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Mike Stevens | Jul 21, 2009

THE SWEEPING CHANGES at Chrysler Group look set to continue. US-based industry publication, Automotive News, reports that the successor to the Dodge Avenger may switch to a rear-wheel-drive layout.

Built on a modified version of the Dodge Challenger platform - itself a shortened version of the LX platform used for the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300C - the next-generation Avenger would form part of a plan to differentiate vehicles sold at combined Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealerships.

"An emotional, sporty, rear-wheel-drive sedan would attract different customers," a source told Automotive News, "even if offered in the same dealership with a similar-sized front-wheel-drive sedan."

The Chrysler Sebring - Chrysler Group's other mid-sized sedan - would likely remain front-wheel-drive, with new partner Fiat expected to push for a switch to the Italian manufacturer's D-Evo platform.

2009-chrysler-sebring

The D-Evo platform is a stretched version of the C-Evo platform underpinning the upcoming Alfa Romeo Milano.

The current Sebring and Avenger models use the same FWD platform, developed in partnership by Chrysler and Mitsubishi.

Moving to eliminate sister vehicles from its brands, Chrysler is expected to decide plans for its mid-sized sedans early next month, with the next-generation Sebring and Avenger models to play an important role in the company's new direction.

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