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Mystery Dart

by David Zatz on

dartSometimes, a mystery car appearing on the road is meaningful; other times, it’s not. Which is it this time?

Mopardrt, who sent over the earlier photos of the Chrysler 200 mule, passed this one along at the same time. It’s a Dart, as is obvious from the shape and the single “Dort” nameplate, but why is it bereft of all other trim plates? It’s carrying manufacturer plates and appears to be either in testing, or a support car for the 200 mule.

There are two rumored Darts coming up, the SRT4 and all wheel drive versions. Most sources say the SRT4 is dead for the moment, though one person wrote in to say his dealer told him it was coming (we checked with another dealer in the same area, who said they had not heard anything). All wheel drive may also have been dropped due to lower than expected sales, at least until product planners get some feel for how the new 2.4-equipped cars are doing.

Could this be an SRT4 test car or an all wheel drive pilot? Or is it just a normal Dart that doesn’t have a trim-level badge, perhaps because it was stolen or removed or never put on? Could it simply have been in a minor accident and fixed except for re-applying the badge? Do you enjoy weekend mysteries, or wonder how slow a news today today must be?

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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