While the R/T trim has skipped the 2011 Avenger line-up (customers had the possibility to choose from Express, Mainstreet, Heat, and LUX versions), the famous version will be back for 2012. The new Avenger R/T will make its world debut at the 2011 New York International Auto Show in just two days.
"The Avenger R/T makes driving a mid-size car a really fun, engaging experience," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand — Chrysler Group LLC. "The Avenger R/T offers performance design cues both inside and out, as well as unique handling characteristics and a sport-tuned suspension. It’s a vehicle that is ready to earn its stripes as part of the Dodge performance family of vehicles."
While the engine will remain untouched - a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 -, the R/T version will get an updated suspension and an improved exterior and interior that will give the impression of a much sportier vehicle.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Dodge Avenger R/T.
Exterior and Interior
The new R/T model will be distinguished by the rest of the Avenger vehicles by a sportier look that includes a unique body-color grille with the Dodge badge, menacing black headlamp background, the "war paint" R/T decal on the front quarter panel, a rear spoiler, the R/T badge, and a new set of 18" aluminum wheels.
The interior will continue the same design language as the exterior. The front seats will get "R/T" graphics stitched in red on the front headrests, distinctive Aunde fabric with Z stripe fabric inserts, red stitching, and aggressive leather-trimmed bolsters. The steering wheel will also be wrapped in perforated leather with red accent stitching. The cockpit will be very distinctive compared to other Avenger models: it features a unique gauge cluster with a center-mounted tachometer with the "R/T" graphic and SRT-inspired brake and accelerator pedal pads.
Under the hood, Dodge has kept the usual 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that delivers a total of 283 HP and, when mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle, gets an EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
This, however, doesn’t mean that the R/T will be similar to the other Avenger models. Dodge has tuned the suspension in order to increased roll stiffness by 18% and spring rates by 17% in the front and more than 12% in the rear. Front strut damping rates are increased by 15%, rear strut damping rates are increased almost 20%, and the rear stabilizer bar diameter is 2 mm larger, increased from 19 mm to 21 mm.
Dodge hasn’t said a word about the car’s prices just yet, but we should have more details closer to its official market launch.
The fact that Dodge will reveal the 2012 Avenger R/T at the New York Auto Show is not random. One of the car’s competitors - the new generation Chevrolet Malibu - will also be making its world debut around the same time, but on another continent at the Shanghai Auto Show. And while Chevrolet has yet to offer full details on the car, the Avenger should have plenty of reasons to fear as the new Malibu seems to be better than ever. It features a far improved design and will be offered with a wide range of fuel-efficient and powerful four-cylinder engines.
Simply looks great in silver
A more powerful engine would have made all the difference