Dodge replaced the Avenger coupe with the Stratus coupe, a two-door sedan vehicle that shared only its name with the four-door stablemate.
In 2001, Dodge introduced a completely new Stratus coupe on the market, which relied on the same ST-22 platform used by Mitsubishi Eclipse, and that included the engines. It was built as a two-door sedan with sporty performances and aggressive styling.
The exterior designers took their inspiration from the brutal Dodge Viper, featuring the same cross-hair grille, but mounted above the bumper, not underneath it. Its elliptic headlights, swept-back on the sides, resembled the same powerful stablemate. Its raked windshield and arched roofline looked similar to the Mitsubishi's Eclipse third-generation greenhouse. In the back, the trunk lid incorporated a spoiler lip bowed over bold corner lamps.
Chrysler designed the Stratus Coupe as a four-passenger sedan and, despite the car's shape, it provided enough room for them. At the front, the bolstered bucket seats provided enough side support for their occupants during high-speed cornering, while the rear bench was comfortable for two. On the dashboard, Dodge installed a rounded instrument cluster with four white dials and red needles. The cloth upholstery was standard, while a leather-clad interior was available as an option.
The carmaker built the Stratus Coupe in two trim levels: SE and SXT. The former came equipped with a 2.4-liter inline-four paired to a five-speed manual and a choice for a four-speed automatic, while the latter received a 3.0-liter V-6 paired as standard with a five-speed manual and an option for a four-speed automatic. Mitsubishi provided both powerplants while Chrysler made the transmissions.