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I agree that the last version (the 1st 4 door version) was pretty "dogish" looking but it was forced to look like it did because it was forced to share the 300's chassis and interior dimensions. I think the new one is actually a respectable looking vehicle. I don't want one, but I think they look better than their predecessor.

I'm starting to warm up to the second-gen 'new' Charger- I think it's way better looking than the '06 style. I had a Michigan State Trooper Charger in front of me last night (NOT behind me for a change!) and the taillamp design is very cool, especially at night. B) I'd agree- I don't want one, but they are a marked improvement over their immediate predecessor. I'm even beginning to warm up to this Dart- it's being posted quite a few places I frequent online. And in the end I don't think it matters if I (or anyone else) likes how it looks or not, I just hope it does well. Dodge needs a hit, other than the specialty versions of the Charger and the Challenger, there really isn't much to get excited about. Maybe a compact that looks a little more agressive than its competitors will be what makes it work.

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I do not know about the Dart name but the car looks good and is needed in the line up.

As for all the Charger bashing. I love my 2006 Charger R/T. It is fast, fun and a great car. I get plenty of complements and stares. It out performs and stands out in a sea of boring honda and toyota toasters.

Do I wish it was a 2 door from the start, sure, but they needed a full sized sedan and it is a good one.

I am hoping my next car will be a Challenger SRT but until then my Charger makes me darn happy.

IMG_7321.jpg

To each their own and enjoy what you drive.

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I'm too lazy to look through all the pages so im not sure if this has been said, so sorry if it has. I think that if dodge needs a small compact car, that this would definately be the one, i wont argue with that. But i dispise the fact that it has the "Dart" nameplate on it. It is probably meant to sell the car but it doesnt have the "mean looks" of the original darts, IMO. It looks foreighn. I know thats because, well, it pretty much is but i think that they should have been creative and come up with a new name that would sell the car. It reminds me of the Ford Flex and how in its concept stages had the "Fairlane" nameplate on it. I was a full size SUV while the fairlane (in the 60's at least) was an intermediate, family sadan/coupe. So once agian, sorry if it has been said but, i think it should have a different name cause it kind of soils the "Dart" name, IMO.

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You need to remember something about Chrysler, which is substantially different than Ford or GM. Ford and GM, even though there has been changes in top level management, have always been solid autonomous car companies with a long line and heritage to draw upon.

Chrysler on the other hand has had many owners, management teams and design philosophies to deal with. The "long-line" of heritage that Ford and GM have, has been cut, smashed and forever destroyed at Chrysler.

There was Chrysler Corporation up through the 1970's with the heritage of names, brands and model types. It changed over in the mid-70's with the gas crunch, Japanese made econo-box models and the loss of their "Muscle Car" bravado that nearly lead to their death.

Lee Iaccoca, fresh from his firing at Ford after repeated "run-ins" with Henry Ford II, came aboard and changed Chrysler's direction , yet again, to American made front wheel drive platform cars and introduced the Mini-van to America. His successes lead to the much publicized, repayment of the Government loan guarantee before it was due. Then the purchase of and the amalgamation of AMC into Chrysler had a profound change in the entire philosophy at Chrysler bring the Jeep product line under the Chrysler banner. Many of the lead designers and engineers of Renault, who were part of the AMC team came over to Chrysler. These were the guys who spearheaded the LH platform which, not only saved Chrysler, but propelled them to the top of the pile back in the mid 90's. The "New" Chrysler was on the cover of Forbes magazine being lauded as the star of the American auto industry. Flush with cash and solid sales winners in every class of auto, Chrysler was a perfect target for financial rape.....and Bob Eaton, the new top guy who replaced Iaccoca, saw Daimler as just the guys to pull off the heist.

