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So what more can be said about the Dodge Avenger? We've already seen the "concept" in Paris, which was more of a lightly veiled production vehicle than a full-on design exercise. And we've already discussed the styling infinitum and decided that pulling cues from the Charger was a smart move, but that rear quarter panel is an utter mess of shapes.
Dodge will offer four different models to consumers on this side of the Atlantic: SE, SXT, R/T and R/T AWD. Yup, that's right, you'll be able to outfit your Avenger with all-wheel-drive.
Power will come courtesy of one of three engines: a base 2.4-liter inline four, a 3.5-liter V6 (mated to a six-speed Auto Stick) or a flex-fuel 2.7-liter V6. The flex fuel engine will produce 189 HP and 191 lb.-ft. of torque, while the hotted up version, sporting the 3.5-liter six will make 235 HP and 232 lb.-ft. of twist. Torque will be electronically limited in first gear to avoid excessive wheel spin and the dreaded torque steer.
The interior accoutrements include a bevy of delightful beverage-centric items, including the Chill Zone storage compartment mounted in the dash and the heated/cooled cup holders that are available in the Avenger's platform sibling, the Sebring. You'll also be able to get the MyGIG entertainment system, rear-seat DVD, and Sirius.
Pricing will start at $18,895, which is about $1,600 less than it's outgoing counterpart.
The full press release is available after the jump and be sure to check out the gallery by clicking here.
All-new 2008 Dodge Avenger Packs a Powerful Punch – Providing Style, Performance and Value Price in Crowded Mid-size Segment
• Bold, aggressive styling brings Dodge heritage to mid-size segment
• Available all-wheel-drive, sport suspension and performance steering accentuate Avenger's on-road attitude
• Fuel-efficient powertrain options deliver excellent 30 mpg on the highway and flex-fuel availability
• Innovative technologies make life easier and safer
• With a starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $18,895, priced $1,605 below the comparable outgoing Stratus with $985 more content
The Dodge brand is running on all cylinders, introducing the 2008 Dodge Avenger-an all-new mid-size sedan that combines bold, aggressive Dodge styling with innovative interior features, high-levels of safety and reliability, exhilarating performance and excellent fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon (mpg) (32 mpg based on 2007 EPA fuel economy standards).
Avenger also is the Dodge brand's first mid-size car to offer all-wheel-drive capability combined with a sport-tuned suspension, performance steering and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Traction Control, all of which combine to give Avenger its on-road performance attitude. And with a starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $18,895 (including a $675 destination charge), the all-new Avenger is priced $1,605 below the comparable outgoing Stratus with $985 more content, including standard side-curtain and side seat-mounted air bags, Chill Zone™, theft alarm and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, to name a few.
This all-new mid-size sedan also marks a milestone in the Dodge brand's car renaissance. From Viper to Caliber and every segment in between, Dodge now offers an extremely competitive car.
"The all-new 2008 Dodge Avenger continues the Dodge brand's product offensive and will bring even more buyers into the Dodge brand showroom," said George Murphy, Senior Vice President-Global Marketing. "Just as the Dodge Charger, Magnum, Caliber and Nitro have sparked new interest in the Dodge brand in their respective segments, the Dodge Avenger brings that assertive attitude and bold styling to the competitive mid-size sedan segment. There's just nothing else like it on the road."
The 2008 Dodge Avenger will be available in U.S. dealerships in the first quarter of 2007 and in global volume markets, in both left-hand and right-hand drive, by mid-2007. Four models will be offered in the United States: Dodge Avenger SE, Dodge Avenger SXT and Dodge Avenger R/T, and a first for Dodge in the mid-size segment, Dodge Avenger R/T AWD (late availability).
Bold, Aggressive Dodge Styling
The 2008 Dodge Avenger builds on the bold, aggressive styling, performance and excitement of the Dodge Charger.
"The all-new Dodge Avenger brings Dodge brand American muscle car heritage into the global mid-size car segment," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President–Design. "Avenger does for the global D-segment what Caliber has done in the global C-segment-it offers a unique alternative to the competition."
