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April 13, 2011 , Center Line, Mich. – 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.

Mopar's New Buddies

Mopar's New Buddies

April 13, 2011 , Center Line, Mich. – Last year, more than 2.6 million customers with competitive vehicles visited Chrysler Group dealerships for light maintenance, including oil changes and tire rotations. Today, Chrysler Group’s Mopar division announced a strategic agreement with Magneti Marelli and Shell Lubricants that will give its dealership network the ability to fully service competitive vehicles.

Pietro Gorlier, President and Chief Executive Officer, MOPAR

Pietro Gorlier, President and Chief Executive Officer, MOPAR

“After introducing a number of initiatives to improve service for our customers, including brand-specific customer-care lines, extended service hours during weekdays and weekends and a push for Mopar Express Lanes, taking care of owners with competitive vehicles is the next frontier. For customers with competitive vehicles, Mopar’s agreement with Magneti Marelli and Shell Lubricants effectively creates one-stop service shops at our Chrysler Group dealerships. And with the addition of 3,000 quality-tested parts, our dealership network will now have the ability to fully service customers who drive into our service lanes with competitive vehicles. In addition to customers with competitive vehicles, our dealers will now be able to supply independent repair facilities with a full line of premium parts,” said Gorlier. “With this unique collaboration, this move further positions Mopar as a leader in customer care.”

Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar
Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand

Beginning this month, Magneti Marelli will begin supplying Mopar and Chrysler Group dealerships with brakes, shocks, struts, oil filters, air filters, fuel filters and cabin filters for competitive makes. Other product lines will gradually phase into the Chrysler Group dealership network.

“Over the past few months, we have worked closely with Mopar on distribution synergies and our parts range proposition. We are ready to develop our presence in the U.S. aftermarket, bringing our product expertise and becoming the brand source for the company’s all-makes parts.”

-Dino Maggioni
CEO of Magneti Marelli Aftermarket

In addition to Magneti Marelli, Mopar is also working with Shell Lubricants in order to further bolster the company’s move to offer dedicated express-lane services in its dealerships. Shell Lubricants provides dealer-level program and marketing support and supplies the Mopar oil program with premium Mopar and Pennzoil® motor oils for Chrysler Group vehicles and competitive makes.

Magneti Marelli hits the Shelves

Magneti Marelli hits the Shelves

In addition to Pennzoil passenger-car motor oils, Mopar’s oil program will feature Shell Rotella® heavy-duty engine oils. Both Pennzoil and Shell Rotella are the most preferred brands in the US in their respective categories and will be featured components of Mopar’s Express Lane program.

“We are very pleased to be working with Chrysler Group, the Mopar brand and its dealers. Chrysler Group builds some of the finest vehicles in the US, delivering cutting-edge design and performance, and we are proud to provide their dealers with our leading Pennzoil® and Shell Rotella® motor oils for the vehicles they service.”

Lisa Davis– President
Shell Bulk Fuels and Lubricants, Americas

For more information, Check out the Chrysler News Release. In the spirit of announcements, Dodge has also released a Dodge Avenger Rally Car that they’ve built for this special occasion. Click here to read more! Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

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