Let me be clear: I love my Dart! If I stop to think about it, I really can't imagine what I would replace it with. I guess either a Focus ST or a Mustang, because FCA sells nothing that I want to drive, and I have zero brand loyalty anyway. But I'd rather not have to, because, as I say, I love driving my Dart every single day.What I dont get is your comment about significance between FCA, GM and Ford... What are GM and Ford doing that are so great right now? I can tell you that GM is working on majority performance cars right now as well as Ford... Just look at the new Camaro and the mid-engine corvette! As well as the Focus RS... Youre gonna tell me that people wouldnt want to see a 2.4HOT Dart AWD be able to EAT a Focus RS??? Cause ill tell you right now, for the money you pay for an RS you could go buy and AWD Challenger and be just as fast.
Idk why you are so against the Dart and where it could have been it Dodge had re-vamped it and built an SRT or R/T model, but all of a sudden it seems like you arent really a fan anymore.
What I'm not a fan of is living in a fantasy world. I have been very consistent that I didn't think an SRT Dart was ever going to happen and that the "insiders" we had here were spreading "polite fictions" when they said otherwise. FCA never had any intention of following through on any of their "5 year plans", the purpose of which is to get investors all hot and bothered, not to provide an accurate vision of the future. My view, which I stated many times, was that I would not believe in the existence of a Dart SRT until it was possible for me to walk into a dealership and buy one. Furthermore, I've always been of the opinion that when it comes to small cars, extreme performance models are the result of a successful model, not the cause. Those performance models that succeed generally come after the model has successfully established itself. Look at the Caliber to see what happens when you introduce a high performance model of a car that isn't very successful. It was obvious by 2014 that the Dart was not very successful by FCA's standards.
I don't believe the schedule "refresh" of the Dart would have resulted in significant changes for the better, either. Likely the 1.4T and 2.0L models would have been dropped from the lineup entirely, and all Darts would have used the 2.4L Tigershark. It's not like there are any other engines for them to use, after all. They probably would have also made the 9-speed automatic the only transmission available except in the absolute base model, which has become industry standard for compact cars. Other than that, the only other obvious major changes would probably have been the use of the Uconnect 8.4A and the new Dodge steering wheel. Maybe some exterior styling changes to add LED accent lights all over the place and a racetrack light like the Durango's, because that's the thing to do now. I don't know what people expected for the "refresh", but they probably weren't going to redesign the car from scratch, so complaints like harsh suspension and the Dart's weight would likely not have been addressed, at least not very significantly.
An AWD Challenger GT is actually a fair bit cheaper than a Focus RS, but then again it's also less powerful, since it's only available with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 that makes 305hp (and only with the automatic transmission). It's not exactly intended for the performance enthusiast and since there is basically no aftermarket support for the 3.6L Pentastar, it will almost certainly never be faster than the much lighter 350hp Focus RS, unless you're comparing them coasting downhill in neutral. You need to get into the 392 Hemi V8 Challengers to outrun an RS, and even then, the Challenger will only be faster in a straight line. Of course, these are different types of cars that don't really compete for sales in the market, so comparing them is kind of silly.
There's no guarantee a Dart SRT would have been faster than the Focus RS. Unless there's another engine I haven't heard of, it almost certainly was intended to use the same all-new 2.0T engine that is found in the Alfa Romeo Giulia. In that application, it makes 280hp using premium fuel, and oh yeah, it uses MultiAir2, which apparently disqualifies it from being a performance engine. I'm sure SRT could get more out of the engine and make a very fast AWD Dart SRT, but how much were people willing to actually pay for a Dart SRT? The Neon SRT4 was somewhat unique in being a remarkably affordable high-performance compact sedan, but that's just not the kind of car that SRT builds in 2017. I expect the Dart SRT would have been priced at least in the same ballpark as the Focus RS, which starts at USD $36K / CAD $48.5K (the Canadian version only comes "fully-loaded" and has no options, which is the same as what Ford did with the Canadian Focus ST). Sure, there might have been some people holding out for the Dart SRT that moved on when it didn't happen, but there aren't that many people in the market for a compact car in that price range.
The Neon SRT was considered very successful and sold something like 25K units over 3 years. That number of cars is completely insignificant when you're talking about compact car sales. Toyota typically sells more than 25K Corollas in a month, because much as it pains me to say it, that's the kind of compact sedan that the average North American car buyer really wants. The Corolla is one of the most successful cars of all time, and it's also one of the most boring and least performance-oriented compact cars you could possibly buy. The equally successful Civic is only slightly less lame, and while Honda offers performance models, they are inconsequential to the Civic's real success as a compact car.
I don't know what we're arguing about, really. Ultimately the 2013-2016 Dart will go down as a commercial failure, a barely remembered footnote in automotive history. Whether it could have been successful can only ever be speculation at this point. Breaking into the compact car market with a brand new model in 2013 was always going to be very challenging for Dodge, who already had a track record of failure in this segment when the Dart was introduced. I do agree that they probably could have done more to improve the likelihood of success, but the cold, hard truth is that they didn't and what we have now is all we're ever going to have as far as the Dart is concerned.