2013 Dodge cars and minivan: What we know, what we predict
It’s 2013 and we’ve seen refreshes of the entire lineup; and new joint projects are appearing at your local Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership. Eight-speed automatics are now standard on some Rams and on the big V6 cars. Here’s what we should be seeing:
The cars we are fairly certain about
Dodge / SRT Viper
Dodge’s (barely) compact sedan fills the gap vacated long ago by the Neon. This has to hit hard. Derived from the C-EVO (altered to become CUSW) platform, along with the Fiat Bravo, Alfa Giuilietta, and others, the Dodge Dart is built at Belvidere. Mopar once had a huge share of this segment, essentially dominating it with Valiant, but mis-steps slashed their sales and credibility to the point where most people have forgotten.
The 2013 model year Dart started slowly, with just the 1.4 engine and manual transmission made at first; the 2.0 engine and automatic came next, and the R/T is due for calendar-year 2013 along with, many believe, the SRT4 (which might end up as a 2014).
Dodge Charger and Challenger
Sorry, V6 lovers — even the 2013 Dodge Challenger seems to be stuck with the five-speed automatic. Still, a new Redline Rallye Challenger adds red exterior accents, a red leather interior, Black Chrome 20" wheels, performance suspension, and 3.06 rear-axle ratio; it comes with the 305-horsepower V6. Another new Challenger option is the UConnect 430N navigation system.
Dodge Challenger SRT8 gets three-mode (rather than two-mode) adaptive damping for its suspension — Auto, Sport, and Track; and standard launch control (on both automatic and manual cars) increases straight-line acceleration. In “Track” mode, higher damping rates combine with a performance shifting and gear holding feature that allows the driver full shift control when using the steering wheel mounted paddle controls or AutoStick. The ADS system on the Challenger SRT8 392 features the fastest turn-in and most nimble handling characteristics of any SRT product (presumably excluding Viper).
The Challenger will get rear park assist as an option or standard feature on all models; radar red leather will be available on SXT Plus, R/T Plus, and R/T Classic; and new colors will be available (Billet Metallic, Granite Crystal, Jazz Blue, Phantom Black Tri-Coat).
The 2013 Dodge Charger will get the same Black Roof option as select Chrysler 300s (see earlier news), along with new colors -- Billet Metallic, Granite Crystal Pearl, Jazz Blue, Ivory Tri-Coat Pearl, Copperhead Metallic, Phantom Black Tri-Coat Pearl.
A new cold-air induction system and sport-tuned exhaust are added to the Charger SXT and SXT Plus with the Rallye Appearance Group and Blacktop Package, boosting the V6 engine to 300 or 305 hp. Charger buyers also get improved graphics with the UConnect 8.4N. Charger SRT8 also gets the three-mode adaptive damping suspension, and standard Launch Control.
Continuing as the crossover / wagon entry in North America, the Dodge Journey spawned (in model-year 2012) a sibling for sale in other global markets — the Fiat Freemont, code JF, filling the gap left by the cancelling of the Fiat Ulyssee minivan. The Fiat Freemont was discovered by an astute Allpar reader in late 2010, with the usual Pentastar V6, a Fiat 2.0 liter diesel (replacing the Volkswagen engine), a 2.4 liter World Engine, and an “E22” version of the 2.4 liter World Engine. This version of the Dodge Journey and Fiat Freemont are likely to be replaced for the 2014 model year; the new one will be on the CUSW platform (not surprisingly).
For 2013, Journey gets trim and option changes. The AVP and SE get 17-inch wheels with covers, and optional ($500) aluminum wheels. SXT gets standard 17 inch aluminum wheels, and a $595 standalone 8.4” touch screen option; power sunroof and trailer prep are optional now on SXT. Crew gets a price cut to $27,995, with standard leather, heated seats, and heated steering wheel added to the mix. Journey R/T gets a $1,000 price cut with new high performance suspension, heated steering wheel, and dimpled leather seats and steering wheel bearing red accent stitching. New colors are “winter chill pearl coat” and “fathom blue pearl coat.” Dodge does not have high expectations for the top Journeys, expecting 40% sales of AVP and SE (the cheapest models), 40% of SXT, and 20% shared between Crew and R/T.
No major changes take place for 2013. Caravan and T&C will be the first minivans ever to have an optional Blu-Ray (AT5) rear DVD player, including second-and-third row 9-inch screens; yes, the Dodge will have the dual-DVD option. That setup includes dual USB ports, an HDMI port, and an AC inverter in the second row, allowing use of Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. In addition:
- $1,000 price drop
- Minor wheel option changes
- Silver changes from Bright to Billet; new Maximum Steel gray color; Blue Streak color added
- Trailer sway dampening and second-row floor mat retainers are standard on all models.
- New "black and Sandstorm" interior color setup will be added.
