The Dodge Dart was an ‘Alfa-Dodge’ for the Hornet

The new Dodge Hornet is not even about ‘an Alfa-based Dodge’, but about a car that is in fact just an Alfa Romeo Tonale. Of course there are many differences in design and engine and the Hornet can be recognized by a new front and a modified rear, but this is a classic example of an automotive twin. That is new, because as far as we know, never before has an Alfa coach ended up in the hands of another brand in this way. The other way around, but not like that. Ten years ago, when FCA was not yet Stellantis and did not even formally exist, Fiat and Chrysler also worked together extensively. Dodge wanted a new, compact model to compete with cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. It therefore followed a path that many American brands had previously taken when this need arose, using a European platform as its base. The platform in question is the Fiat Compact Platform and was also found under the latest Alfa Romeo Giulietta. However, a slightly wider version with a longer wheelbase was used for the new Dodge Dart. The 1.4 turbo engine of the Giulietta was also delivered in the Dart. An Alfa-based Dodge, but a decade ago. In terms of appearance, the Dart shares nothing with the compact Alfa. Even its body shape is different, because the Dart was only available as a sedan. Compared to larger Dodge models, the Dart looks remarkably squat and its emphatic wedge shape also stands out. At the same time, there are the necessary Dodge elements, such as the distinctive grille and the unique LED frame of the fused taillight. Although we note some buttons in the FCA house style in both cars, a completely ‘own’ design has also been used. The Dart even uses a Mercedes-style key and ignition lock, a holdover from the time when Dodge parent company Chrysler was part of DaimlerChrysler. Another difference between now and 2012 is that the Giulietta has never been delivered in the US, while the Tonale will also be sold there under its own name. American buyers can therefore choose between the Dodge Hornet and the Alfa Romeo Tonale for almost the same car. The Dodge Dart was also available outside North America under the name Fiat Viaggio, as a sedan and as a hatchback. We do not expect such a version with the current ‘Tonale twins’, but given the eagerness with which the Alfa is pushed to Dodge, nothing can be ruled out. Is it time for a new Sedici, Fiat?


Source: AutoWeek by www.autoweek.nl.

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