In recent years, Chrysler Group and Mopar have teamed up to build some limited-production versions of the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger, but 2012 is going to be a particularly important year as four factory-customized cars are introduced to celebrate Mopar's 75th anniversary. The first of which, hitting dealerships now, is the Mopar '12 300, but special versions of the Dodge Dart, Jeep Compass and Fiat 500 will all be available at a later date. All four of the 2012 Mopar-tuned models were unveiled earlier in the year at the Chicago Auto Show.
At the unveiling of the new cars, Mopar President and CEO Pietro Gorlier said, "Customization is king. These head-turning ‘Moparized’ vehicles show how we can go to the next level of personalization. With our best-in-class offerings of parts and accessories, we give our customers every opportunity to further enhance the appearance and performance of their vehicles.”
The other three cars showing off the customization potential of Mopar include the 2013 Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute, 2012 FIAT 500 Stinger and 2012 Mopar Jeep Compass True North. Chrysler has yet to announce any pricing or availability for any of these Mopar-tuned models.
Mopar '12 300
Starting life as a regular 2012 Chrysler 300C, the Mopar '12 300 is easily distinguished with its sinister blacked-out paint job and its signature Mopar blue stripes. The Mopar '12 300 uses some of the styling elements of the 300S and adds in some unique exterior components such as a black chrome grille, Gloss Black-painted 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, "Mopar 75" badges on the fenders and the aforementioned blue striping on the hood, wheels and along the car's side body crease. Inside, the car is equally unique with a similar black-and-blue treatment on the perforated leather seats, sport steering wheel and leather-wrapped shifter handle.
Mopar even made some changes to the '12 300's performance with sport-tuned suspension for better handling, a taller final drive ratio for better acceleration and sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 three-season tires. Priced at $50,250, the Mopar '12 300 is actually about $3,000 more than the high-performance 300 SRT8, but the added money is for the unique styling and exclusivity. Chrysler will only be making 500 of the Mopar '12 300 models making it even more scarce than the 600 Mopar '10 Challengers and the 1,500 Mopar '11 Chargers, and each Mopar '12 300 will come with serialized "Mopar '12 Limited Edition" badge signifying which of the 500 units the car is.
All Mopar '12 300 will come with the same 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that is found under the hood of the 300C only the engine cover is unique to this car. The Hemi still produces 363 horsepower and gets decent fuel economy by using the Fuel Saver Technology cylinder deactivation system, but with the different final drive ratio Chrysler says the Mopar '12 300 will be a little quicker off the line accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in "the low five-second range."
2013 Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute
The 2013 Dodge Dart is already a sporty little compact sedan, but the GTS 210 Tribute gives the car a sportier appearance and improved performance in two stages. The Stage 1 appearance package adds an aggressive body kit that includes front chin spoiler, lower side sills, a decklid spoiler and a rear diffuser - all painted in matte black on the show car. The Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute also gets a unique carbon fiber hood, 18-inch forged alloy wheels and an upgraded interior using Katzkin leather and piano black inserts. The Stage 2 performance package upgrades the engine computer to recalibrate the fuel/air ratio and the spark advance, and a free-flowing exhaust system helps add an extra 26 horsepower to the engine.
2012 Fiat 500 Stinger
Like the Dart GTS 210 Tribute. the 2012 Fiat 500 Stinger was upgraded in two stages: styling and performance. The yellow-and-black Fiat 500 Stinger gets unique elements such as the tinted headlights and taillights, black 17-inch wheels and the black chrome accents on the "whiskers and logo" face, door handles and mirrors. Inside, Katzkin leather seats get Alcantara inserts, and a carbon fiber decal on the instrument panel finishes off the styling changes. As for its performance, the Fiat 500 Stinger gets a cat-back exhaust system and an upgraded performance brakes with cross-drilled rotors.
2012 Mopar Jeep Compass True North
Jeep is also getting into Mopar action with the 2012 Mopar Jeep Compass True North. This beefed-up Jeep Compass starts with a two-inch suspension lift for added ground clearance and to accommodate the meaty 16-inch BF Goodrich All Terrain tires. For styling, the Mopar Jeep Compass True North includes front and rear brush guards, blacked-out headlights and matte black accents all over the exterior. Inside, the big changes include an upgraded Kicker audio system and a center stack gauge pod that shows the vehicle's pitch and inclinometer for better off-road driving.
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