Spinning off of the new Grand Cherokee as the big people mover was the Durango, going head to head with a similarly redesigned Ford Explorer, starting in calendar-year 2011. The rendering below is pretty much dead-on; admittedly it’s based closely on the patent filing.
With sales low compared to Grand Cherokee in 2012, rumor has it that Durango will be replaced by Jeep Wagoneer in the 2014 model year — the two might sell side-by-side for 2013.
- SXT has new Rallye group, with a $1,995 price, providing the R/T appearance without R/T options. That means 20-inch polished wheels, ground effects, dark tinted headlamps, monochromatic effect, dual bright-tip exhaust, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, auto-dimming rear-view, and Bluetooth.
- Crew gets standard leather and bright door handles; the price goes up $800 but the added content goes up $1,295, or so they say. The Premium Audio Group is now optional.
- R/T gets optional Nappa leather heated and ventilated seats, and the Safety-Tec system. (Nappa is a full-grain, unsplit leather which normally has a specific tanning process that increases softness without sacrificing durability)
- Citadel price was cut by $1,000 by making the Technology Group optional.
- Deep Cherry replaces Deep Molten and Bright White replaces Stone White.
The 2013 Dodge Avenger continues pretty much as is, with changes in options: wheel choices for SE, new bundled content for SXT without a price change (fog lamps and auto headlights), $795 leather option, cheaper SXT V6 option, cheaper “sun and sound” package, and a new Rallye appearance group wtih darkened grille and black and red momentum seats ($495).
Dodge Avenger R/T price was cut by $500, with new available black cloth seats with red accent stitching and leather bolsters. For color, Crystal Blue Pearl replaced Copperhead; True Blue Pearl replaced Blackberry; and Billet Silver Metallic replaced Bright Silver. Dodge expects most sales to be the SE model, split between four cylinder and V6, with just 5% being the top end R/T.
SRT Core Line
Following the success of the Charger Super Bee, the SRT brand launched a full “Core” line of cars with cloth seats, fewer frills, and lower price tags (by around $3,000). Allpar first predicted the launch in December 2012; it was officially unveiled in February 2013.
All three cars include the standard SRT performance gear, black cloth seats (the fabric used in the Viper), and the 392 V8 with 470 horsepower, 470 lb-ft, and cylinder cutoff. The seats have Axel cloth bolsters and door bolster inserts.
The 2013 Challenger SRT8 “Core” has a black grille and black SRT rear spoiler, black 392 decal on the front fenders, 20-inch cast-aluminum wheels with black pockets, and black Brembo brake calipers; new colors were HEMI® Orange Pearl Coat and Plum Crazy Pearl Coat, in addition to the existing Billet Silver, Bright White, Granite Crystal Metallic Pearl, Jazz Blue Pearl, Pitch Black, and TorRed. (Phantom Black Tri-coat Pearl and Redline Tri-coat Pearl are exclusive to the standard 2013 Challenger SRT8 392). As with the normal Challenger SRT8, the Core has either a manual or automatic. The base price was US$39,990 including destination.
The 2013 Chrysler 300 SRT8 “Core” has a 6.4L badge on the front fenders (a first for the 300 SRT8), 20-inch aluminum wheels with black pockets, and black Brembo brake calipers (red is optional). Matte carbon and piano black accents surround the instrument panel, door bezels and center console. Eight paint colors are available on all 300 SRT8s: Billet Silver Metallic, Bright White, Deep Cherry Red Pearl, Gloss Black, Granite Crystal Pearl, Ivory Pearl Tri-coat, Jazz Blue Pearl, and Phantom Black Tri-coat Pearl. The base price is $44,990, including destination.
2013 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee has a unique SRT badge with a 3-D helmeted bee mascot on the new, gloss-black split crosshair grille. Both front fenders have the “392 HEMI” badges first seen on the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392; the round Super Bee graphics in the rear now include the wording “Powered by SRT.” New paint colors include the vintage-based HEMI® Orange Pearl and Plum Crazy Pearl. The Charger SRT8 Super Bee is also available in Bright White, Pitch Black, and TorRed. The base price is $42,990 including destination.
Dropped from the plan
Dodge’s entry level model is a B-segment hatch smaller than Civic Si or VW GTI, but with enough attitude to hit against those models. This model will most likely be a rework of Fiat’s Grande Punto Abarth or the Alfa MiTo. (Editor’s note: This model would be a reskinned and possibly somewhat retuned Fiat design quite possibly made in Europe. It was probably dropped as being too close to 500 — or set up as the 500L, which is all but confirmed.)
The stated plan is to have Chrysler take responsibility for vehicles as big as and larger than a Volkswagen Jetta, and for Fiat to take responsibility for smaller vehicles. This may not take full effect for 2013 due to time constraints, but will likely be the case for the next generation after these. Chrysler will handle engines larger than 2 liters, hybrids, and electrics, while Fiat will handle smaller engines and small/mid-sized diesels. See the Five Year Plan and Chrysler-Fiat Alliance.