Eaton, prior to this, was the head of GM Europe and was chosen over Bob Lutz, the President of Chrysler at the time, to replace Iaccoca as the Chairman of the Board. Of course, Lutz, a "car guys, car guy", was furious and left the company, later to resurface at GM as the main guy directing their future product development. Eaton's contacts were all over Europe and it was no surprise, at least to me, that he worked out a deal with Daimler. Of course the deal rewarded him with GREAT personal financial gain, and after it was done, he dropped way out of sight, which was to be expected. After all, he had just orchestrated the rape of 5 Billion in cash from Chrysler and perpetrated a huge ruse on the automotive world claiming to everyone that the deal with Daimler was a "merger of equals" when nothing could have been further from the truth.

That deal was a clear and unmistakeable raid on the finances that Chrysler had accumulated over the previous few successful years that served to prop up Daimler at a time when they were cash poor, producing less than exciting autos and under sales attack by a surging BMW and Audi in the home and American market and Acura, Infiniti and Lexus mostly in the US market.

During this time, the America automobile press was anxiously waiting to see what new product would be forth coming from the new DaimlerChrysler, as it was being called. Almost without exception, the wait produced nothing but mediocre and lackluster products. The 300 and Charger were pretty well received, but the Caliper, Sebring, Avenger, Compass, Nitro, Pacifica, and Magum were all met with "ho-hum" reactions. The revised Grand Cherokee, Ram pickups and Minivans were thought to be fine automobiles, but considering the revered status that Daimler had in the automotive world, the expectations for the new product, with the infusion of the Daimler worldclass engineering and design, had set the imaginary bar so high that anything less than a "Grand Slam" product was deemed a failure.

The Daimler stock at this time had plummeted, and the major stockholders of Daimler, like Deutsche Bank were losing Billions in net worth so they began to apply so much pressure on the management of Daimler, that they had no choice but to dump the ailing automaker at a bargain basement price just to save their jobs. But no matter, they had gotten what they came for, the cash, and if they could get out of the Chrysler at little or no net loss, they would be well ahead of the game.

Enter Cerberus financial, a private equity group that had a track record of buying troubled companies, chopping them up, selling off the valuable pieces at a profit and then moving on to the next acquisition. When Cerberus bought the gutted remains of Chrysler, we (I was running a large Chrysler store at the time) thought for sure the company would get broken up. The Jeep brand was far and away the most valuable piece of the Chrysler organization and we thought it would be sold off.....we expected to see the Dodge brand taken mainly for the truck business and most likely the Chrysler piece would be just unceremoniously tossed into the dust bin along with Oldsmobile, Mercury, Pontiac and Plymouth, to name a few.

But before that could be done, if in fact that was the plan, Chrysler was thrust into bankruptcy along with GM during the huge auto sales down turn of a few years ago. Now enter Fiat into the picture. Fiat, at this time, coincidentally, was debating whether or not to reenter the US market. They were eyeballing the success of Scion, Mini and to a lesser extent Smart. Everyone was watching the rise in World Oil prices and anticipating the fickle American auto buyer would again abandon their beloved Pickups and SUV's and embrace the fuel efficient micro-mini auto. Further Fiat was banking on the short memory of the American auto buying public, as Fiat abandoned the US market before running back to Europe to escape the horror stories of poor quality auto's that required constant attention. Ah, but to build the necessary infrastructure and distribution network for a new auto here in the US is a massive and prohibitively expensive proposition. But if Fiat could "piggyback" onto someone else's network, the cost comes down to a manageable figure and it becomes attractive. Just at this time, the Chrysler bankrupt erupts and the US Government, contrary to some thinking, really doesn't want to be in the car business, so the marriage of Chrysler and Fiat serves all the players best interest. The auto workers, the auto workers union, our Government, Fiat's desire to renter this market and the American auto buyer all benefit and get want they want. Hopefully we will get some exciting and unique products coming from this new union, and if we do, it will insure that the other manufactures will have to step up their game to keep up. It is a win, win, win, win, win situation.