From the front, there's no mistaking Dodge's heritage in Avenger's aggressive exterior lines. The brand's signature crosshair grille and large, modern quad headlamps housed in black add to Avenger's menacing glare. The Dodge Avenger's chrome grille with black texture accentuates the vehicle's serious, almost sinister appearance. A stamped formation carries the vertical lines of the crosshair grille over the hood.
Avenger's side profile shares more family traits with the Dodge Charger. Muscular rear shoulders, large wheels and tires and a sleek rear spoiler embody the Dodge brand attributes of bold, powerful and capable. Avenger's long greenhouse is created by black appliqués on the B-pillars, which make this mid-size sedan look like it's pouncing forward, even when it's at a standstill.
From the rear, large, expressive taillamp modules placed at the corners frame the deck lid, which includes a sleekly integrated, finely tuned body-color spoiler. This spoiler and chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets communicate the performance capability of the Avenger R/T's 3.5-liter engine.
The all-new 2008 Dodge Avenger rides on a 108.9-inch wheelbase and 61.8-inch track, which adds to its athletic stance, improves ride quality and stability and maximizes crush space in the engine compartment. Overall, Avenger is 1.2 inches wider and 4 inches taller than the vehicle it replaces.
Impressive Interior Makes Bold Statement
Graphic design elements, which set the new 2008 Dodge Avenger's exterior design apart from the competition, also are evident throughout the vehicle's spacious interior.
Carefully matched grains and low gloss levels contribute to Avenger's rich-looking interior surfaces. The instrument panel top pad and center stack feature a Franklin grain with low-gloss finish to match the defroster grille, driver cubby and Dodge logo on passenger side surrounds. From the cluster bezel to climate control knobs, circles are a primary graphic element repeated throughout the Dodge Avenger's interior.
Taking a cue from the Dodge Ram name, the Avenger's center stack features a V-like ram's horn shape that surrounds the gated shifter bezel and serves as a design focal point. Avenger's center stack features dual heating and air conditioning vents. A large opening below the vents provides room for either the standard AM/FM/CD radio or the available cutting-edge MyGIG™ Multimedia Navigation/Audio/Entertainment/Communication system. On vehicles equipped with the UConnect® Hands-free Communication System, phone buttons are packaged in the radio control head for easy access and a clean, streamlined appearance.
Unique to Dodge Avenger in the mid-size segment is Chill Zone™, a chilled beverage storage bin that is standard on all Avenger models. Housed in the passenger side upper instrument panel, the bin can hold and chill as many as four 12-oz. beverage cans.
Avenger's interior provides comfortable seating for the driver and as many as four passengers. Drivers sit 2.5 inches higher than they did in Dodge's previous mid-size sedan, giving them a command-of-the-road seating position. The interior cabin also is extremely spacious with 100.9 cu. ft. of room, which is an additional 7 cubic feet of interior passenger volume compared with the vehicle it replaces. There are 2.5 inches more headroom, 1.2 inches more shoulder room and an inch more hip room in the front seat. Luggage volume in the trunk is a competitive 13.35 cubic feet.
All-wheel Drive, Sport Suspension and Performance Steering Accentuate Avenger R/T's On-road Attitude
The Avenger R/T also is the Dodge brand's first mid-size sedan to offer all-wheel-drive capability (late availability). Avenger's all-wheel-drive system, available on models sold in the United States, works on demand, driving only the front wheels until power to the rear wheels is needed. All-wheel drive also is used on dry pavement between speeds of 25 and 65 mph to enhance handling during performance driving. This system provides added traction on snow, ice and other low-traction surfaces without having to be switched on and off. All-wheel drive, combined with a sport-tuned suspension, performance steering and ESP with Traction Control, all combine to give Avenger R/T its on-road performance attitude.
Powertrain Options Deliver Excellent Power, Fuel Efficiency and Flex-fuel Availability
Three engine options power 2008 Dodge Avengers sold in the United States: the new standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder World Engine, an available flex-fuel 2.7-liter V-6 engine and an available 3.5-liter V-6 engine coupled with a new six-speed automatic transaxle with Auto Stick.
