Dodge hopes to draw attention to the Avenger with the return of the R/T, a sporty model that focuses on handling.
The 2012 Avenger R/T was introduced at the New York auto show last week. Sales begin this fall.
Along with the revamped Chrysler 200 for 2012, the Avenger R/T was resurrected to bolster Chrysler's mid-sized sedan lineup.
"The Avenger R/T makes driving a mid-size car a really fun, engaging experience," Ralph Gilles, CEO of the Dodge brand, said in a statement. "The Avenger R/T offers performance design cues both inside and out, as well as unique handling characteristics and a sport-tuned suspension."
The Avenger R/T was not offered for the 2011 model year.
The car is powered by the automaker's 283-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine combined with a six-speed automatic transaxle. It is rated at 19 mpg city/29 highway.
Many R/T improvements focus on handling.
Specifically, roll stiffness has been increased 18 percent, spring rates have been increased 17 percent in front and 12 percent in the rear, and strut damping rates have been increased 15 percent in the front and almost 20 percent in the rear, Dodge says.
The rear stabilizer bar diameter has been increased from 19 millimeters to 21 millimeters.
The exterior has a body-color grille with the Dodge badge, blackened background for the headlamps, an R/T decal on the front quarter panel 18-inch painted aluminum wheels and a rear spoiler.
The interior has seats with Z-stripe fabric inserts, red stitching and leather-trimmed bolsters. A Boston Acoustics sound system is standard.