Hello, Allpar Forums member or visitor! If you were a member, you would not see this ad!

Register or log in at the top right of the page...

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

200 and Dart

Discussion in 'Rumors and Speculation' started by unverferth, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. unverferth

    unverferth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes:
    670
    I hate to beat a dead horse(s) here. But I was just wondering that if Chrysler went "out of the box" in their design in going completely different than all the "jellybean" lookalikes out there (maybe even a little retro ?) like they did with the big rig style of the Ram maybe things would have been a lot different. They fell into the trap of "me too" and that just killed them. There was nothing distinctive about them.
    Am I too far out on my thinking ?
     
    Donte Lindsey likes this.
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    31,676
    Likes:
    10,950
    Chrysler has had to use a combination of discounts and strong style to offset a reputation for poor quality.

    So without compelling styling all that was left was discounts.
     
  3. unverferth

    unverferth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes:
    670
    You are so correct.
    And I was also thinking about the P/T Cruiser when it first was introduced. Look at all the buzz that was created back then. People clamored to get one. I know people that travelled several states to get one.
    Coulda Woulda Shoulda on the Dart and 200.
     
  4. gordon71

    gordon71 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes:
    11
    The real answer is numbers for a mass manufacture. Both were great designs but the public did not respond. Imports were selling 10-20 thousand a month ... Dart/200 selling under 10,000 a month. Marcioni could not justify the cost.

    The only reason the Dart existed was Marcioni's promise to the Obama administration to produce a 40 mpg car to take over Chrysler in its darkest days. Thank you Mr Marcioni.

    So , to acheive that goal, the Dart was under powered as a Dodge product. And the propagandist / Chrysler hating auto writers jumped all over it. They reviewed every negatively and never reviewed the Dart with the 2.4 Tiger Shark Dart with the six speed manual transmission. That is a true Dodge and competitive alternative. I was disappointed that Marcioni never approved the 2.4L turbo charged SRT Dart that would have blown the competition away. They also would have made the SRT body more edgy like the wide body Demon. Alas, we woke up before dream was complete.

    Virtually the same scenario for the Chrysler 200. But the Chrysler 200 with the Penta Star 3.6L is a beast and almost as fast as a 5.7L Hemi. Again, the Brand Assassin's would not give it the reviews it deserved. The AWD model almost turned into a rear wheel drive car when put into the Sport mode transferring 60% of the torque to the rear wheels from a dead stop.

    What will the future bring is any bodies best guess. Doing away with the Hemi for a turbo 5 or 6 cyl engine just doesn't pluck my strings. Hemi's have the "Sound" & "Torque" that is old school. And outside of those drive trains, the 4 cyl drive trains across the brands, do not inspire the Mopar Nation.
     
    tomit likes this.
  5. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Messages:
    29,875
    Likes:
    3,253
    Marchionne.
     
    guyverfanatic and UN4GTBL like this.
  6. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
    Staff Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2001
    Messages:
    32,218
    Likes:
    14,722
    Don't put all the blame on the government demand for an efficient car (driven, I might add, not by ideology but by the idea that with fuel prices at sky high levels, 40 mpg was the only way to sell cars — rather than just trucks and SUVs. Conventional wisdom at the time was that Chrysler's reliance on gas guzzlers was what killed it).

    The Dart could have had the Aero and then a higher-power top version. Doing a light turbo 2.4 would not have been hard in terms of engineering since they already had the Caliber SRT done as a starting point; retuning it to a more reasonable level of boost was always possible. The suspension, I suspect, could easily handle more power.

    The Dart came out with a splash. I thought it was a great idea to do the stick-shift first, even though it hurt sales. I figure they did have other problems...

    1) People didn't like the DDCT. I did! I still do!
    2) The Fiat engine was poorly tuned.
    3) The 2013 1.4 models were quality nightmares.

    As for underpowering the cars, they were roughly similar to other cars in their range, generally speaking. The Dart was probably too big, they were relying on an old trick there from the LH, Neon, and such — make it a little bigger than the rest. Didn't work this time. The logic is understandable. But it made the Dart seem inefficient by comparison.

    The interiors were good. Too many “any color you want as long as it's black” trims, though. Always...

    I believe the rationale at the time was that they would redefine performance to meet the European definition — handling-centric. Americans never really went there, and if they wanted handling, they seemed set on using Honda or Mazda as their benchmarks.

    In the end, I think the decision to kill came from:
    1) Dart quality was a major problem, especially with the 1.4 - see TrueDelta. The best they could do was to match VW in quality.
    2) 200 was too expensive to make, with its standard 9-speed and other toys.
    3) Competition is incredibly stiff in that segment, and they needed the people for other projects.
    4) They consciously and publicly turned to the old American definition of performance for Dodge, and stuck with it.
     
  7. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,426
    Likes:
    5,138
    The marketing for the Dart was disconnected from the realities of the car as well. Travis Pastrana raced it, but I heard over and over how it was too big to rotate around the corners effectively. Ads showed it drifting around corners like it had gobs of power, yet it was tuned as a more euro handling biased tourer. Calling the high mileage model "Turbo" was ridiculously backwards when turbo models meant performance 99/100 times.

