Report: Dodge Dart to Join 2014 Jeep Liberty, Employ Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission

By Trevor Dorchies | January 14, 2013
According to a report from sibling publication Automobile Magazine, the Dodge Dart and upcoming Jeep Liberty will begin using a nine-speed automatic transmission. Speaking with reporters in Detroit today, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed that the Dart was in desperate need of a new transmission. The 2014 Jeep Liberty, which is set to debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, will also employ this new nine-speed automatic transmission. Marchionne told Automobile that the nine-speed automatic transmission should be ready to go by the time the new Liberty is unveiled. “If you want an American solution, the dual-dry clutch is not the answer,” Marchionne told Automobile when speaking about the Dart's high fuel-mileage drivetrain choice. When pressed about the future of the Dodge Challenger, Marchionne said that a model considered to be a "step-up" will come along "soon." Even while Marchionne's response on the Challenger's fate was cryptic, to say the least, it's believed that a model called the SRT Barracuda will replace the Challenger. The all-new Barracuda will join the Viper as SRT's second model in its stable and will supposedly pave the way for at least one Alfa Romeo model.
However, Marchionne made it known that he will not bring the Alfa nameplate stateside until the brand is ready. “I cannot come up with a short product. It needs to (have) a Wop engine,” said Marchionne (an Italian-Canadian himself) to reporters who reportedly responded with suspicious laughter. Apparently, Marchionne was feeling extra feisty and that became blatantly obvious when asked about the possibility of Volkswagen Group's purchasing Alfa from Fiat, Chrysler's parent company. “I’m going to come up with a German version of ‘no.’ I think it’s called ‘nein,’” Fiat and Chrysler's CEO said to a group of reporters. These frequent proposals from Volkswagen only raise the asking price for Alfa as a whole in Marchionne's opinion. As for which brand (Chrysler or Dodge) gets the next traditional, sliding-door minivan, Marchionne said it's still up in the air.  “The platform we’ve chosen for the replacement can be shrunken and narrowed,” Marchionne told Automobile. This platform's ability to change sizes will help with international sales. Marchionne wouldn't say which brand will get the traditional minivan, but he did say the brand that doesn't get it will get a crossover in its place, instead. This crossover is believed to be similar in size to the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, and Ford Explorer. What say you? Should Chrysler bother bringing Alfa Romeo back to the U.S.? Will the Dodge Dart benefit from a nine-speed automatic transmission? Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Source: Automobile Magazine