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srt4evah said:
Sad, since the first "true" SRT vehicle was a 4-cylinder. Viper already existed, and the Ram SRT-10 came a year later than the Dodge SRT-4...

Truthfully, the 4-cylinder performance market is dramatically different today than it was 10 years ago. 10 years ago the SRT-4 was a revelation, a 230hp+ monster among 170-200hp competition. Turned the whole segment upside down.
And that was about the last time that a Mopar vehicle served as a leader in a performance category.

One encouraging ray of hope is that they've decided to stay with the GT designation instead of continuing the trend of diluting out the R/T badge.
 

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Stratuscaster said:
Kind of my point. The Fiat Way(TM) is real big on special editions, colors, and decals...not so much on performance differences.



Exactly - new Abarth versus historical Abarth is an example of this (not that the current Abarth isn't worth it's salt. Only that it's no longer a world beater in the Shelby sense (neither is Shelby for that matter now).
srt4evah said:
Not true, the Gen IV Viper in 2010 was the class leader as well.



Of course! Viper is an SRT product. One better expect this level of performance. My comment was made in reference/relevance to the current topic - more common regular production vehicles.
Cudapete said:
Back in the day it took a few years for the Dart to become a performer. The 273 4V was a decent runner but performance didn't really take off until 68 with the introduction of the 340. GT's were more of an appearance package....trim, bucket seats. The GTS had it all.



To me, nothing would improve Dodge's reputation more than to exceed the expectations of the populace with a healthy performing GT or GTS badged Dart. I thing we're seeing evidence of this now. This is a good thing...
 

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Cudapete said:
The original Dart did wonders for Dodge's reputation for outstanding reliability and engineering excellence, mostly from the /6 variant though. This is why I don't quite understand the lack of marketing linking the new Dart to the near epic reputation of its predecessor. In reality, the basic 60/70's Darts were very boring cars....but very boring cars that sold very well to a diverse demographic. It could be anything from a plane jane grocery getter, take grandma to church on Sunday, to king of the drag strip in GTS form. I think the 68 Hurst Hemi Darts still dominate the A stock automatic class today. IMO, The key to the success of the new Dart is finding this broad market appeal. The GT is a step in the right direction of doing this. Just a step though....we need a true GTS (for grandma's Sunday trips to church) LOL!
I think the previous reputation was succesful in-part because it was a different world back then. Reliability was a very rare attribute in the 60's-70's. Nowadays it's an expectation. Not only is any given vehicle expected to do much more in a reliable fashion, it's also expected that it do so in a specific (Honda-Toyota if you will) way...

You get much better reputation building mileage when you win over customers via emotional means. This is why I suspect that broad based "performance" and gizmology is being emphasized in offerings of this class.
 

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valiant67 said:
Wouldn't it be nice if they could market on that. But the lack of continuity of the Dart name from 1977-2012 sure hurts the ability some. Even though I despise the car as an appliance, there is a really good (long and short version) Toyota Corolla commercial showing the Corolla models over the years. That's what happens when you keep a name. Dodge would have to show Dart-Aspen-Omni-Shadow-Neon-Caliber-Dart while Toyota is just Corolla..
Looking at Caliber within this lineage underscores where leadership really ran off the rails.
 

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AutoTechnician said:
As if American cars of the 60s and 70s were any different. Most of those old iron-behemoths rusted into pieces before anything mechanical even had a chance to break.

All vehicles from all makes had pretty poor reliability in the 60s, but the reality was by the mid-late 70s, Toyota and Honda had cleaned up, and were producing extremely reliable and durable vehicles. Those are the vehicles that gave them the reputation that have now. Good on Toyota's marketing team for realizing it, and actually using that brand-equity to sell new vehicles.
True, but at least the American cars benefitted from at least one law of Physics - conservation of momentum. They had more mass. Because of this, they better survived crashes and it took longer for the metal to dissolve away in the saline digests of the rust belt...
 
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