    The Dart was just a mess. A good overall car that was mismanaged at the worst possible time in its market.
     
  8. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    31,676
    Likes:
    10,950
    I really liked the DDCT. If it had been more refined for city driving (which would have kept it from being a reliability nightmare) I think more people would have warmed up to it.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
    Staff Member Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    5,044
    Likes:
    745
    The fate of the Dart/200 have been discussed at length. Take care that this doesn't turn into a anti-FCA/Marchionne thread.
     
    ScramFan, Bob Lincoln and GasAxe like this.
  10. Dragonkat

    Dragonkat Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes:
    13
    Hey now I enjoy my Dart GT
    In my view the Dart should've came only with the 2.4L tiger shark engine.

    They should've just dropped the FIAT engines and fixed the handling.

    With the 200, that 9speed junkbox is what killed that car...if FCA would've replaced it with their in-house 8-speed transmission which they use in the 300 they would have had a class leader
     
    Lucas likes this.
  11. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Messages:
    29,875
    Likes:
    3,253
    The 8-speed is a RWD unit. Cannot use with a FWD engine.
     
  12. unverferth

    unverferth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes:
    670
    I guess what I'm saying.......had the styling been 'out of the box' on both of them I think John Q. Public would possibly have overlooked the bad reviews and still bought them. Again....like they did with the P/T Cruiser.
    Yes I understand we don't want to bring up all the arguments about these cars again.
    That wasn't the point of this topic. I was more thinking about what could have happened.....styling wise.
     
    voiceofstl likes this.
  13. gordon71

    gordon71 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes:
    11
    You can say tomato or tamato. Just don't squeeze the Sharmin! :^)
     
  14. TripleT

    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Messages:
    5,941
    Likes:
    6,433
    wouldn't have mattered the class is over capacity and everything made was either zero or negative margin. It could have exchanged labels with the Accord and Civic and still would have been benched. The only way the products had a chance would be to make them unique to the class with rear wheel drive or some other class exclusive features. Basically leaving the class, but they would not be volume vehicle anymore.
     
    ScramFan likes this.
  15. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,426
    Likes:
    5,138
    What stinks is that if Chrysler came out with a PT 2.0 instead of the 200, they probably would have been crucified for relying on inefficient SUV sales. Even with 20/20 vision, they were screwed.
     
    TripleT likes this.
  16. Ernesto

    Ernesto Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    58
    Likes:
    94
    I'm still pleased as punch with my 2015 200 Limited at 22,000 miles. It has performed flawlessly so far. In June 2015, the 200 sold 19,000 units. June 2016 saw 7000 sold as I recall after internal trashing and end of production announcement. Had I known the car's future, I would have bought Malibu, even after 35 new Chrysler purchases. My first Chrysler product was 1967 Plymouth Belvedere, the one Petty raced to 10 straight NASCAR wins. I've been hooked on Chrysler ever since, till now.
     
    somber likes this.
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
    Staff Member Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    5,044
    Likes:
    745
    I don't get the whole "It's been discontinued, I must buy something else." To me it says you can get a good deal. If I were in the market for a car/sedan, a 200 would be high on my list. Of course, I drive what I like and pay little attention to its production status.
     
    somber, Mr. Fusion and Bob Lincoln like this.
  18. Ernesto

    Ernesto Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    58
    Likes:
    94
    Christopher, The 200 took a pretty good resale hit after the premature production end announcement. Now I must hope the car doesn't become road kill. And I sure can't suddenly decide I simply want to be seen in something else. I'm pretty much stuck.
     
    somber likes this.
  19. JavelinAMX

    JavelinAMX Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    3,570
    Likes:
    1,876
    .

    As an 'Outsider' to the DDCT and where it is concerned, from what I've read elsewhere, and what I've seen as User Comments on other websites and from discussion here, it seems a wet Dual-Clutch would have been a better choice for USA American auto owner/driver. Driving style and conditions in the States seemed to work against the Fiat DDCT. The gist of it seemed to stem from the plate surfaces being super-heated too easily - irrecoverably. But the time to the meltdown varied with climate and terrain and traffic density. I would love to know the true operating range of the Fiat DDCT ( not miles/kms, but rather : Climate, Terrain, Traffic conditions, Time limits for the various driving conditions before the danger threshold arrives, load limits, driver inputs before the point of no return is reached, and so forth ).

    I've never driven it, and never been a passenger in any model so equipped . I do not have any neighbors or co-workers who have an FCA product with the DDCT. I have no personal frame of reference, or any such close source of anecdotal information which I can eye-ball-verify.

    Merely drawing from what I've witnessed and remembered through what I mentioned above.

    .
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
    Staff Member Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    5,044
    Likes:
    745

    I guess if you're not going to keep it. Otherwise, that is what GAP insurance is for. I think it is foolish to purchase a car without it.
     

Share This Page

Loading...