2011 Dodge Avenger

Don't cry for the Dodge Avenger just yet. According to USA Today, Chrysler is set to introduce new midsized sedans to replace both the Chrysler 200 and the much-maligned Dodge Avenger. The vehicles will be built on a version of the same platform that underpins the 2013 Dodge Dart. That news runs contrary to word that the Avenger is headed to the great scrap pile in the sky after the current generation runs its course. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is looking to shore up the company's small car efforts and spread the cost of platform development across as many models as possible.

Marchionne also made mention of introducing a new hybrid hatchback under the Chrysler 100 nameplate, though details are scarce at the moment.

USA Today reports the same platform may be used for the next-generation Jeep Liberty and Compass, which are slated to debut sometime in 2013. Marchionne says both vehicles will be trail-rated and capable of standing up to the kind of abuse Jeep buyers demand. Even so, the CEO says the vehicles will have their "origins in the architecture of a sports car."

Speaking of sports cars, Marchionne also made it clear Alfa Romeo is still coming to the States, though the Italian brand's strategy has shifted somewhat. The models headed to the U.S. market will be lightweight and powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine offering 300 horsepower. Certainly sounds good to us.