Dodge Magnum

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Dodge Magnum
05-07 Dodge Magnum SXT.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Chrysler Corporation (1978–1988)
DaimlerChrysler (2005–2007)
Chrysler LLC (2008)

The Dodge Magnum is nameplate used by several Dodge vehicles, prominently as a large coupe marketed from 1978 to 1979 in the United States[1] as well as a rear-wheel drive station wagon introduced in 2004 for the 2005 model year and produced until the end of the 2008 model year and assembled at Brampton Assembly Plant, near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[2]

In Brazil, the Magnum nameplate was a top of the line version of the local Dodge Dart from 1979 to 1981.

In Mexico, the Dodge Magnum was a sporty rear-wheel drive two-door car based on Chrysler's M body (American Dodge Diplomat/Plymouth Gran Fury). It had a 360 CID (5.9L) V-8 engine with a single 4 barrel carburetor rated at 300 hp (224 kW). From 1983 to 1988 Dodge marketed a sporty two-door K-car with available turbocharger from 1984 on as the Magnum. Four engines were offered for the Mexican Magnum K, a SOHC I-4 2.2L (K-Trans-4), a turbocharged SOHC I-4 2.2L (1983–86) and two other 2.5L SOHC I-4s, with and without turbocharger (1987–88). The Mexican front-wheel drive Magnum was officially called "Dodge Magnum 400" between 1983 and 1984, as it was a sporty Mexican variation of the American Dodge 400 of the early eighties. For 1985, the "400" suffix was dropped. For the 1987 season, the turbocharger received an intercooler and the power from the turbo engine changed from 140 to 150 hp (112 kW).

1978–1979[edit]

1978–1979
Dodge Magnum (Auto classique Combos '14).jpg
Overview
Production 1978–1979
Assembly Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Platform B-body
Related Chrysler 300 (1979)
Chrysler Cordoba
Dodge Charger
Dodge Monaco
Plymouth Fury
Powertrain
Engine 318 cu in (5.2 L) LA V8
360 cu in (5.9 L) LA V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) B V8
Transmission 3-speed A727 automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 115.0 in (2,921 mm)
Length 215.7 in (5,479 mm)[3]
Width 77.2 in (1,961 mm)
Height 53.1 in (1,349 mm)
Chronology
Predecessor Dodge Charger
Successor Dodge Mirada

The 1978 and 1979 Dodge Magnum in the United States and Canada was an addition to the Chrysler line up that allowed Richard Petty to continue racing with a Mopar. The Magnum was sold in two forms; the "XE" and the "GT". It was the last vehicle to use the long running Chrysler B platform. The appearance was somewhat of a rounded off Charger, and was in response to getting a car that would be eligible for NASCAR that would be more aerodynamic, something the 1975-78 Charger was not. Styling features included four rectangular headlights behind retractable clear covers, with narrow opera windows, and an optional T-bar or power sunroof. The Magnum was well-featured with power steering, brakes and seats; the suspension included Chrysler's standard adjustable, longitudinal torsion bars, lower trailing links, and front and rear anti-sway bars. The base engine was the 318 in³ V8 with Lean Burn, while two and four-barrel carbureted 360 and 400 V8s were also available; weight was nearly 3,900 lb (1,800 kg). The 400 was dropped from the option list in 1979 as Chrysler stopped production of big-block V-8's in production cars at the end of 1978. A performance model, the "GT" was available with the 400 V8 in 1978 and the "E58" police interceptor (360 V8-195 HP) engine in 1979 along with HD suspension, special axle, special "GT" badging and a "turned metal" dash applique. Technology was advanced for the time with an onboard spark control computer from inception, electronic ignition, and a lockup torque converter. The Magnum name was discarded quickly in favor of the Mirada, a smaller car that was also shared an all new body with the Chrysler Cordoba. The Magnum has something of a cult following today, with several clubs and enthusiasts who are dedicated to the recognition and preservation of Chrysler's "last B-body". In 1979, they made 3,704 Dodge Magnums with the T-Top.

NASCAR[edit]

For the 1978 NASCAR season, the 1974 Charger that Chrysler teams had continued to use was no longer eligible for competition. Chrysler worked on several car designs to smooth out the current 1975 bodied Charger into something that would be reasonably aerodynamic for the big racetracks and the Magnum design was settled on early in 1977 for use in the 1978 racing season. While not as aerodynamic as the previous 1974 Charger body, the shape of the Magnum showed promise, and the Petty Enterprise built test cars easily reached 190 mph (310 km/h) on test runs. At first it seemed that out on the tracks the cars ran well with Richard Petty almost winning his Daytona 125 (finishing 2nd), and lead 30+ laps of the Daytona 500 until a blown front tire caused him to wreck. However, the lack of factory development support of the small-block Chrysler 360 V8 as a race engine was becoming more of a problem, and in high speed racing traffic the Magnum did not handle well. Richard Petty was particularly harsh in his criticism of the car.

