The Dodge Avenger and Kahuna Concept Cars

Updated 1-20-04.

Ugly is as ugly does, and the Kahuna is often referred to as incredibly ugly. This overstyled minivan with room for six has composite bird's eye maple laminate accents along the side panels. The roof is a silver/gray water resistant canvas that is see-through. The retractable top allows the outside to become part of the interior as it folds back in accordion-like fashion.

About the name Kahuna. John Book wrote that: "A kahuna is a person, a shaman, who participates in religious ceremonies.... This misuse of the word is offensive among Hawaiians and Hawaiian culture, and I feel that the car should be renamed something else."

There are minimum front and rear overhangs - a strong visual departure from what is seen in many minivans today. A roof system that opens from the B-pillar to rear bumper allows for extreme function and enjoyment. In addition, all exterior windows are frameless, with all door glass having the capability to completely retract into the doors.

Inside, the "big wave" theme continues, as Kahuna blends Pacific Blue two-tone colors. In addition, a flowing wave design can be seen in the shaping of the instrument panel as well as its switches, door panel detailing and seat forms. There are three rows of flexible seating, two of which can be turned into tables if needed, and a Sto & Go® load floor, complements the full capability and flexibility of the system.

Under the hood there is nimble performance from a 2.4-liter turbocharged, 215 horsepower engine and a four-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. Suspension is independent in the front, with a beam axle and coil leaf springs from the company's award-winning minivan.

Dodge Kahuna concept specs

Length: 185.6 inches (4,714 mm)
Wheelbase: 122 inches (3099 mm)
Front overhang: 28.9 inches (734 mm)
Rear overhang: 34.7 inches (881 mm)
Width: 77.8 inches (1976 mm)
Height: 67.0 inches (1702 mm)
Track, Front/Rear: 65.3 inches/65.3 inches
Front tire: 255/SOR22/wheel size: 22 inches X TBD; outer diameter, 32 inches
Rear tire: 255/SOR22/wheel size: 22 inches X TBD; outer diameter, 32 inches

Dodge Avenger concept car

Meanwhile, the shape of things to come is the Dodge Avenger. We were told the Neon replacement would not be a three-box design, and this could the first iteration of that vehicle. It could also simply be an SUV version of it, equivalent to the Mitsubishi Endeavor.

Note the Dodge Truck influence on the front and the strong Audi TT influence on the profile. The rear has familiar design elements but isn't directly derivative.

Dodge Avenger has a wide track, full fenders and a unique fastback profile to showcase its agile all-wheel drive capability. The rear doors open 90 degrees for better ingress and egress and allow for both occupants and items, such as skis, a mountain bike or just groceries. At the rear, a hatch-style liftgate enables a level of versatility for any owner to indulge his or her active lifestyle.

Features accentuating the vehicle's style include a satin silver mirror ring to silver exhaust tips, black head lamp bezels including perforated faces, and silver head lamp cans with amber LEDs which permeate through. The flooring is textured vinyl.

With its robust proportions, modular graphics, metallic accents, and carpetless floor, the Dodge Avenger's interior creates a high-tech athleticism that reflects the strength of the exterior, while providing a cockpit-like environment for the driver. The styling is purposely sparse as a true rallye-inspired car but detailed in silver and black accents to provide a clean yet punctuated setting.

Four independent seats hug the occupants in a protective exo-skeleton structure featuring four-point built-in safety belts that resemble racing harnesses. A center console area features armrests for comfort, but maintains utility with see-through storage bins. The active, outgoing image of Dodge is further highlighted through the integrated "boom box" in the lift gate.

Avenger's all-wheel-drive powertrain consists of a [250 hp?] 3.5-liter V6 and an A604 automatic transmission. Gears are changed not with a standard stick shifter, but with steering wheel-mounted paddles to enable quick, direct and smooth transitions and response.

The Avenger was styled by Scott Krugger, Jaehak Namgoong, Brandon Faurote, John Ozark, Lance Wagner, and, believe it or not, respected Chrysler old-timer Jeffrey Godshall.

Dodge Avenger Concept Vehicle Key Specifications

Powered by an A-604 automatic with 3.5 V6 engine; all wheel drive.

Length: 187.2 inches (4,754 mm)
Wheelbase: 113 inches (2,870 mm)
Width: 72.3 inches (1,836 mm)
Height: 63.6 inches (1616 mm)
Track, Front/Rear: 61.2 inches (both)
Front tires: 265/55R20-inch (size/ 20-inches by 9 inches; outer diameter 31.5 inches)
Rear tires: 295/50R20-inch (size/ 20-inches by 10 inches; outer diameter 31.6 inches)

See our main concept cars page.


venomConcept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.


We make no guarantees regarding validity, accuracy, or applicability of information, predictions, or advice. Please read the terms of use and privacy policy. Copyright © 1994-2000, David Zatz; copyright © 2001-2016, Allpar LLC (except as noted, and press/publicity materials); all rights reserved. Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, and Mopar are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.


Americans in Paris
Belvidere's Millionth
What’s the end-game for musical factories?

Jeep: behind the Cat Stevens ads
race-pickup
Supercharged Rebel TRX: 100+ mph, offroad (video)

All Mopar Car and Truck News


Supercharged Hemi Ram TRX  •  Rally ’Cat  •  2018 Jeep Compass  •  2016 Allpar show-meet  •  2007-10 Jeep Wranglers


Neon SRT4 Killing the buzzes Dodge pickup trucks, 1961-71