Chrysler Group’s Dodge brand is attacking the European market with a vengeance, or more succinctly, Avenger.

In a bid to maintain momentum generated with the June launch of the Dodge Caliber C-car, the auto maker’s volume brand unveils the D-segment Avenger midsize sedan concept Sept. 28 at the Paris auto show.

Dodge hopes to tap into a demographic that associates American styling and performance with free-spirited, independent thinking – the same dynamic used in North America by brands such as Saab.

The Avenger is the second Dodge concept to debut in Europe this year. The auto maker pulled the sheet off its Hornet B-car at the Geneva auto show last spring.

The Avenger shares a platform with the all-new ’07 Chrysler Sebring midsize sedan. Sebring production began Sept. 14 at Chrysler’s assembly plant in Sterling Heights, MI.

“This Avenger concept is another expression of where the Dodge brand is headed,” says Trevor Creed, Chrysler Group senior vice president-design. “(The) Avenger brings Dodge-brand, American muscle-car heritage into the global midsize car segment.”

The Avenger concept “hints at the next-generation global D-segment vehicle from Dodge,” Chrysler says. Sources confirm a production version will bow early next year.

In another nod to the European market, the Avenger concept is powered by a 4-cyl. 2.0L turbodiesel engine. The Sebring launches in Europe in early 2007 with a 2.0L version of the same mill.

The Avenger’s central feature is the Dodge trademark crosshairs grille, the lines of which are repeated in the hood stamping. Framing the grill are large, quad headlamps surrounded by black housings.

Other highlights include 19-in. wheels, red brake calipers and chrome-tipped dual exhaust.

The Dodge showroom currently is devoid of an ’07 midsize sedan. Between the ’00 and ’06 model years, Chrysler built more than 1.3 million Dodge Stratus and previous-generation Sebring sedans.

emayne@wardsauto.com