When you think of rally cars, what comes to mind? For me, it’s a mix of compact four door sedans, like Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution and Subaru’s WRX STI, and compact three door hatchbacks, like Ford’s Fiesta and Citroen’s DS3. What doesn’t come to mind is a non-enthusiast oriented midsize sedan like the Dodge Avenger. Dodge really wants you to know that the bad old days are behind them, and that the 2012 Avenger is a much improved ride over the 2011 model. Dodge also wants to show off their relationship with Magneti Marelli, the Italian performance products manufacturer. What better way to do so than to build a 300 horsepower Dodge Avenger, equipped with a data logger, GPS, roll cage, cold air intake, high performance exhaust and retuned ECU? Throw Magneti Marelli brakes on it, festoon with vinyl graphics and call it a day. Video below.
I loved Ralph Gilles’ comment that it’s the fastest Avenger he’s ever driven, which may be damning by faint praise. There are no plans to actually campaign the Avenger in any pro rally series, but it’s likely the car will be used to launch a line of high performance parts, including custom wheels, brakes and intake / exhaust components. Expect the Rally Avenger to make it’s official debut at next week’s New York Auto Show.