2013 Dodge Dart GT

Chrysler Group will soon begin producing a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine option for the 2013 Dodge Dart. In turn, Chrysler Group is scaling back production of the Dart’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine because of slow sales, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The 2.4-liter engine produces 184 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, which is 24 more horsepower than the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. The new engine will come standard on the 2013 Dart GT model, which was unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show earlier this month. Dodge says the Dart GT is a performance-oriented compact car aimed at driving enthusiasts. It will come with a sport-tuned suspension, racetrack LED taillights and dual exhaust pipes.

The Dodge Dart competes in a crowded segment with the likes of the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze, which both offer turbocharged engines. Out of the three cars, the Focus has the most powerful turbocharged engine option, (252-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that takes premium fuel) while the Cruze’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder only produces 138 horsepower. The Dart’s turbocharged engine makes 160 horsepower, but some auto writers have noted that it feels sluggish, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Wall Street Journal writes, “The Dart, an important new car for Chrysler and its first compact sedan in years, went on sale last summer but is off to a slow start, selling far fewer vehicles a month than its rivals.”  

The new 2.4-liter engine will be standard on the 2013 Dart GT, and is expected to go on sale in the second quarter of 2013. Chrysler hasn’t said whether or not the engine will be available on other models. A nine-speed automatic transmission may also be in the works, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Shopping for a Dodge Dart or another affordable small car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.