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2013 Detroit: New Dodge Dart GT hints at more fun

2013 Detroit: New Dodge Dart GT hints at more fun

The top dog of the Dart sedan lineup, the Dart GT, was revealed today at the Detroit Auto Show, sporting mostly cosmetic enhancements: LED tail lamps, integrated dual exhaust, projector headlights and body-colored door handles.

Inside, the GT gets "Nappa" perforated leather seats (making you feel especially at home if you're visiting the California wine country and don't mind the extra "p" in the name), a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

But the heart of the Dart is the 184-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which can only improve upon the underpowered 160-hp, 2.0-liter version we tested.

Enthusiasts will be thankful that this powertrain is available with a six-speed manual transmission; a six-speed automatic is also offered.

The GT will also get standard 18-inch wheels and a sport suspension with "frequency sensing damping shocks." Whether those will improve the rideor suspension stability meaningfully remains to be seen.

Other features include an 8.4-inch touch screen with Chrysler's Uconnect, rear-view camera and a number of other add-ons to justify the $20,995 retail price. We like that touch-screen in other Chrysler products, such as the 300.

I was hoping that the Mack Daddy of Dodge trim lines, SRT, would show up on the outside flanks of the Dart. Alas, there is still no fire-breathing version. The closest I came to finding out about hottest possible the Dart ended with this line in the GT's press release: "Dodge continues to investigate a high-performance R/T model."

Nostalgic Dodge fans can keep their fingers crossed that the Dart's muscle-car heritage will someday spark a version worthy of the brand's ancient history.

See our complete 2013 Detroit auto show coverage.

More from Consumer Reports:
2013 New Car Preview
Best & worst used cars
Complete Ratings for 200 cars and trucks

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