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Dodge Avenger replacement could go rear-wheel drive

Mon, 20 Jul 2009

Chrysler is pondering a shakeup for its midsize-sedan lineup.

The Dodge Avenger replacement would shift to rear-wheel drive, and the next Chrysler Sebring would be based on a Fiat platform in an effort to differentiate two cars that currently share the same underpinnings, Automotive News reports.

The Avenger replacement could be based on a modified Challenger platform, which itself is a modified version of the Charger and Chrysler 300 platform. The engine in the Avenger would be mounted longitudinally.

The future Sebring would remain front-wheel drive, using a modified Fiat platform that will arrive in Europe on the Alfa Romeo Milano.

Chrysler will decide on the strategy in August, according to Automotive News.

A dramatic shift for the Avenger and the Sebring could help spur sales, as the two sedans have been also-rans in the ultracompetitive segment compared with the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord and the Ford Fusion.

By Greg Migliore