So the point of this little history is to drive home the fact that the integrity and the continuity of Chrysler has been interrupted countless times. It is surprising, at least to me, that Chrysler has any sense of heritage or history at all. Every few years there were new directives, new people bringing new ideas and demands to the company. Front wheel 6 cylinder drive cab forward designs give way to V8 rear drive platforms, the minivan, once the backbone of the product line is being cutback as others now dominate that market. The Viper comes, goes and comes again, most likely. There has been profound and fundamental changes at Chrysler over the past few years and loss or retention of names from the past, is the least of their worries. After running a Chrysler store during this period of Chrysler turbulence and watching everything unfold from a front row seat, I think it is a testament to the people at Chrysler, the guys who actually did the design and engineering on the grassroots level, that they have any continuity at all.

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Nicely written, Peter. Let's hope that FIAT will no longer stand for "Fix It Again, Tony."

I agree, But for the part "The "long-line" of heritage that Ford and GM have, has been cut, smashed and forever destroyed at Chrysler" I dont really feel it was ever there to begin with. I mean, its been one merger and buy out/ take over after another from the begining (MOre PARts) That was their heritage. Its kind of silly to compare them to the other "2" of the big "3" I think, And I guess thats why I get frustrated when I here about how they are building something off of "someone elses" platform...or "using" someone elses parts...sorry just me ranting, But that is a great write up Peter.

Edited by moparmagiclives
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Very concise and accurate Peter.

I am always amazed at how Daimlar put the spin on the whole take over and raiding Chrysler for all they could. Yet the general public think that benz somehow was Chrysler's savior.

I still feel there is a strong history of surviving and as a life long Mopar fan I am very proud of their achievements both past and present.

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The fact we're seeing terms like "power" and "styling" referring to the old Darts just goes to show how far the current perception of the name has come from the actual product offered in the 60s and 70s

Aside from a handful of GTS and Swinger 340 models- the vast majority were ultra- conservatively styled low powered cheap transportation, something your grandma would drive to church. If they can use the name on a more exciting product and find success good for them

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was digging around for more info on the car the other night, sounds like they'll be offering the options in an Ala-cart manner instead of just options packages that not everybody might want. I'm kinda hoping that they'll allow a basic, stripper model to be ordered with the best available drivetrain and suspension!

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After the Benz-Chrysler 'merger' was finalized, Chrysler was Daimler's savior. MB was the BIG drain. Chrysler profits from the very late 90's and early 2000's saved Daimler's bacon. In return, Daimler basically tried to bury Chrysler. I could win the lottery tomorrow and the only car I'd never buy is a Daimler-Benz product.

Edited by Swifster
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Ouch...i like the Charger...nice to see Chrysler is still doing large, RWD V8 sedans....better than having the name on some weak FWD model like the crappy car they put the name on in the '80s.

I had one of those crappy cars from the 80s and my mom had the Plymouth Duster version. They were actually very nicely done cars. I'd like to find another, but all have seemed to succumbed to the rust monster. The floor boards basically got soft and you could put your foot through the floor. As far as mechanics, they ran forever.

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I too had an 87 Charger. A great little car! Mine was a Shelby Turbo with 5 speed. I used to road rally with it. At that time there was nothing from the imports that could run with it except the Turbo 280Z which would eat me for lunch. :)

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If all the buzz I'm seeing on this thing is any indication of how well it will sell, it might just be a hit. Seems like I've been seeing this car popping up on every automotive website and blog I follow. Dodge has already gotten TONS of exposure for this car- now the question is will it live up to the pre-production hype.

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  • 2 months later...

They made Dart wagons on the A-body from 1963-'66, and Valiants from 1960-'66.

Therefore, a Dart wagon would answer the hopes of many of us who prefer station wagons to other forms of transportation.

C'mon guys, work that design magic, take a leap of faith and do it! I can tell you right now that you'll have at least two sold. One to me, one to my dad.

Charlie Larkin

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So, you're not looking at the Chrysler 200 anymore, huh? I see some rallying in Joe's future! :D

No, I was looking at my YouTube updates at lunch and noticed that Dodge had just put that up, if I wanted to with the 200, it is techinally possible ;)

But it is possible with the Jeep too :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE8xHEnKFKk

So, wonder how soon one will be photoshopped up like the General Lee :blink:

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