A preliminary sketch of the upcoming Dodge Dart-based SRT4 was recently posted by member “NeonGTS” on Neons.org, a forum devoted to the Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge Neon. Clearly credited to Tim Doyle, the sketch (enhanced slightly by Allpar to show the crosshair lower grille) builds on the standard Dart looks, with subtle changes to enhance its sportiness. The extra-thin tires are more likely artistic license than production intent.
An actual SRT4 has been informally confirmed by Ralph Gilles, but the timeline is unclear, and the Dart GT (née Dart R/T) has been delayed by at least three months from its original starting point, with production now expected in April 2013. One problem for Dodge might be the changing demands as competitors up the ante, with the need to refit the 2.4 liter engine to MultiAir II also being an issue (the 2.4 is likely but has not yet been confirmed. The engine is likely capable, even without MultiAir, of over 300 horsepower.)
The image has been reproduced without credit across the Web. Thomas Obuck pointed us to Carscoop’s article, which dug down to find the original source.
The original Neon-based SRT4 quickly gained notoriety as the second-fastest production Chrysler car after the Viper, and one of the fastest Dodges made to that point. Building on the sporty Neon, which had captured numerous stock-racing titles, the original SRT4 listed at under $20,000 but was clocked doing 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, with a top speed of 153 mph. The engine put out 223 hp at the wheels, according to one magazine, which found that the Nissan Sentra SE-R (rated at 175 hp) put out just 141 hp at the wheels.