After recent news that Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) would be allowing the Dodge Dart and 200 to “run their course,” there has been a lot of discussion as to what FCA would do for midsize and compact cars. Early on, people thought that since Fiat and Chrysler were consolidating, Chrysler and Dodge would finally develop competitive small cars, much like their hit with the Dodge Neon. Sure, the Dodge Dart was a great attempt, but it failed to attract mass buyers. The Dodge Neon has been absent since 2005 when it was replaced by the Dodge Caliber, however according to Motorpasion.com, Dodge of Mexico might be exporting the Fiat Tipo sedan, and rebadging it as the famously fun Neon. Remember the SRT-4?
The car is receiving minor changes from its Fiat origins. The grille would be modified with the corporate Dodge crosshairs. The car would be introduced as a 2017 model with a 1.6 liter engine that produces 110 horsepower. There are of course going to be options such as an automatic or manual transmission, as well as improved creature comforts inside. Based on the presentation files obtained by Motorpasion.com, there would be various wheel options, touchscreen packages, and more. Besides that, not much is known about the car or when it might be available in Mexico. It will likely replace the Dodge Vision, and position itself between the Dodge Attitude and Dart for awhile. The Attitude and Vision are rebadged Hyundais labeled as Dodges for the Mexican market.
All of this leads us to the next big question. . . will the Dodge Neon be brought back to the US market, and if so, will it go back to its roots and be an affordable, fun, sporty, reliable, and high-MPG car that the public will buy? No doubt there is probably a lot of talk at FCA about bringing the Neon back to the US. However, it is unknown how much more work would be needed to make this car pass current US regulations, or where this car would be built. The Neon name is reminiscent of a large cult following of loyal fans who could make this brand resurrection a positive win for Dodge and FCA as a whole. I say bring it back.