Previously teased, now fully released – this is the all new 2013 Dodge Dart, the American brand’s C-segment sedan to take on the likes of the Corolla, Civic, Cruze and Elantra. To be officially unveiled at the upcoming Detroit show, the Dodge Dart shares underpinnings with the sexy Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Fiat owns both brands.

The 2013 Dart is the first Chrysler Group vehicle based on Fiat architecture. Not just plug and play, but the Giulietta’s platform has been lengthened and widened to deliver segment-leading cabin space, according to Dodge.

The “Compact U.S. Wide” architecture underpinning the Dart comprises of 68% high-strength steel, a figure said to be segment leading. The outer skin is quite outstanding, too, featuring Dodge’s trademark split-crosshair grille and full-width LED “racetrack” tail lamps.

Inside the cabin, one can see a similar “racetrack” theme on the dash, which has a centre stack angled towards the driver, old BMW style. All displays are colourful and hi-res, and there’s a cool storage area under the front passenger seat base.

There will be three engine options at launch, a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbocharged unit or two “Tigershark” mills – a 2.0L and a 2.4L MultiAir.

Three transmission choices will be available, a manual, a Fiat-sourced six-speed dual-clutch transmission and at a later date, a nine-speed automatic gearbox by ZF. The latter is supposed to boost fuel economy by 10 to 16% over the DCT, which is very impressive. By the way, there’s no typo, it’s NINE speed!

The Dodge Dart will be built at Chrysler Group’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois. This local boy with Italian blood poses some hard questions at the Asians dominating the show – it has the tech and looks to challenge, that’s for sure.