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Mopar Avenger Rally Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

When we think of rally cars, the Subaru Impreza and Ford Focus immediately come to mind. At no point does the Dodge Avenger enter our thoughts, but that didn't stop Team Pentastar from building its own dirt-ready rally sedan.

Chrysler wanted to celebrate a new business partnership with Fiat subsidiary Magneti Marelli by building a collaborative vehicle that combines the talents of the Italian components maker and Chrysler's iconic Mopar team. The result is an Avenger that can handle more than America's urban jungle.

Magneti Marelli and Mopar spent a few weeks modifying a stock Avenger Heat with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 underhood. The Avenger chassis remains intact, but a Magneti Marelli suspension was added for improved handling, lowering the Avenger by 1.5 inches. Brakes were upgraded to include 14.25-inch front rotors and 13.5-inch rear rotors, and a rear brake rally package with a hand-operated brake was included.

Continue Reading: Mopar Avenger Rally Car: More Power, Less Pork...

Photos copyright 2011 Chris Shunk/AOL

And you can't have a rally car with stock power, so the teams added a Mopar cold-air intake, Cat-Black exhaust with Magneti Marelli tips and a high-performance Engine Control Unit. The result of these changes is a V6 with at least 300 horsepower. That's not a monumental increase over the standard 283 horsepower, and the six-sped autostick transmission is stock, though unique paddle-gear shifts were added, along with a Mopar/Magneti Marelli shift knob. Finally, a tower-to-tower cross-car brace was added for stability.

Mopar Avenger RallyMopar Avenger Rally wheel

On the outside the exterior was modified with mud flaps, Mopar/Magneti Marelli graphics, a massive carbon fiber spoiler and hood pins. The wheels were replaced with 18-inch alloy racing wheels mated to 225/650 R18 Pirelli P-Zero rubber.

Inside, the sedan was fitted with a special eight-point roll cage. The seats were swapped for Mopar-branded racing perches with five-point harnesses. To shed weight, all unnecessary components were removed and the door panels and center stack are now made with carbon fiber. In fact, Chrysler tells us that this Avenger lost a total of 200 pounds in spite of the added performance parts and roll cage.

On the tech front, this Avenger was fitted with a 1GB data logger with GPS and integrated inertial platform that provides real-time calculations of pitch and roll. A slim racing display with shift lights and multi-color LEDs alerts the driver regarding shift changes.

We're not expecting a production Rally Avenger to hit showrooms any time soon, but Chrysler at least expects to use this unique one-off to test aftermarket parts for future use.

After building the Avenger Rally Car, engineers and executives took the vehicle to its Chelsea, MI Proving Grounds for extensive testing... and a little fun. Click on the video below to check out the Avenger Rally Car in motion.

Photos copyright 2011 Chris Shunk/AOL

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      It is hard to bilive that people/companies have time and money for such of idiotic projects. This is not a rally car, the cage is wrong, the brakes are not right, engine displacement it's a joke. What the drivers does w/ hand brake remainds me myself when I was 11 year old (.. and they can only do 180* not even 360*). I did build and I still race SRT4 rally car and I find this video pretty embarrassing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      MoPar + Morelli = beautiful performance music. It just flows off your tongue and under your hood. This marriage is destined to push Dodge to the forefront of domestic and international affordable performance. BMW, Jaguar, Corvette YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I hope you are not serious.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Perhaps they built it for Targa Newfoundland, an event that at least one of the "suits" has some history in. Google it; you'll be impressed. I agree, it's not what one traditionally thinks of as a rally car but that's because in the USA we have very few tarmac rallies. However, I'm off to one in a couple of weeks in Tennessee. Lots of lowered rally cars there with 17 and 18" wheels shod with sticky, street legal rubber just like this so it's not that ridiculous. And, there are people very high up in Chrysler with a lot of rallying history so it's not like they don't know what's going. They just seem like they don't sometimes but they know the crack.

      If I was building a "Rally-Bling" street promo, car like this might be, I'd build a tarmac trim car too That way I could enjoy it on the street rather than gravel trim with all the street compromises that brings with it. In fact, that may just be our next project car if I can find a 2 door GC Impreza that's not rusty.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Umm, why not do it with the Challenger or new Charger?
        • 4 Years Ago
        LOL... A rally Challenger or Charger?

        Nah. Rally cars are meant to be light weight, small, and nimble. Either of those couldnt fit down some of the trails.
      • 4 Years Ago
      hahaha......using a Evo wing makes it a rally car
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sad. Why bother? BS like this is why Chrysler is joke.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Also, there's a lot of comments about a rally car having such street oriented tires, as if there was never a stage in the history of rally racing that was on the street... seriously?
      • 4 Years Ago
      just watched the video...Chrysler execs in racing suits and mopar hats.

      The handbrake turn at 1:45 made me giggle...looked like something a pimple faced teenager would try in front of a group of girls to look cool...I certainly would not call this a rally car, and there is no such thing as a FWD Drift Car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There are no FWD Formula Drift Cars...check out Vaughn Gitten Jr. laughing when Adam Carolla asks if there are on the last Car Cast (Sandy Ganz is a tool and I listen every week to hear how the "Professor" will mis-speak). There will always be teen drift fanboys in the highschool parking lot abusing Mom's Civic.

        My point was that this car was pointless, unless you count taking the suits out for a track day in a slushbox heap with a big e-brake handle (and a Marelli logo) a point.

        I never said there were no FWD rally cars...of course there are.

        Yet another sign that Americans don't get it...Where was Mr. Marchionne? He get's it. To quote George Carlin..."You ain't cool! You're #$%^# chilly! And chilly ain't never been cool!"

        I bet he shows up when they throw a FIAT badge on it, real suspension under it, real gearbox and MultiAir in it, paint it red and take it racing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lancia Fulvia
        • 4 Years Ago
        There are also lots of FWD rally cars. VW GTI and infamous Mini Cooper are two of the most famous.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it a highly tweaked, modified, and tuned race car that merely has an external resemblance to the factory car?


      Does it fit the traditional definition of a rally car? Depends on the person, I suppose. Let's take Bill Caswell for example. Was he racing a car that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and came backed by a major sponsor? No. Instead, he pursued rally racing and actually scored a competitive spot using a BMW he bought at a junkyard for $500.00.

      How did Subaru, Ford, Skoda, Peugeot, Citroen, Hyundai and Renault get to where they are now in the WRC? They all had to start somewhere and it certainly wasn't the top right off the bat. The Audi Quattro was not an overnight success without multiple engineering tests, trials, tribulations and - dare I say - failures before it dominated the rally circuit in the 1980s.

      I know it might seem like a laughable idea now, and certainly doesn't have any of the major manufacturers quaking in their boots, but I'm willing to see what they've got. Sometimes the underdog wins, just Kia recently proved.

      I hope this goes somewhere. I really hope it does. If Chrysler/Fiat manage to get something like this out on the rally circuit, maybe the race engineering tested in the field will trickle down to the rest of the product lineup.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm not a fan of the Avenger (though this particular one at least LOOKS sporty and fun), and while this may not be in the cards for public sale, it's good to see that Chrysler's at least acknowledging that there's some fun to be had in something that DOESN'T have an SRT-8 badge on it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      One look at the street tires they are trying to use in the dirt and I say NO thank you. Not going to waste my time on this one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Make it AWD a manual tranny and some forced induction and it would crush the Evo's and WRX's, come on Dodge tap into the market and I will be the first to buy.
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