The LED racetrack might be a little "mod" for my tastes, but it's definitely going to appeal to folks looking for a certain look for their vehicle. I think it's great that LEDs have finally reached a price point where they can be more widely leveraged both for providing pizazz to a car's design and for great utility in terms of lighting options.
When one LED fails, what will be the ability to replace it? Will the entire hundred-odd LED assembly need to be replaced? Or is it a more modular design (say, 10-LED segments)?
They may be longer-lived than incandescents, but LEDs DO fail (North Charleston's traffic signals, discussed previously). A single LED failure on this tail light assembly will turn this admittedly pretty and cool design into a gap-toothed jack-o-lantern.
What, other than the revival of the name, makes this a Dart? Does it have the old slant 6 engine? (No.) Is cheap, boxy, and reliable? (Well, I guess I shouldn't accuse the old Dart of being reliable so much as it was easily repairable.) I'm glad it's applying LEDs in innovative ways, and I am glad the name is back. Other than that, though, it looks just like another jellybean auto.
I was quite surprised to hear the Dart was returning. I second Alex's question about why this new car is called the Dart.
I owned one for a couple years. It certainly wasn't a fashion plate, but I was able to do a ton of repairs on it, Used parts where easy to come by and you could almost stand into the engine compartment. Great car.
Alex and Rob: A Chrysler spokeswoman said, "It has characteristics of the original but it's not meant to be a modern version of the old Dart." The shared characteristics are its aerodynamics and the fact that the original Dart was the "first Dodge to be marketed towards a youth audience." (The new Dart is being targeted towards millennials.)
I kinda remember the Dart as an old person's car. Maybe it was marketed on price as an entry level vehicle for younger people or families. That makes sense if you're talking about the mid-1960s Valiant with the fake spare tire on the trunk. But by the time you got to the 1970s, I think you're definitely talking older folks or value buyers looking for a cheap but functional vehicle. The Duster was the sporty version of the platform, but that could be outfitted with much bigger engines so in effect you could buy a cheap muscle car, which could book it on straightaways but heaven help you if you tried a turn at high speed. (Though you actually could get a Duster with a base 188-cu in or thereabouts Slant 6.)
In keeping with its old name Dart, I wonder if they can use the Chaser effect once used on the Knight Rider car back and forth, but for directional indicators chase left or right and then flicker for emergency braking would be my innovation where the rate of flicker is determined by braking force or rate of speed drop to alert drivers of emergent stops vs routine stops http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3382491587979249836
Chaser controls add no cost to a $1 pic processor with a flex wire to sequence a parallel string of LEDs.
5 meter SMT LEDs with 150 devices now costs about $10 and sells for $20, albeit auto spare parts markup is typically 5x to 10x mfg cost. That includes double sided adhesive tape and connector but intended for indoor market not cars. Just an example of innovation 5 years ago that can extend to auto market. I use them on my house oak stair rails facing down , powered from 12Vdc little PSU in basement with Blue string going upstairs and Red going downstairs.
see example of SMT inexpensive reel of LEDs installed here
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