"Now that the Italians are taking over, hopefully quality will go up." This is a sentence never uttered before Fiat's takeover of Chrysler. Somehow, being run by Italians has actually done wonders for Chrysler, which is why we're cautiously optimistic about Dodge's new compact, which draws a name from the Dart of the 60's. 

The new Dart will be based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta but will be widened to accommodate our less svelte, more blubbery American asses. A variety of four cylinder engines will power the Dart and Chrysler is promising both an enthusiastic driving experience and excellent fuel economy. The compact segment is much more hotly contested than it used to be, and the combination of sporty dynamics and excellent fuel economy isn't hard to come by, so Chrysler had better bring their A game.

Style wise, the thing looks like the bastard child of a VW Scirocco and a Dodge Charger, which isn't all bad. We'd still rather have the Alfa though.

[via Chrysler]