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Within the Chrysler Group family of vehicles, Dodge is the bread and butter, differentiating itself from other full-line automakers by bringing a focus on performance to every vehicle it makes. From the brand’s legendary HEMI V8 engines to modern smartphone-connecting UConnect infotainment systems.

Dodge actually dates back as far as 1900 with the Dodge Brothers Company, who produced specialized parts for other automotive manufacturers. After beginning production of its own vehicles in 1915 and quickly becoming America’s second-best-selling automaker, Dodge became a part of Chrysler in 1928 and earned its reputation as makers of fine American performance cars.

Today the brand shares a link with its past with the modern recreation of classic nameplates like the Charger, Challenger muscle car and new-for-2013 Dart. These nameplates are so well loved that well-kept classics now can fetch tens of thousands of dollars at auction, with legions of “Mopar” faithful tuning and restoring their Dodge cars every day.Their car models are all about offering the same space and comfort of competing brands, but with a little more flair.

5 remarkable facts about Dodge

1.  Company founded as the Dodge Brothers Company in 1900, and became a part of Chrysler in 1928 as the performance-oriented division.

2.  Unique hemispherical “HEMI” V8 engines have been produced and refined since the original Chrysler FirePower engine in 1950.

3.  Today’s lineup has brought back classic names from the past, including Charger, Challenger and Dart, with heritage-inspired styling but modern technology.

4.  The Dodge SRT lineup represents the ultimate in Chrysler performance, now including the Challenger and Charger with Dart and Durango models in the cards.

5.  The 2013 Dodge Dart is the company’s newest model, featuring 39 highway mpg and developed in conjunction with Chrysler Group’s new European partners at Fiat.

Great selection of popular Dodge models

Dodge trucks and SUVs are known for their toughness and work-friendly features, like a new-for-2013 UConnect Access connectivity system debuting on the RAM 1500. Under a new partnership with Sprint, Dodge now provides an integrated cellular voice and data access system that can make calls and send texts without the driver even needing a cell phone. UConnect can also act as a WiFi hotspot for all your devices and features a rich complement of Dodge-approved mobile entertainment and convenience apps. Combine that with HEMI V8 power, either RWD toughness or AWD traction and the finest-quality truck interiors in the industry and the Dodge trucks RAM lineup starts to look more compelling than ever.

Within the Dodge brand, the SRT name is given to only the highest-performing vehicles. The Charger SRT8 and Challenger SRT8 represent the cutting edge in American muscle car performance, at their heart a 470-horsepower 6.7-liter V8 HEMI engine. Styling is as bold as the performance that backs it up, with SRT-exclusive performance upgrades including a heavy-duty five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control and aggressive, functional aerodynamics upgrades. The SRT8 models are venerable turn-key drag cars, while still offering plenty of space and luxury to serve as excellent daily drivers.

That’s not to say Dodge is all about V8s and horsepower. The Dart is at the vanguard of the company’s new environmentally friendly lineup, with its available 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine providing quick acceleration and also 39 highway mpg. The Dart, while sharing a name with one of the brand’s old classics, is a thoroughly modern car with European-inspired styling and one of several advanced engines. The new Dart takes root from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, representing a new era of Dodge cars produced and designed for a worldwide market.

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