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RWD Avenger still coming

by David Zatz on

For some time, Allpar has carried reports of a new mid-sized, rear-wheel-drive Dodge car. Allpar has speculated that it would be called Avenger, a name used long ago on a sporty rear wheel drive car, to preserve name recognition.

The new car will be around the same size as the now-discontinued front-wheel-drive Dodge Avenger, and will likely have at least one engine in common, the Pentastar V6.  A mid-size rear-wheel-drive car was announced by Sergio Marchionne, who said it was not possible for Alfa Romeo to have theirs unless it could be shared with Dodge.

The development of the car was a mystery until recently. “RVC” reported on a long discussion with Chrysler Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, which took place in Italian; RVC wrote,

[The project] started small but it’s currently composed of 200 engineers (scheduled to grow to 600 by next year), who report directly to Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester, with two senior Ferrari managers alternating the day-to-day [leadership], and people from the wider FCA group, including engineers from the US side, as well as engineers that were acquired from outside the group.
They also have embedded engineers from suppliers including Magneti Marelli, ZF, Johnson Controls, Bosch, and other guys, who  they “snatched” to develop everything faster (they are there and work elbow to elbow, not remotely on the other side of the continent or the globe, so no commuting, etc.)

For the moment, then, the project is run by Ferrari and Alfa Romeo managers, with some involvement of Chrysler engineers. Once the Alfa Romeo design is set up, the Dodge project will start up in Auburn Hills, appearing some years later — possibly after the end of the Five Year Plan’s coverage in calendar-year 2018.

The development process seems to be at odds with Sergio Marchionne’s 2009 announcements that Chrysler would handle compact and larger cars, but at the time, this particular form of the revival of Alfa Romeo was not in the cards; and Maserati’s stunning success with its adaptation of the Chrysler 300C was also in the future and unpredicted.

Another source confirmed that the car is still under active development.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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