The lower EPA City, Highway, and Combined figures, which now closely mirror real-world results in many cases and are based on revised test cycles, will soon be found at EPA gas-mileage website.

Based on these unadjusted scored, we project an actual EPA Combined number of up to 32 mpg--which might rate the Dart alongside others in this class like the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze.

Dodge did not specify the powertrain combination, but it's likely to be equipped with the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine; a nine-speed automatic transmission remains a possibility.

The 40-mpg milestone gives Fiat the last 5 percent of Chrysler it doesn't already own. It completes the transaction that combines the two companies into what CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes will be a large enough global carmaker to compete with GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, and the Nissan-Renault alliance.

The Dart compact sedan is by far the most crucial car in Chrysler's near-term future.

It replaces the now-defunct and always uncompetitive Caliber hatchback, and must sell multiples of that car's volume to enable Chrysler to meet upcoming fuel-economy regulations.

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