To celebrate its new partnership with supplier Magneti Marelli, Chrysler's Mopar service took to the dirt and created its ideal racer: the Dodge Avenger Rally Car. Although it is technically a concept, the Avenger Rally Car could become the real deal – Mopar tells us that almost all of the parts used to modify the car will be available at Mopar service centers in the coming months.
The additional performance parts are a combination of home-baked Mopar accessories and high-po equipment from aftermarket supplier Magneti Marelli. The team began the transformation less than a month ago, starting with a 2011 Dodge Avenger Heat equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. They added a cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust, bumping power by an extra 17 horsepower to a round 300. When it comes time to stop, four-piston calipers grab onto drilled and vented discs -- 14.25-inches in front and 13.5 in the rear -- and there is a unique, single-lever, dual-control handbrake that can individually brake either rear wheel to pull out of mid-corner slides. Power is routed through a paddle-shifted version of Dodge’s six-speed autostick automatic transmission, and channeled through all four wheels by means of the Avenger's stock all-wheel-drive system.
The Avenger Rally Car has shed approximately 200 pounds compared to the stock version. To do so, the interior was gutted and given a pair of OMP racing buckets with five-point harnesses, an 8-point roll cage, an OMP racing steering wheel, and a unique center stack housing a one-gigabyte data logger with GPS tracking. A lowered suspension drops the Avenger 1.5 inches closer to the ground, while supporting 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 225/650 R18 Pirelli P-Zero competition tires.
Mopar has now become more than just aftermarket parts: Chrysler views the brand as its primary means of providing aftersales service and maintenance, albeit not necessarily to its own products. Mopar's new partnership with Magneti Marelli aims to expand dealers' stocks of body, electrical, and mechanical parts for many mainstream brands, including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, Hyundai, and Kia. As a result, Mopar technicians will be able to service almost any vehicle that rolls into their bay. Starting later this month, Mopar centers will start carrying components from Magneti Marelli, and will begin to be open at least six days a week.
Dressed in a brilliant black paint job with a silver Mopar/Magneti Marelli graphics wrap on the rear and tall spoiler, the Avenger Rally Car looks ready to hit the dirt (we suspect it already did, as it wore a slight dusting of mud at the reveal). Chrysler and Mopar have taken note of the rising popularity of rally racing in the U.S. as a possibility for the car to see race time. Would you want to see the Avenger Rally Car hitting the mud tracks of the rallying world or should it stay on the show floor? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.