Posted by Scott Anderson—Designer, Mopar® Underground

The Dodge Avenger Tuner – Stormtrooper is a ‘tricked, tuned and customized’ vehicle conceived and designed by Chrysler LLC’s Mopar Underground design team. This group of in-house automotive enthusiasts builds Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge concept project vehicles for the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show to demonstrate the flexibility that the vehicle platforms allow for parts and accessories customization.

When I began to design the Dodge Avenger Tuner – Stormtrooper, I wanted to do more than create a cool-looking custom ride. Granted, the Star Wars™-influenced aesthetics has gotten great feedback (and mentions on non-automotive blogs like c-net). However, I was mostly concerned with creating something that was as futuristic inside the cabin as it was in its styling.

The visual influences are apparent. I was a big Star Wars fan as a kid, so the styling was heavily influenced by the George Lucas aesthetic. When we started working on the fascia design and applied the bright pearl white paint coat, the project totally took on a life of its own — we had a Stormtrooper, menacing grin and all.

We took this design language and applied it to the entire vehicle. You’ll notice the completely unique and recognizable fascia, aggressive rear wing and custom sidesails. And the custom-forged 20x9 Alcoa rims were custom milled to include the red pinstripes we used in the interior of the vehicle.

That said, the interior features are sweet and driven by the same focus of keeping elements aggressive and sophisticated with new high-tech features. I was trying to create an entirely new interior experience, which I think worked out pretty well in the final design.

El Cantara donated micro fiber suede for the seating – the same material that usually adorns super high-end sports cars. And the same thing goes for the headliner and top cover — which we designed to cut glare for racing purposes. The exterior styling is apparent inside the Stormtrooper as well, with highly visible red pinstripe stitching and high contrast white seats — a truly punchy and high-contrast statement.

The idea was to bring tuning into the digital generation easily enough so that casual enthusiasts could get on board, but with enough depth and sophistication to keep hardcore gearheads satisfied. The question soon became “What can you do from a digital standpoint to make tuning easier and more convenient?” The Stormtrooper is our answer.

It’s pretty amazing to behold. The Zentech PC is calibrated to the engine so you could tune the vehicle right from your driver’s seat. It connects via laptop to the in-dash PC, similar to our existing Mopar® direct connection except completely digital. In theory, a customer could then download calibrations or technical service bulletins from the dealership.

By using these telematics and WiFi technology, we integrate our customers to the products they drive in ways that would have been completely unfeasible even five years ago. It's astonishing stuff when you think about it.

This vehicle would be ideal for folks with a tuning background who are ready for something a little more high-tech and sophisticated. In fact, we thought of the typical Mopar consumer when we designed this vehicle. We wanted to include possible Mopar products so the conversion could be easily accomplished by an interested Dodge Avenger owner.

I think it was an interesting experiment in three things I love – technology, sophistication and performance — and wrapping them inside a novel Star Wars-inspired design language. The “Force” is definitely strong with us.