Thursday, January 2, 2014
Greenlight 2013 Dodge Dart GT and Hot Wheels 1968 Dart and 1971 Demon
The new Dodge Dart returns for 2013, though it's much different from its predecessor's. Based on the Alfa Romeo Giuletta sold in Europe, the Dart represents the first four-door sedan on this platform.
The Dart features a taller beltline than it's competitors in it's class, providing more upright seating inside, though it's still a bit snug compared to competitors in the class. The Dart has some Neon influences in the shape with sportier looks, small cross-hair grille (finally!), and the now-famed racetrack lighting at the rear. GT gets dual exhaust, 18" 5-sp. wheels, tinted headlights and grille, and a 2.4L DOHC Tigershark II I-4 producing 184 hp. through a six-speed manual or automatic. The engine is the same as found in the predecessor Caliber, Avenger, Chrylser 200, Jeep Compass and Patriot, but features Fiat's Multi-Air valve timing and a sporty intake noise that really sounds coarse than cool.
The interior features some cool contents not found in competitors like interior lighting, especially around the gauges and infortainment screen; gauge cluster that features the center digital speedometer configurator similar to the one used in the SRT Viper. The touchscreen infortainment center is the largest screen offered in this size class. The seats offer bolstered support and the interior has soft-touch materials. I drove a SXT with 2.0L four and Automatic and while it rode nice and had some power, that intake noise was annoying (sounds like the intake hose or oil cap was left off the engine!)
Greenlight version: Nice, but short of being 'cool'
The 1:64 version in GT trim looks good: The front end has 2-piece headlights but the background lens should be dark gray, the grille is nicely done, the wheels are nice but again should be dark gray, and the rear with the racetrack taillights, dual exhaust, and logo's look cool, though the turn signal orange color is smaller than it should be. The biggest disappointment was the color: The pre-production pictures from Greenlight showed a lighter blue called Blue Streak Metallic. Instead the final product is a darker blue called True Blue Pearl. Hopefully some eye-catching colors will be offered later on (Header Orange version will arrive in the next County Roads series).
The interior is nicely done with the accurate seat details, shifter and steering wheel. The dash is almost accurate except the center dash hump is too tall compared to the real car's dashboard. The door panels could use a little more detail. The base has some decent details for a typical car like this.
Hot Wheels 1968 Dart
The Dart was in production from 1960 to 1975 as Dodge's compact car. The Dart always stayed around muscle cars with high-performance variations. This Hot Wheels version shows a 1968 ready for the street.
This Classics version, released in 2005, shows the details in the front grille, the custom hood scoop, and the body lines that resemble it's larger family members in the Dodge line. The metal chassis has some nice details and the interior is typical fare for a Hot Wheels muscle car. The most popular choice for performance junkies and drag racers is the Hemi V8 options that were available for the small Dart body.
If you'll notice the recent release of the Brazilian 1974 Dodge Charger in the 2014 Hot Wheels line you'll see some similar lines to the 1968: That's because the Brazilian Charger is based on the Dart platform.
Hot Wheels 1971 Dodge Demon
Even though it doesn't say Dart, this is based on the Dart as a hot performance package. 340 Magnum V8, 4-speed manual, flashy colors, and the devil with pitchfork identified the Demon's. Originally called Beaver, Chrysler realized the slang for this word and chose Demon instead. Next thing you know Christian groups are complaining about the name and the use of the devil with the pitchfork on the logo's. Because of this the 1973 version was renamed the Dart Sport.
The Hot Wheels version released in 2009 was nicely done, looks best in this purple with the correct logo's. The front-end is correct, but looks odd and the chrome is a bit too much considering the real car had a body-colored front-end. Every other detail on this car, inside, chassis base, and back end are perfectly done.
Sure, the Greenlight Dart looks plain, but I guarantee that some more sportier paint colors and smoked headlights and wheels would make this casting look even more impressive in a collection of Dodge's or Dart's.