October 17th, 2012 by Steve Cypher

The 2012 SEMA Show was nearly three weeks away at the time but that didn’t stop Chrysler’s Mopar brand from showing off its own unique take on the new Dodge Dart

Back to the strip

A month or so ago, Mopar released a number of design sketches of various Chrysler vehicles that will be taking center stage at their exhibit  at this year’s SEMA show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Last Friday morning, the media was given a preview of five of these vehicles at the brand’s engineering headquarters in Center Line, Michigan.

Previous articles touched on the “juiced-up” Viper-powered Dodge Charger as well as a So Cal surfer-themed Fiat 500. Today we’ll be discussing yet another vehicle that falls somewhere between these two – the Dodge Dart Carbon Fire

Dodge Dart Carbon Fire

According to Mopar execs, the acquisition of Chrysler by Fiat has been a very good thing. It seems that in the past there was far too little communication between the engineers at Mopar HQ and the various vehicle line designers at Chrysler’s headquarters out in Auburn Hills. It was also a situation that Fiat quickly addressed.

With designers and engineers now on the same page, a wider range of Mopar-branded parts and accessories can be offered to enthusiasts closer to the launch of a new vehicle. This is evidenced by the fact that by the time the first production-ready 2013 Dodge Darts began rolling off the assembly line; Mopar was able to offer more than 150 available parts and accessories to complement the new model – the most, according to Mopar, in the compact segment.

Beginning with a charcoal grey exterior, Mopar engineers fabricated a prototype carbon fiber hood as well as a three-piece prototype rear decklid spoiler. Additional prototype accoutrements include gloss black 19-inch wheels with Mopar center caps (reflecting the same design as those found on the Dodge Charger Juiced), front fascia insert, roof and mirror covers.

Other custom touches include silver brake calipers, a Mopar satin black front chin spoiler and Mopar satin black body kit. The Dart Carbon Fire also features smoke headlamps and tail lamps.

A prototype Mopar grille texture is another design element, replacing the production cross hair grille, while below that grille, on the lower fascia, fog lamps were swapped for daytime running lights lifted from the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and “set in a unique bezel.”

The interior, which is partially obscured by deep-tinted windows, is color coordinated with the exterior and includes darker matte trim, instrument and dash bezels along with Katzkin leather seats that also follow the exterior color theme.

The 2012 SEMA Show runs from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and is open to manufacturers, buyers, exhibitors and members of the media only.
For a gallery of high resolution images, click here.


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