Front dampers are 15-percent stiffer than standard Avengers, while those in back are now 20-percent firmer than before. Capping things off is a new rear sway bar, which, at 21mm, is two millimeters thicker than usual.
In plain English: This theoretically has the makings of a sedan that can corner -- not careen -- through tight switchbacks and sweeping bends.
The Avenger R/T's powertrain may not have received a makeover, but its exterior has. Along with a body-colored crosshair grille, R/T models receive black headlamp surrounds, unique 18-inch aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler, and so-called war paint -- a vintage Mopar visual cue revived for the 2010 Challenger -- on the front quarter panels.
Inside, a new instrument cluster puts an R/T-labeled tachometer front and center, while driver and front passenger are held in place by cloth bucket seats with enlarged leather-trimmed bolsters. Standard equipment also includes a 276-watt Boston Acoustic sound system, red accent stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, and aluminum pedals patterned after those used in SRT models.
Will all this transform the Avenger into a verifiable performance sedan? We're not going to go that far, but if Gilles' promises hold true -- and we suspect they will -- the Avenger R/T could prove to be a practical sedan that offers some reward when the Road / Track beckons. We'll know for certain shortly, as production is slated to begin in the third quarter of 2011.