The 2008 Dodge Avenger SE and SXT feature a standard four-cylinder engine that rivals the best in the mid-size car segment when it comes to fuel economy. Avenger's 2.4-liter World Engine with dual variable valve timing delivers fuel efficiency in the city of 21 mpg (24 mpg using 2007 EPA standards), an excellent 30 mpg on the highway (32 mpg based on 2007 EPA standards), as well as smooth, quiet operation. Mated to a four-speed automatic transaxle, this new engine provides a 15 percent increase in horsepower (173 horsepower vs. 150 horsepower) and an 8 percent improvement in fuel economy compared with the 2.4-liter engine it replaces.
The Dodge Avenger SXT features an available Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) 2.7-liter V-6 engine that provides value- and performance-conscious consumers the power of a V-6 engine with a price that compares with the competitions' four-cylinder engines. Avenger's 2.7-liter V-6 engine produces 189 horsepower and 191 lb.-ft. of torque, providing more low-end torque (at an rpm 850 lower) compared with the 2.7-liter engine it replaces. This 2.7-liter V-6 engine achieves 19 mpg in the city (22 mpg based on 2007 EPA standards) and 27 mpg on the highway (30 mpg based on 2007 EPA standards). It also can operate effectively on any blend of gasoline and fuel-grade ethanol up to E-85.
Dodge Avenger R/T and R/T AWD sedans sold in the United States feature a standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 235 horsepower and 232 lb.-ft. of torque coupled with a new six-speed automatic transaxle that comes standard with Auto Stick. The combination of the upgraded 3.5-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transaxle delivers excellent performance and fuel efficiency, as well as smooth, quiet operation.
The 2008 Dodge Avenger R/T's six-speed automatic transaxle provides quicker standing-start acceleration than a four- or five-speed transaxle because of its numerically higher first gear ratio. A more robust differential with increased torque capacity enhances launch performance by requiring less torque management, electronically limiting the torque that is available during the initial stages of standing-start acceleration. Smaller steps between ratios also make for a smoother, quieter ride, as the engine speed doesn't change as often with each shift. In addition, more ratio choices, more appropriate ratios for quicker acceleration and a lower overall top gear ratio provide a quiet ride and improved fuel economy at highway speeds.
Innovative Technologies Make Life Easier and Safer
In addition to Dodge Avenger's bold, aggressive design and functional interior, this all-new mid-size sedan also features a slew of new technologies unique in the segment.
"The 2008 Dodge Avenger heats up the mid-size car competition with several cool technologies," said Tom Loveless, Director–Dodge Marketing and Global Communications. "From an available one-of-a-kind chilled beverage storage bin in the instrument panel to a heated/cooled cupholder and heated cloth seats, Avenger offers features buyers will really warm up to."
Many unique features set Dodge Avenger apart in the extremely competitive mid-size car segment. These features include:
• Chill Zone™-a storage compartment in the top of the instrument panel that holds up to four standing 12 oz. beverage cans. Depending on ambient temperature and air conditioning settings, the bin can keep beverages cool
• A heated/cooled front cupholder that keeps cold beverages cool and hot beverages warm. The system heats to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or cools to 35 degrees Fahrenheit
• YES Essentials® Fabric-an easy-care, soil-repellent and anti-microbial textile that protects seats from stains, odors and discoloration
• Heated cloth seats
• An available DVD rear-seat entertainment system that includes AM/FM stereo radio with MP3 capable CD/DVD player, six-disc CD/DVD changer and SIRIUS® Satellite Digital Audio Radio
• Light-emitting Diode (LED) interior lighting with high-focus white lights that provide directional lighting in both the front and rear seats
• MP3 play capability on all audio systems
The 2008 Dodge Avenger also features MyGIG™, a cutting-edge information, entertainment and safety navigation audio system that raises the bar on in-vehicle communications. This best-in-class, next-generation navigation radio features a 6.5-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) Display with a touch-screen panel that can support 65,000 colors, providing a three-dimensional appearance to graphics and animation, as well as multiple font sizes and styles. The MyGIG system follows voice-activated commands and includes many new features for music, sound, movies and personalized picture displays, including:
• A 20 gigabyte hard disc drive that includes Music Juke Box for organizing music and pictures on the hard drive
• Universal Serial Bus (USB) that provides both MP3 connectivity and downloading of WMA, MP3 and JPEG files onto the hard drive
