Chrysler’s Mopar service wanted to create the ultimate racer to commemorate its new partnership with aftermarket supplier Magneti Marelli and that’s how it came to build the Dodge Avenger Rally Car. Technically, it’s a concept but since nearly all parts used in its modification will be available at Mopar service centers months from now, it could very easily become the real deal.
The performance parts added include Mopar accessories and equipment from Magneti Marelli. Weeks ago, the team took a 2011 Dodge Avenger Heat that features the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and then it installed a cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust, adding 17hp to its power to achieve 300hp.
It has also been equipped with four-piston calipers that latch onto drilled and vented discs, specifically 14.25-inches in front and 13.5 in the rear. It was also given a one-of-a-kind, single-lever, dual-control handbrake that gives it the capability of individually braking either rear wheel to pull out of mid-corner slides. Power is sent via a paddle-shifted variant of Dodge’s six-speed autostick automatic transmission, and is distributed to all four wheels through the Avenger’s stock all-wheel-drive system.
The Avenger Rally Car is lighter by about 200 pounds than the stock version. To reduce the weight, the team gutted the interior and gave it a couple of OMP racing buckets with five-point harnesses, an 8-point roll cage, an OMP racing steering wheel, and a distinctive center stack that accommodates a one-gigabyte data logger with GPS tracking.
Bringing the Avenger closer to the ground by 1.5 inches was made possible with a lowered suspension. The vehicle now rides on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels covered in 225/650 R18 Pirelli P-Zero competition tires. Mopar has evolved from being just an aftermarket parts supplier. Chrysler looks at the brand as its main means of giving aftersales service and maintenance but it doesn’t necessarily limit to its own products.
What Mopar’s partnership with Magneti Marelli means is that the dealers’ stock of body, electrical, and mechanical parts will be expanded to several mainstream brands such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, Hyundai, and Kia. As a result, Mopar technicians will have the capabilities of servicing nearly any vehicle that enters their bay. At the later part of April, Mopar centers will start to offer Magneti Marelli parts. The centers will also now be open at least six days a week.