Automakers are looking to the past for brand names we’ve come to love, respect, or just heard of before. Two more industry heavyweights are being called out of retirement for debut at The Detroit Auto Show in January. The names are the same but both cars are drastically different in ways that are sure to grab the attention of their fans.
It’s been seven long years since Honda ceased production of the legendary NSX. Introduced in 1990, the mid-engine rear wheel drive coupe established itself as a 290hp machine worthy of supercar status that could double as a daily driver.
Honda is hoping to fill the halo car position in their lineup once occupied by the NSX. When development of the NSX’s successor – the HSV-010 was halted due to financial shortcomings, news soon followed that a new NSX would debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
Jalopnik reports major changes to the car are rumored to include all-wheel-drive and a hybrid powertrain to compliment Honda’s push to be viewed as a “green” car company.
While adding AWD to the NSX’s already renowned balance shouldn’t be a hard pill to swallow, adding a hybrid system to a car that spent 15 years impressing sports car fans with good ‘ol fashion gasoline could be a much harder sell.
To drum up excitement before the NSX hits showrooms in 24 months, movie goers will be able to catch a rare glimpse of a one-off version of the car in this summer’s Avenger’s movie. Driven by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), the car is said to look very much like the soon to be third generation NSX. (1)
Remember the Dart? Well its back from 1976... Sort of.
Chrysler is reanimating the Dart and aiming it at the youth market as the new compact car slated to replace the mundane Dodge Caliber. MOPAR fans should read on before drooling with muscle-car excitement:
The new Dart is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a small car popular in Europe for its style and enjoyable drivability. The Dart’s three engine options will include 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter four-liter four cylinders and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four that’s good for 170hp and 41mpg in the Giuletta.
If you’re wondering how a Detroit brand name is appearing on a car derived from Alfa Romeo, Chrysler Group is now owned by Fiat, which also owns Alfa Romeo. Per the bailout deal with the U.S. government the Dart will be assembled in the United States - Building a 40mpg car in the U.S. meets a requirement under the deal to secure Fiat’s final 5 percent of Chrysler stock from the U.S. government.
To help reach the 40mpg mark Dodge will offer a nine-speed automatic transmission in addition to a Fiat six-speed dual clutch transmission. (2)(3)
Chances are their won’t be any burbling V8’s crammed into the new Dart, but rather features designed to impress young buyers interested in the likes of the new Ford Fiesta. As the first Alfa-Romeo-based Chrysler production car released in the States there’s plenty of rich history for the Dart to live up to.
The Dart will officially debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January before going on sale in the first half of 2013.