Cars Coming (and Going) Soon: Goodbye to Compass and Town & Country, Hello to SRT Dart

SRT Dart

In the category of things that are long overdue, let’s place this:

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has confirmed that the Jeep Compass and the Chrysler Town & Country will end production. I’ll pause for a collective cheer.

While speaking at the Chrysler Belvidere Assembly Plant, Marchionne said the Compass will continue to be built at the facility through August 2014, at which point it will be replaced by a new model. He also said the Grand Caravan will be the automaker’s only minivan moving forward. Marchionne also let slip his company’s intent on the development of a Dodge Dart SRT model, saying the performance-oriented vehicle is coming just as soon as they figure out how big an engine to put in it.

All this is music to my car-loving ears.

Chrysler will replace the Compass with something, and there’s no specific word on if that replacement vehicle will be an evolution of the Jeep Patriot or if it’ll replace that small crossover, too.

It’s also possible the company will keep the Town & Country name, but turn it into a new smaller upscale crossover. Another competitor to the Lexus RX, perhaps?

But enough of that. What else do we know about the SRT Dart?

Well, the truth is, nothing. But we can take some educated guesses!

The car, which could be called the SRT Dart or the Dodge Dart SRT-4, will need a forced-induction 4-cylinder to be taken seriously. And it’ll probably need to pump out somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 ponies. Chrysler’s 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder could work if mated to a turbocharger. Then again, the SRT-sponsored Dodge Dart rally car driven by Travis Pastrana uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine to make more than 600 horsepower, so perhaps there will be a street version of that engine. The 2.4 seems more likely, based on cost alone.

Whatever powers the SRT Dart, it’ll be the right step, along with dumping the Compass and Town & Country, in finally moving Chrysler in the right direction.

Would a high-performance Dodge Dart SRT be on your shopping list?

-tgriffith

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  1. Jim Redd
    May 31st, 2012 at 14:44 | #1

    I think the Dart will be a real winner. Especially the SRT. Remember the Neon SRT? That was a hot little number and the Dart should be exponentially better! Exciting times for Chrysler.

  2. Randy
    May 31st, 2012 at 06:24 | #2

    It’ll be nice to see a performance Dodge that isn’t a bloated gas hog like the Viper or big sedans. As it is, Chrysler has taken too long to kill off the duplicious Town & Country (they should have done it during the bankruptcy) and the small Compass has never been a good match with Chrysler’s land yacht big American iron personna. Back to the Dart, kudos to Chrysler and if they can get the quality to compete with the likes of Honda, Nissan and Toyota (doubtful with a lineage of Alfa and Fiat) they will have a big winner.

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