Future Shock: 2014 Dodge Dart SRT4
http://www.motortrend.com/future/future ... dart_srt4/
Although the Dart has just been released to great acclaim, you know Ralph Gilles and his SRT team are already honing a fine tip on the SRT4 performance variant. Here's what you can expect:
The base Dart borrows heavily from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform, so expect an upgraded version of the Giulietta Cloverleaf's dual-clutch, six-speed transmission to find its way into the Dart SRT4. The Cloverleaf's 1.7-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder probably won't come with it, as it makes only 230 hp. The Dart SRT4 needs to aim higher, since by summer, Ford's Focus ST will hit the streets with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder making at least 247 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque.
The last-generation Caliber SRT4 made 285 hp and 265 lb-ft from a turbo 2.4-liter, so for the return of the SRT4, expect no less. The all-aluminum, direct-injection, 300-hp four-cylinder engine that should arrive in the long-awaited Alfa Romeo 4C could be a perfect, though expensive, fit. A turbocharged and intercooled larger displacement version of the Dart's Tigershark 2.0-liter might be a better option.
On the chassis and aerodynamics side, expect SRT engineers to apply the same race logic they have across the Chrysler/Dodge line. The Dart SRT4 will have all manner of functional scoops and vents, an aggressive rear deck spoiler, and vertigo-inducing handling, thanks to stiffer springs and dampers, larger wheels, and upgraded rubber. Price? With a turbo Tigershark, figure close to Focus ST pricing; at 300 hp, it should price well north of that, but just below the AWD VW Golf R and Subaru WRX STI at just over $30,000.