Last month when the Dodge Dart was introduced to world at the North American International Auto Show, Chrysler executives denied that a 5 door hatchback version of the car branded for Chrysler was in the works. This sounded strange to us as the brand history of sharing platforms and power trains is legendary and you have to look no farther than the twins of the 200 and Avenger or the 300 and Charger, and then there is the Grand Cherokee and Durango. Need we really say more?
Well earlier on this week we found photographic proof that Chrysler is creating a compact 5 door hatchback and wonder why those original executive would string us along or just out right tell half truths. What’s next them telling us that the car will also achieve 40 mpg, sure it will, we call “shenanigans” on that statement as well!
Never less Chrysler is once again going to borrow the underpinning of the car from their Fiat Overlords. The name of car is not a surprise as it will be slotted just underneath the 200 in both price and size. The spy shots confirm that the new 100 much like the car that it is based off of in Europe the Alfa Romeo Giulietta will be a hatchback. The 100 should not be consider a re-branded twin of the Giulietta as much like in the Dodge Dart it appears that Chrysler engineers have also widened and lengthened the cars platform to better suit the North American market. We would also expect the Giulietta’s independent four-wheel suspension and responsive steering rack have been maintained in the 100 giving it that sporty European ride and handling as they were in the Dart. If true then this will a welcome addition when compared to the outgoing PT Crusier’s soft (fat cat) North American set up which made the feel like it was going to tip onto its side if you took a highway on-ramp too quickly.
The other features that will carry over from the Alfa Giulietta to the Chrysler 100 can be found under the hood. As the 100 will be powered by 3 different engines that include the turbocharged version of the 1.4-liter four-cylinder MultiAir engine found in the Fiat 500 Abarth. It will also employ Chrsyler’s new 2.0-liter inline-four TigerShark engine, as well as a new 2.4-liter inline-four TigerShark engine, whose power outputs are expected to range from 150 to 200 hp. No facts or figures have been released for the trio so we are not sure if there will be any changes in their output, however we can’t wait to take the Fiat 500 Abarth’s 1.4 out to put its 160 hp and 170 lb-ft torque to the test. We could also see the Fiat 500’s naturally aspirated 1.4-liter MultiAir inline 4 being used as a high mile eco car and wonder if Fiat’s twin cylinder turbo with its 85 hp will make it over to our side of the Atlantic.
There is only expected to be one check box to tick when it comes to the transmission of the Chrysler 100 which will be a Hyundai sourced 6-speed automatic. Down the road we would expect to see the Chrysler group’s new developed dual-clutch automated 6-speed manual gear box. We would also expect the rumor of a new 9-speed transmission built by the ZF Group to be available sooner than later. ZF has gone on record to say that the 9-speed transmission will increase the Dart’s fuel efficiency by an additional 10 to 16 percent over the current 6-speed options.
Under all of that camouflage it is hard to see the uniquely Style lines however you can clearly see the brands grill that is similar to that found on the 200 and 300. We would also expect to see a more luxurious interior when compared to the 2013 Dodge dart which may be a challenge since the inside of the Dart is a nice place to live. We haven’t seen and images of the interior but we would expect that the drab PT Cruiser parts bin with its captain chairs up front will become a distant memory when we sit in the new 100.
We don’t have details, but the fact that there will be a Dodge and Chrysler version of essentially the same car will position the company nicely to offer product differentiation. The Chrysler 100 will likely be more comfort-oriented, leaving the Dodge Dart open as a sportier version for younger consumers.