• Gracenote® database installed on the hard drive, which provides song identification, including composer, artist and title
• Playlist creation capability to provide easy access to files
• Voice memo recording, which allows a message up to 3 minutes long to be recorded using the microphone integrated into the rearview mirror
• Radio screen, which can display movies (when vehicle is not in motion)
• SIRIUS Satellite Radio, which provides customers with more than 125 channels of the best music, entertainment and information coast-to-coast, 24 hours a day. This includes 100 percent commercial-free music, as well as sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic and weather
• UConnect® Hands-free Communication System that uses Bluetooth® technology to provide voice-activated wireless communication between the occupants' compatible cell phones and the vehicle's onboard receiver. The hands-free option promotes safety, freedom, value and flexibility
Safety Features and Structure Combine to Protect Vehicle Occupants
Safety and security are a top priority among mid-size car buyers in the United States, and the all-new 2008 Dodge Avenger offers a unique combination of class-leading safety features that are designed to keep occupants both safe and secure. Avenger's safety cage is constructed with dual-phase, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel components designed to protect occupants in all driving situations. Avenger's extremely strong safety cage is complemented with a combination of standard safety items demanded by buyers in the mid-size segment, including:
• Advanced multi-stage front air bags
• Side-curtain air bags
• Front-seat-mounted side air bags
Anti-lock brakes and ESP with Traction Control also are available on the 2008 Dodge Avenger.
Hitting the Bulls-eye
The all-new 2008 Dodge Avenger will compete in the largest, most competitive segment of the U.S. passenger car market: the 1.9-million-unit-a-year standard mid-size segment, which accounts for approximately 11.4 percent of the total car and truck industry and approximately 31 percent of the passenger car market. Highly fluctuating gas prices and new model offerings suggest the market will see future growth, and with its bold Dodge design, value price, solid standard equipment and innovative features, the new Dodge Avenger is ready to pounce when traditional mid-size car buyers are drawn into Dodge dealer showrooms, looking for what only Avenger can offer: pure Dodge attitude in an affordable performance package.
Avenger is designed to appeal to Generation Xers who are 30-45-years-old, married and have a median income of approximately $60,000. Sixty percent are male, and 40 percent are college-educated. Many have small families with one or two children. These mid-size car buyers are youthful, full-of-life and have active lifestyles. They enjoy challenging themselves at their jobs and with their hobbies. They want a vehicle that is affordable and matches their personality, something with a unique style that offers sporty performance, enhances their self image and is fun to drive. Dodge Avenger, with its bold, aggressive Dodge design, functional interior, innovative features and essential levels of reliability, gives them a car that will impress their friends with its looks and performance.
2008 Dodge Avenger Production
Production of the 2008 Dodge Avenger began in the fourth quarter of 2006 at the refurbished Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant, alongside the Chrysler Sebring and Chrysler Sebring Convertible. Avenger's 173 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder World Engine is built in the state-of-the art Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) plant in Dundee, Mich. The 2.7-liter V-6 engine and the 3.5-liter V-6 engine are built at the Kenosha (Wis.) Engine Plant.
Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA)
The World Engine is a family of world-class four-cylinder engines produced by GEMA in Dundee, Mich., delivering an exceptional combination of quality, fuel efficiency, refinement and performance. GEMA is owned equally by DaimlerChrysler Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. By optimizing the three joint venture partners' strengths, global economies of scale and the latest practices in flexible teams and machines, GEMA aims to set a new benchmark in engine plant productivity.
Dodge sold more than 1.4 million vehicles worldwide in 2005. With a U.S. market share of 7 percent, Dodge is the fifth-largest nameplate in the United States and the eighth-largest nameplate in the automotive industry. The Dodge global portfolio includes a range of cars, trucks, minivans and sport-utility vehicles. Dodge Caliber spearheaded the Dodge brand's expansion into volume markets outside North America, followed by the Dodge Nitro, Dodge Avenger and the high-performance Dodge Caliber SRT4.