After showing us bits of the outside, Dodge is teasing again, this time with two more illustrations from the 2013 Dodge Dart that will debut at the North America International Auto Show in Detroit in January. This time it’s the “high-tech, precisely crafted and highly customizable interior,” or more precisely, the optional instrument panel and the 8.4-inch UConnect Touch touchscreen media center that will be an option on the 2013 Dart.
The 2013 Dodge Dart, a model which revives a name from Dodge’s history, will have as an option the Thin Film Transistor gauge cluster display, similar to that of the Jaguar XJL we recently tested. The instrument panel will be configurable and will be able to display various information, including—as shown in the provided illustration—info from the optional navigation system.
The gauge cluster and touchscreen media center will be housed in what Dodge calls a “floating island bezel” which will have a optional “racetrack” light pipe surround—using the same terminology as Dodge uses for the taillights—and will generally reflect the same dashboard shape as the Dodge Charger. It’s a word we’ve heard before, but Dodge calls the Dart’s layout “driver-centric”.
It should be largely a clean sheet design, so Dodge has been able to accommodate all the necessities of modern life, including iPod stowage in the glovebox and auxiliary jacks to plug in a variety of electronic devices. We’re told that there will be ambient lighting in all the right places, from door handles, to map pockets to illuminated cupholders.
Dodge is also touting the safety of the 2013 Dodge Dart, including a body of 68 percent high-strength steel and ten airbags, which Dodge claims is a class exclusive…although the micro subcompact Scion iQ has 11. Dodge is also claiming that the Dart is the only car in its class with blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection.
There’s little choice but for Dodge to go all out on the inside of the 2013 Dart because its predecessors were, in a word, cheap. We won’t know for sure, however, until the teasing stop and the real thing begins. Bring on the 2013 Dodge Dart.