Inside the 2013 Dodge Dart cars: digital gauges, interior design
The 2013 Dodge Dart’s electronic display looks like the one from the Chrysler 200C concept car, but it is actually a pair of analog gauges with a seven inch color TFT display between them, for an all-electronic effect. An optional lighting system, similar to ones already used by Chrysler, gives a red border glow to the instrument cluster and center stack, continuing the integrated theme used by the Charger. Ambient lighting is used in the door handles and cup holders as well.
Klaus Busse, Head of Interior Design, said, “We are able to give customers a well-crafted, high-quality interior similar in its execution to that of the award-winning interior of the Charger but infused with exciting colors, eye-catching ambient lighting, and state-of-the-art technology.”
The Dart puts all controls within easy reach of the driver, using easily customizable displays; the interior has the space of a mid-size sedan, with best-in-class hip and shoulder room and superior rear seat leg room versus some 2012 mid-size sedans.
The centerpiece is the optional floating island bezel with an optional, segment-exclusive 7-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) customizable display. The cluster appears dark or blank until the driver pushes the start button and the animated digital and analog instrumentation comes to life. The display is intuitive, with full-color graphics; LED backlighting also makes the gauges exceptionally crisp and, with its large numbers, easy to read.
An optional 8.4 inch touchscreen media center, with the largest touchscreen of any 2012 compact car, completes the instrument panel, which is partially wrapped in premium, soft-touch materials. Cut, sewn and hand-wrapped leather-like protein vinyl surfaces are used around the floating island bezel brow on all models.
The 2013 Dodge Dart’s optional red LED accent lighting frames the floating island bezel, audio and heating, and ventilation and cooling (HVAC) controls, in a manner meant to echo Dart’s class-exclusive racetrack taillamps. Standard four-gauge analog design clusters are trimmed with red LED illumination rings around the speedometer and tachometer.
Ambient lighting for the door handles, map pockets, foot wells, glove box, storage bin and illuminated cup holders is both useful and provides a warm atmosphere inside the vehicle.
Like the PT, the Dodge Dart eschews faux wood for splashes of color in door inserts, storage locations, stitching, and seat bolsters. The Dart gives customers 14 interior color and trim options in either cloth or leather; heated leather front seats are available, and Dart is the only compact sedan with a heated steering wheel option. (The interior combinations include Black Denim, Black/Light Grey, Black/Light Frost Beige, Black/Red, Grey/Citrus Peel, Grey/Light Grey, and Ceramic White/Light Grey.)
Soft-touch surfaces of the hand-sculpted instrument panel are a result of 12 mm soft-backed vacuum-formed surfacing in the instrument panel, center armrest and door armrest on all models. Dodge Dart Limited and R/T models have additional soft surfacing in door tops and door pull handles.
The interior grain surfaces include a micro-matte gloss diffusion that ensures low gloss, high-tactility in the interior. The grain execution resists scratching and marks.
The Dodge Dart uses a triangular scatter pattern over the speaker outlets for a cleaner look than traditional frames, and uses a similar treatment on the interior door pulls, often left unfinished in other cars. A wrap-around top cover builds on the interior spaciousness of the Dodge Dart, while eliminating gaps between the door and instrument panel.
The 2013 Dodge Dart’s seats were engineered to be more comfortable than usual, using tri-layer lower seat cushions. A dense base foam works with the springs for primary suspension and distribution of weight, a 10 mm pad is glued to the top of the base for comfort, and a layer of lighter density foam is sewn into the seat covers. Front seats travel up to 180 mm forward and 40 mm rearward, 30 mm up, and 30 mm down to allow drivers and passengers to find the most comfortable position. The seats have a serpentine spring suspension that distributes weight evenly and a wide seat track to give rear passengers room for their feet.
2013 Dodge Dart storage
Segment-exclusive front-passenger in-seat storage enables undetected storage of valuables under the passenger seat cushion without sacrificing headroom. Access to the storage space (roughly 203 cubic inches) is achieved by flipping the seat cushion up. An oversize, largest-in-the-class glove box can hold an iPad or other tablet so they are stored out of sight.
