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2013 Dodge Durango R/T

Tue, 19 Feb 2013 14:58:00 EST

Not too long ago, Chevrolet got itself into some trouble by throwing the SS badge on just about everything it produced, so I've always been a little hesitant about the seemingly excessive use of the R/T nameplate on Dodge vehicles. For the 2013 model year, every model in Dodge's lineup has an R/T trim level from Dart all the way up to the Durango. Although the R/T name used to signified models made for road and track, I doubt anyone would be delusional enough to assume the Durango - and some of the other models wearing this badge - are suited for any sort of track duty.
Still, when this 2013 Dodge Durango R/T rolled up for me to drive for the week, I couldn't help but take in its big, mean and imposing stance. Sure, if I had my choice of buying any of the Dodge R/T products, the Charger and Challenger would be my top picks for sure, but it's easy to say that the Durango would be a close third - far above the R/T versions of the Avenger, Journey and Grand Caravan.
Driving Notes

2003-04 Dodge Viper recalled for sudden airbag deployment

Fri, 15 Feb 2013 14:14:00 EST

As if driving the old Dodge Viper (not the fancy new SRT model) isn't intimidating enough, imagine trying to wrangle that V10 beast and then suddenly having the airbags deploy. Yikes. That's apparently what could happen to some 3,660 Viper models from the 2003 and 2004 model years, and as such, Chrysler has issued a recall.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the car's airbag control module may fail, causing the bags or seatbelt pre-tensioners to deploy without warning while the vehicle is in operation. That's a dangerous scenario in any car, let alone one offering insane horsepower a near-total paucity of safety nannies should things get squirrely.
Owners will be notified this month about the recall, though a remedy is not expected to be available until later this year. Scroll down for the full NHTSA statement.

Chrysler recalling 278,222 trucks and SUVs over bad rear axles

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:29:00 EST

Chrysler has issued a recall of 278,222 light trucks and sport utility vehicles here in the United States. The reason: bad rear axles. Specifically, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rear axle pinion nut may lack a necessary adhesive patch, which could cause the nut to loosen. If this happens, the axle can lock up, which could cause all sorts of havoc on the road.
This is an expansion of the rear axle recall announced in October of last year, where 44,300 Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota models were being called in. At that time, 12 accidents had been reported due to the faulty axle pinion nut.
Affected vehicles include Ram 1500 trucks from the 2009 to 2012 model years, Dodge Dakota models from the 2009 to 2011 model years, and both the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUV twins, both from the 2009 model year only.

2013 Dodge Dart gets all Moparized

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 18:31:00 EST

Last year, Chrysler announced it would be offering more than 150 Mopar parts and accessories on the 2013 Dodge Dart, and we got a look at some of these parts firsthand at the Chicago Auto Show. Showing off all the optional parts at once would surely create a gaudy monstrosity, so Chrysler chose to equip this particular Dart GT with just a handful of Mopar goodies, which still gave the car a nice and tasteful custom look that is available straight from the dealership (and with a full warranty, too).
Decked out in a factory color called Header Orange Clear Coat - also a very appropriate show car hue - this car added exterior styling parts such as the vented, carbon fiber hood, the bolt-on front chin spoiler and a matte black decklid spoiler. Looking inside the car, you'd think the red-accented interior is part of the Mopar parts bin, too, but this is actually what the standard Dart GT cabin will look like when it goes on sale.

Old vs. New: 2014 SRT Viper takes on upgraded 16-year-old Dodge Viper

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 16:58:00 EST

It's easy to play the "Would you rather have a New X or an Old Y with a bunch of upgrades?" game more often than we care to admit, but the crew at Car and Driver have taken bench racing to the next level with their latest video. In it, the magazine pits a brand-new 2014 SRT Viper against a highly modified 1997 Dodge Viper GTS. There are 16 years between the time this particular GTS rolled off the production line and when the new car bowed, but that doesn't mean the old snake's owners have been sitting on their hands.
Thanks to a spate of modifications, the GTS offers up a better power to weight ratio than the new machine, but is that enough to overcome the technological leap forward represented by the 2014 Viper? We won't spoil it for you. You'll just have to check out the full clip below for yourself.

Mopar '13 Dart is a bruiser of a compact

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 11:28:00 EST

For the fourth year in a row, Mopar is offering a limited-production car decked with a plenty of add-ons and a unique look. This year's black-and-blue car is the Mopar '13 Dart, which was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show with the now-signature paint scheme. Like previous Mopar models, only 500 of the '13 Darts will be built. Past models include the Mopar '10 Challenger, Mopar '11 Charger and the Mopar '12 300.
The all-black Dart gets a brightly contrasting, offset blue stripe running the full length of the car, and other styling mods like the aero-tuned body kit, gloss black grille, wheels and mirror caps. Curiously, Mopar chose to stick with the Dart's standard headlights rather than the darker, smoked lights. The interior gets a similar black-and-blue treatment, but this unique cabin features a blue leather driver's seat to go along with the black leather seating for the rest of the passengers.
More than just a styling package, the Mopar '13 Dart also gets some performance and handling goodies to complement the Dart's turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, such as upgraded brakes with slotted rotors, a lowered suspension, retuned electric power steering and a "sport-tuned" exhaust system.

