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Dart, Journey continue, re-focused

by David Zatz on

As Dodge works on its new “performance focused” image, epitomized by Charger and Challenger, the more pedestrian Caravan, Journey, and Dart will also be dealt with.

Dart was originally positioned as a European-style sports car, with fine handling but relatively weak engines. For 2016, the powertrain will be upgraded with the new 2-liter, 240?-horsepower turbocharged engine and a base 2.4; the driving dynamics will be enhanced, and its position as a very large compact or very small midsize car will be “leveraged.”

dart-gt

 

At the same time, Chrysler 100 will take over the “small family car” segment, competing against Corolla and such while Dart goes after a more specialized audience. The Journey is also getting a turbocharged engine (front wheel drive only), in addition to the base model with front drive or AWD.

Likewise, Dodge Journey is to be refocused to be more “Dodge-like,” while Chrysler will handle the mini-minivan aspects of the current Journey with a new mid-sized crossover.

Dodge is working on leveraging the reputation of Charger, Challenger, and Durango, along with the hot Hemi engines, — now including the 6.4 Hemi once restricted to SRT, since SRT itself will be taking on the supercharged 6.2 V8. SRT will continue to take the high end of the market, but Chrysler will step in as “the new Plymouth,” reserving the mass-market “people mover” and “commuter car” segments for itself, freeing Dodge to focus on the muscle-and-performance crowd.


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