Just over five months after being introduced at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the first Dodge Dart has rolled off the assembly line and is ready to go on sale to the public. The very first Dart at Chrysler’s Belvidere production facility in Illinois was dressed in Rallye trim, and sported a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. A back-up camera and sunroof were tacked on for good measure, too.
You can expect to see the new Dodge Dart arriving at your local Dodge dealerships next month, with a starting price of $15,995 not including a $795 destination fee. The Rallye model will command a price tag of $19,790, but adds keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control, dual exhaust tips, and a steering wheel that’s been wrapped in leather. Other models available next month include the SXT and the plusher Limited model. The sporty R/T model is expected in quarter three of this year and we still await official confirmation from Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology division for a Dart SRT variant.
Chrysler’s Belvidere facility is already in charge of assembling Jeep’s Compass and Patriot models, and thanks to early demand of the Dodge Dart, the facility will skip its normal two-week summer hiatus this year.
We don’t expect demand for Dodge’s all-new sedan to be curbed anytime soon either. When we drove the 2013 Dodge Dart, we found the successor to the Caliber to be just what the doctor ordered for the segment. The Dart combines aggressive exterior styling with a fun driving experience and makes you forget about the Neon and Caliber pretty quickly. Besides that, the Dart boasts segment-leading interior room and horsepower ratings.