Defiance Dodge Charger, saving Earth from aliens isn't clean work [w/video]

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 08:45:00 EST

You'll be forgiven for not having heard about the TV show Defiance - it actually hasn't aired its first episode yet. The new science fiction show about an alien war against Earth in the near future seems like a perfect fit for the SyFy channel, and, apparently one that Dodge saw as a slick marketing opportunity for its Charger sedan.
Here in Chicago, Dodge has given a large corner of its show stand to the Defiance Charger, a car that won't be skipped by any Mad Max fans in attendance at this year's show. The Charger boasts one hell of a gnarly patina under a confusingly welded cage of tube steel, as well as window bars, a grille guard in front, and big, knobby truck tires. There aren't any obvious guns or turrets on the outside of the vehicle, so we can only hope that the characters driving it go well-armed.
Look for the Charger to make its star turn in Defiance when the series premieres on SyFy on April 15 at 9:00 PM EST. Also, there's said to be a Defiance video game in the works, too, so you may get a chance to steer the burly Dodge for yourself. Find a trailer for the show, below, as well.

2013 Dodge Challenger R/T hits the Redline

Thu, 07 Feb 2013 16:58:00 EST

Dodge has added a bit of spice to its Hemi-powered Challenger for 2013, offering up this new Redline package that makes its official debut at the Chicago Auto Show. The R/T Redline builds on the Rallye Redline kit that was created for the V6 Challenger, and we like how these subtle changes add to the muscle coupe's already classic styling.
In addition to the black chrome 20-inch wheels with red accents, the R/T Redline adds subtle graphics along the beltline. Inside, cars equipped with the six-speed manual transmission get a performance tuned exhaust that allows the engine to send a full 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. (Redline Challengers with the five-speed automatic produce 372 hp and 400 lb-ft.)
The Redline package retails for $1,995 and can be had on both Challenger R/T and R/T Plus models. Scroll down for the full press blast.

2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline revs into Chicago

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 00:01:00 EST

When Dodge released the Challenger Rallye Redline last year, it brought a new dimension of styling to the car's classic muscle car lines, but it was only available in V6 form lacking the oomph to back up its sinister appearance. To remedy that situation, Dodge is unveiling the Challenger R/T Redline, powered by a Hemi V8 engine, at the Chicago Auto Show.
Other than the extra cylinders, most of the R/T's Redline package carries over from the Rallye model including the custom-look 20-inch black chrome wheels with red paint accents, but the R/T version of the package gets more of a retro look to the side stripes with graphite graphics featuring Redline lettering. Cars equipped with the six-speed manual transmission will get a performance-tuned, low-restriction exhaust allowing the engine to produce 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque; cars with the five-speed auto are rated at 372 hp and 400 lb-ft, but they do offer a bright chrome Mopar t-handle shifter and steering wheel paddle shifters.
The R/T Redline Group is offered only on cars painted in Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Bright White and Pitch Black, and it adds just $1,995 to the MSRP of the Challenger R/T (starting at $31,990) and the Challenger R/T Plus (starting at $33,990), which adds features like Nappa leather and Boston Acoustics speakers.

Mopar '13 Dart will roll into Chicago next week

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:01:00 EST

We think this officially counts as a tradition. Every year going back to 2010, Mopar has rolled out a limited edition version of a popular product from the Chrysler Group portfolio. First it was the Mopar '10 Challenger, then the Mopar '11 Charger, then last year's Mopar '12 300, and this year it will be the Mopar '13 Dart, which will make its official world debut next week at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
Limited in number to just 500 units, the Mopar '13 Dart is no mere appearance package, though the demeanor of the Dart will be murdered out with a gloss black finish, gloss black 18-inch wheels, a set of Mopar blue stripes and a mean-looking Mopar ground effects kit. Likewise, the interior is touched up with leather seats (a blue one for the driver and black hides for the passengers), gloss black and black chrome trim, blue accent stitching, a sport pedal kit and other Mopar interior accessories.
Turning our attention back to the mechanical bits, the Mopar '13 Dart comes with the car's most powerful engine, a turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four (shared with Fiat 500 Abarth) that's paired with a manual transmission. Those big, black wheels get wrapped in low profile 225/40R18 performance tires, and keeping everything in check is an upgraded brake kit with slotted rotors. The steering has also been calibrated for performance, the suspension lowered seven millimeters, and the exhaust tuned for better engine breathing.