Produced by the Dodge division of the Chrysler Corporation, Dodge Dart was introduced in the 1960 as a reduced-size large car. It was designed to replace the Plymouth with Plymouth being removed from the Dodge dealer network due to being a low-priced car. Unlike standard-size Dodge vehicles, the Dart featured a shorter wheelbase. Being based on the Plymouth's platform, the Dart was produced in North America from 1960-1976. The car became a mid-size model for 1962 and was finally offered as a compact model from 1963-1976. Its name was mentioned before, when Chrylser used the "Dart" name for a Ghia-built show car back in 1956. With its sales exceeding the sales of the full-size Dodge Matador and Dodge Polara, the Dart became highly popular.
Dodge Dart was offered in three trim levels: the basic Seneca, the mid-range Pioneer, and the premium Phoenix and was equipped with the following engines: the 225 cu in (3.7 L), Slant-6. 318 cu in (5.2 L), and 361 cu in (5.9 L) V8s. The ones that carried the 225 cu in (3.7 l) slant-6 were widely distributed as taxicabs. The Dart's sales significantly dropped (from 266,700 units to 142,000, which is about 46%), because of styling details being not popular among customers in 1961. In 1962 the previous trim levels were dropped and the model was offered in Dart 330, Dart 440, and Dodge Polara 500 trim levels with the Polara 500 available as 2-door hardtop and convertible styles only. The 4-door hardtop was also added in December. Dropping the Lancer nameplate in 1963, Dodge decided to extend the model's wheelbase to 111 in, which underpinned all models from 1963-1976, except for the station wagon produced from 1963–1966. It was now available as the low-spec 170, the high-spec 270, and the premium GT, the latter was available as a 2-door hardtop coupe or convertible only. Since then, the Dart became very popular with sales significantly going up, and it remained so until the end of its production.
During 13 years of production run, Dodge Dart has earned a reputation of a reliable and sturdy vehicle. As stated by R.D. McLaughlin, Chrysler Automotive sales division's vice president, the Dart was recognized as one of the most successful compact cars ever sold in the American automobile marketplace. While 37 years have passed since the Dart was discontinued, the Fiat-Chrysler alliance decided to launch the restyled variant of the sporty Alfa Romeo Giulietta 4-door hatchback, named Dodge Dart. As a replacement for the Dodge Caliber compact car, it will appear as a fuel-efficient small vehicle to be really profitable in a highly competitive market which already has lots of worthy choices to offer. The engine options are: the 2.0- and 2.4-liter units, and the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine also found in the Fiat 500.
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