CENTER LINE, Mich., April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Dodge Avenger rally car was unveiled today 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 their 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 United States. The build was conducted at Mopar's accessory and performance parts lab in Center Line, Mich., where the vehicle was prepared. The result is a rally car that blends American flair with distinct European tradition.
"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 Dodge 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, a world-renowned racing component manufacturer, round out the interior transformation.
A new Dodge Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine powers the Dodge Avenger rally car, 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 for the Dodge Avenger. As part of this braking package, 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 special Mopar/Magneti Marelli-modified suspension lowers the ride of the Dodge Avenger by 1.5 inches, improving handling, cornering ability and response as the vehicle zooms over rally course obstacles on durable Pirelli tires and unique 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.
Upon completion of the vehicle, engineers conducted extensive performance testing at Chrysler Group's proving grounds in Chelsea, Mich.
Following is information on Mopar's Dodge Avenger Rally Car:
- Stock 2011 Dodge Avenger Heat
- Flat carbon fiber inner door panels
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli unique carbon-fiber hydra-graphics center stack
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli fully programmable slim racing display with shift lights and alarm multi-color LEDs
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli unique carbon-fiber hydra-graphics center console
- OMP racing seats, branded Mopar
- OMP 5-point racing harnesses
- OMP steering wheel with Mopar/Magneti Marelli integrated paddle-shift system
- OMP footrests
- Mopar full 8-point roll cage
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli fire extinguisher
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli compact high-performance 1 GB data logger
- GPS box with integrated inertial platform with real-time calculation of pitch and roll angles
- Dodge Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine
- Mopar tower-to-tower cross-car brace
- Mopar cold-air intake
- Mopar Cat-Back Exhaust w/Magneti Marelli tips
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli high-performance ECU with TC, DBW, VVT
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli rally package rear brake system, with hand-operated rally brake
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli unique front brakes with 14.25-inch diameter front rotors and 13.5-inch diameter rear rotors
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli unique paddle-gear shift
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli shift knob
- Stock 6-speed 62TE autostick transmission
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli suspension system, lowering the car 1.5-inches
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli 18-inch alloy racing wheels
- 225/650 R18 competition Pirelli P-Zero tires
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli unique rear spoiler
- OMP hood pins
- Mopar/Magneti Marelli unique mud flaps
- Mopar and Magneti Marelli graphics, with logos from sponsor Shell Lubricants
- Mopar Brilliant Black body color
Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
- Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
- Vehicle-information smartphone apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
- Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format
- Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to introduce new vehicle tracking system that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on set parameters
- 2011 Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
- WiFi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
- WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network
About the Mopar Brand
Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand.
Mopar distributes approximately 280,000 parts and accessories in more than 90 countries and is the source for all original-equipment parts for Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram and Fiat vehicles. Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered and tested with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat vehicles – a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at www.mopar.com.
More Than 70 Years of Mopar
When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It also was widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s — the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "special parts" for super stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.
Mopar Complex in Center Line, Mich.
Chrysler Group's Mopar Complex in Center Line, Mich., serves various functions, including the company's main distribution of Mopar parts. In addition, the facility includes a world-class logistics development center, packaging operations and the company's warranty call center.
About Magneti Marelli
Based in Italy (Corbetta, Milan), Magneti Marelli was established in 1919. The company is a subsidiary of Fiat Group and has a presence and reputation in racing, including Formula 1 and World Rally Championship (WRC). With 2010 revenues of $7 billion and approximately 33,000 employees, Magneti Marelli designs and produces advanced automotive systems and components. The company has 77 production facilities, 11 research and development centers and 26 application centers in 18 countries. The group supplies leading automakers in Europe, North America, South America and the Far East. Its comprehensive product line includes electronic systems, lighting, powertrain, shock absorbers, plastic components and modules, suspension and exhaust systems, and aftermarket parts and services.
SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC