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Auto Show:  2012 New York Auto Show

Dodge Dart Rally Car: New York Auto Show

author photo by Jeffrey Archer April 2012
  • The Dart rally car retains the sedan's basic shape.
  • A monstrous 600-horsepower motor is under the hood.
  • The car will be driven by noted racer Travis Pastrana.

Although the Dodge Dart has yet to arrive in showrooms, Chrysler already revealed a tuned racing version of the upcoming small sedan at the New York International Auto Show. Set to compete in this year's Global RallyCross series, the sedan will be driven by celebrated rally driver Travis Pastrana and will include a host of major modifications compared to the street car.

On the outside, the Dart rally car retains the sedan's basic shape, adding a host of extravagant graphics, lightweight wheels and a large rear wing mounted on the trunk. Inside, the sedan is stripped of all comfort features, keeping only the basics. Then, a roll cage, a removable steering wheel, tight bucket seats are added to the essential running gear.

But while the Dart rally car offers a unique interior and exterior, the race car's most important feature is under its lightweight hood. Custom built specifically for Global RallyCross, the Dart rally car's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is tuned to produce a whopping 600 horsepower and more than 550 pound-feet of torque - more than triple the production car's 184 horsepower. According to Chrysler, a custom-built transmission delivers power to all four wheels, making the Dart rally car unstoppable in even the worst conditions - especially with four-time Rally America winner Travis Pastrana at the helm.

"The sport is extremely exciting and the on-track action can be brutal on the drivers and the cars," said David Bailey, senior engineering manager for Chrysler's SRT Motorsports. "The Dart rally car is a lightweight car with a very powerful motor. The zero to 60 mile per hour times are incredible, as low as 1.9 seconds, so with Travis behind the wheel, we can't wait for the season opener."

Global RallyCross is a new racing series that was spun off of ESPN's popular "X Games" extreme sports competition. This year's schedule includes seven races spread throughout the summer, including two dates at the 2012 X Games in Los Angeles. Rival rally cars include highly modified versions of the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Veloster, Subaru Impreza WRX and the European-market Citroen DS3 and Skoda Fabia.

What it means to you: Dodge is trying to get maximum exposure for the Dart, which goes on sale later this year.

Check out more news from the New York Auto Show.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Dodge Dart Rally Car: New York Auto Show - Autotrader