The center console houses a forward cubby with removable, rubberized, molded liners providing an easy-to-reach spot for items like garage door openers, sunglasses, wallets and change. Center console side pockets were designed for storing smaller items, such as personal hand-held devices and mobile phones.
Both of the rubber-lined front cup holders have grips to secure different sized beverage containers; some models have illuminated cup holders with white ambient light rings.
The center armrest on most models uses piano hinging, and slides fore and aft. Armrest storage includes a large bin with a clean rubber mat that houses consumer electronic ports (AUX, APO, USB, and SD cars); there are one or two 12-volt power outlets, one in the instrument panel and, on some models, one in the center console. Optional map pockets can hold 20-ounce bottles, with rubberized molding liners (not die cut) in the door pull cups. These have an embossed surface for tactile feel and sound dampening.
Dart noise reduction
The Dodge Dart’s interior cabin was engineered to be exceptionally quiet by honing exterior shapes and using sealing and acoustic sound-deadening materials. Some examples are:
- Laser-braised roof ditch eliminates noise-inducing cavities and resonance
- A segment-exclusive seal from the backlight to the decklid stops turbulence, and eliminates air and water leakage into the trunk.
- The grille grates are optimized to minimize air “swoosh”
- Wiper blades are below the hood line, for near silent operation
- A hood seal closes off the hood-to-fascia gap, minimizing air turbulence
- 3.0 mm acoustic laminate windshield glass delivers a 2.5 to 3.0 decibel reduction in noise
- Door uppers were designed so nothing invades air flow around the car
- Mirrors were refined for aero performance
- A triple door seal system for all doors keeps wind and noise out
The 2013 Dart is the first Dodge car to use a hybrid system of rocker foam and acoustic baffles. The acoustic baffles are paint-oven expandable and are placed in cavities in the Dart’s body structure to reduce road noise. Twenty-four acoustic baffles are applied in the B-pillars, dog-leg, sail/C-pillars, rails and A-pillar. Similar to the acoustic baffles, expandable tape is applied in three-to-four locations in the window frames of all four doors, which stops air leakage in the door header, weld flanges and holes.
Engineers also applied fully sealed acoustic perimeter water deflectors in all four doors. The rubberized shield has only one orifice while most have multiple holes.
Baked on mastic in the floor pan of the new Dodge Dart reduces road noise and vibration. Engine covers and a glove-fit instrument panel pad on the passenger compartment side reduce powertrain noise.
All of the treatments result in less air entering into the passenger cabin, giving drivers and passengers world-class levels of interior-cabin quietness in the 2013 Dodge Dart.
Heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC)
The 2013 Dodge Dart offers best-in-class heating and cooling performance. To achieve this, engineers used Computational Fluid Dynamics and a variable displacement condenser which continually matches the requested cooling load. The central unit doors are electronic, without cables, for a more consistent feel.
Air outlets are adjusted with rack-and-pinion vein adjusters, which are pleasant to the touch and give a consistent feel when they’re repositioned in a different direction. Outboard air outlet bezels in the Dodge Dart come in black, satin chrome, or black chrome. Models with automatic temperature control have a humidity sensor, which creates an automatic de-fog capability.
The big new 8.4” stereos (confirmed) will be used with and without navigation, and backup cameras and 506-watt 9-speaker amps will be optional.
How did we do? 2013 Dodge Dart rumors at allpar.com versus reality
oh2o wrote that all trim lines will get lots of airbags including knee bags (possibly for passengers as well), LED tail lamps, and optional Blind Spot/Cross Path detection and trailer sway damping; HIDs will be optional as well. Well appointed interiors will have tilt/telescope steering column even on SE; Limited will get a heated steering wheel. Seats will be covered in cloth fabric with accents, denim seats, or leather.
“PhantomSpazz” wrote that the interior would be easily best-in-class, including a full animated center cluster — when the car is turned on, the speedometer and gas gauge animate with the Dodge logo; leave your door open and a realistic 3D-rendered PF will show up in the EVIC with its door open. Turn by turn navigation includes a realistic car image; EVIC is seven inches diagonally, and as you drive, you see a flower growing if you are driving efficiently.