A new Dodge Avenger rally car was recently unveiled at Chrysler Group LLC’s Mopar Complex in Center Line, Mich., heralding the first collaboration in the brand’s newly announced relationship with Magneti Marelli.
The public will get its first glimpse of the vehicle up-close at the New York International Auto Show, April 22-May 1.
“Our Dodge Avenger Rally car showcases Mopar’s new relationship with Magneti Marelli,” said Pietro Gorlier, president and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Our companies worked closely together to bring this vehicle to life in a joint build that utilizes proven, quality-tested performance parts and accessories from Mopar and Magneti Marelli. We will gauge reaction to this vehicle and determine which parts will go into production.”
Mopar’s choice of a rally car to christen the new alliance with Magneti Marelli found its roots in the Italian aftermarket parts supplier’s rich tradition in rally car competition in Europe as well as the rising popularity of the motorsport in the U.S., according to a press release. The build was conducted at Mopar’s accessory and performance parts lab in Center Line, where the vehicle was prepared.
“This is a purpose-built vehicle with collaborative parts from Magneti Marelli and Mopar,” said Dino Maggioni, CEO of Magneti Marelli Aftermarket. “We selected Magneti Marelli and Mopar parts, adapted them to the Dodge Avenger and made them unique. The result is a fascinating blend of these two iconic brands.”
Starting with a stock 2011 Dodge Avenger Heat, Mopar and Magneti Marelli engineers transformed the vehicle into a race-inspired vehicle equipped to handle the most challenging rally courses, while reducing the weight of the vehicle by nearly 200 pounds, the release stated.
The Avenger’s interior was stripped down to bare essentials, then outfitted with a variety of unique Mopar and Magneti Marelli parts to complete the conversion into a rally car, including a purpose-built center stack and console with a compact high-performance 1 GB data logger and an integrated GPS and inertial platform with real-time calculation of pitch and roll angles. A full 8-point Mopar roll cage, race seats with 5-point racing harnesses, steering wheel and diamond-plate foot well from OMP round out the interior transformation.
A new Dodge Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine provides the power, controlled by paddle shifts integrated into the steering wheel. To enhance performance, the exhaust system and Mopar cold-air intake boost horsepower from 283 bhp to 300 bhp.
A high-performance Mopar/Magneti Marelli braking system provides a stable, solid braking performance under all driving conditions. A single-lever, dual-control rear braking system, which allows the driver to actuate both rear brakes in order to initiate the sudden slides and turns required in negotiating tough rally courses, is included.
A modified suspension lowers the ride by 1.5 inches, improving handling, cornering ability and response as the vehicle traverses rally course obstacles on Pirelli tires and Mopar/Magneti Marelli 18-inch alloy racing wheels.
The exterior is finished in Brilliant Black and features a Mopar/Magneti Marelli graphics wrap with a rear spoiler, hood and mud flaps.