By the latter half of the 1978 season, Petty and Neil Bonnett (the two top Mopar teams) gave up on the cars inconsistent performance and switched to Chevrolets, leaving independent drivers Buddy Arrington (who bought a few of Petty's Magnums, along with some parts) and Frank Warren, and C&W singer Marty Robbins to soldier on without any substantial (Chrysler did provide sheet metal and some engine parts to teams driving Magnums) factory support. From August 1978, 2-5 independent teams showed up with Magnums in NASCAR races until January 1981, when NASCAR switched to smaller bodied cars. The Magnum never enjoyed the racing heritage of its predecessors, but it was not without its own glorious moments. Petty scored 7 top five finishes in his 17 races with the car, and Neil Bonnett won three poles and scored 5 top five finishes with his. Richard Petty recognized the Magnum with a commemorative decal, depicting his famous number 43 emblazoned on a Magnum for his 1992 Fan Appreciation Tour. Though Petty never won a race in a Magnum, his son, Kyle Petty drove one of his father's year-old Dodge Magnums in his first race (1979 Daytona ARCA 200), and won. Kyle raced in 5 NASCAR races using the left-over Magnums in 1979, but wrecked them beyond reasonable repair by the 1980 Daytona 125. As of DEC 2012, only two NASCAR Magnums still exist; one (an ex-Petty car) resides in the Talledega NASCAR museum, and the other; (Marty Robbins' 1978 Magnum #42) has been restored and is owned by a private party in southern California. The owner occasionally races it in the vintage NASCAR series.

Dodge Magnum (Brazil)[edit]

Brazilian Dodge Magnum (1979–1981)
Dodge Magnum1979 BR.jpg
Overview
Production 1979–1981
Assembly São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Brazil
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Platform A-body
Related Dodge Dart
Powertrain
Engine 318 cu in (5.21 L) LA V8
Transmission 4-speed manual,
3-speed automatic

In the old Simca Factory in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Brazil, the Dodge Dart was produced from 1969 until 1981 (more than 92,000 cars were sold). They were built with minor changes from the original model, starting in 1969, and were all largely based on the 1968 Dart GT (and GTS). For its last three years of production, a two-door upper trim level version of the Dart was sold as the Magnum, featuring the 318 in³ V8 engine used in all Dodge coupe and sedan models in Brazil. A unique fiberglass front fascia that included four headlights to give it a more modern look was used, while the rear end was very similar to the American Dart 1975 (the Dart model from the same year having been identical to the Swinger from USA). The Magnum (top of the line) was sold as a separate model from the Dart (bottom line), despite being technically almost identical to the Dart.

The Dodge was very well received in Brazil. Today one can find car clubs with many Dodge coupes in good condition. The coupe and sedan models in Brazil were (all variations from the Dart 1968 model): Dart [1969-1981] (as a 2-door coupe from 1970 until 1981 or as a four-door sedan from 1969 until 1981), sporting but lower priced Dart SE, better equipped Dart DeLuxo (two or four doors), Gran Coupe (more luxurious yet than the Dart DeLuxo, with two doors only), Gran Sedan (above the Dart DeLuxo model, with four doors only), Charger R/T [1971-1980] (coupe bodywork only, from 1971 to 1980 it was the top model in sport segment), LeBaron (replacing the 'Gran Sedan' with four-door sedan body, from 1979 to 1981) and Magnum (substitute for the 'Gran Coupe', Brazil's top model in the luxurius segment from 1979 to 1981).

Dodge Magnum, showing different front clip

Dodge Magnum (Mexico)[edit]

First generation Mexican Dodge Magnum (1981–1982)
Mexican 81-82 Dodge Magnum.jpg
Overview
Production 1981–1982
Assembly Toluca, Mexico (Toluca Car Assembly)
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Platform M-body
Related Dodge Diplomat
Plymouth Gran Fury
Chrysler LeBaron
Plymouth Caravelle Salon
Powertrain
Engine 360 cu in (5.9 L) LA V8
Transmission 4-speed A833 manual
3-speed A727 automatic
Chronology
Predecessor Dodge Valiant Super Bee

First generation[edit]

In 1980, the F-body cars were discontinued in Mexico, as well in the U.S, so the compact cars Dodge Dart (using the front of the volare and the rear of the aspen) and the Valiant Volare (using the front of the aspen and the rear of the volare) were dropped for this year. The sport compact, the Super Bee that share the F-Body platform was also discontinued, so Chrysler of Mexico had to replace it with a new sport car. In 1979, Chrysler de México introduced the Chrysler LeBaron based in the M-Body Platform, and two years later it introduced the Dodge Diplomat as Dodge Dart. This Mexican M-body Dart was very similar to the American Plymouth Gran Fury in appearance/trim, but had Chrysler's Rallye road wheels instead of deluxe wheel covers. As the same case that in 1970, Chrysler de Mexico used a small platform and the name of an American sports car (the B-Body Dodge Magnum) and equipped it with the 360 LA V8 engine. The Mexican Dodge Magnum had the 360 CID (5.9L) engine with a Carter Thermoquad four barrel carburetor rated in 300 hp (224 kW), Mopar oil cooler, a 3-Speed A727 automatic transmission, with the 4-speed A833 manual transmission optional, heavy duty suspension, power brakes, stabilizer bars in the front and rear and a Dana 44 differential with positive pass and positraction. All the windows and windshield chromed metals were painted flat black, only the bumpers and the front grill were chromed, and the front fascia wore "Magnum" logo, in the side of the front fenders was put again the "Magnum" logo with a 5.9L decal. The Mexican RWD Dodge Magnum was offered only for the 1981-1982 model years.

Second generation[edit]

Second generation Mexican Dodge Magnum 400/Magnum K (1983–1988)
Mexican Chrysler Magnum 1983-1988.jpg
Overview
Production 1983–1988
Assembly Toluca, Mexico (Toluca Car Assembly)
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout FF layout
Platform K-body
Related Dodge 400 (USA)
Plymouth Caravelle K (Canada)
Dodge Aries K (USA)
Plymouth Caravelle (USA)
Powertrain
Engine Chrysler SOHC K-Trans-4 engine 2.2L-2.5L I4
Chrysler Turbo SOHC K-Trans-4 engine 2.2L I4 Turbo
Transmission 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Chronology
Successor Chrysler Shadow GTS

The K-car based Mexican Dodge Magnum was a sporty 2-door compact, based on the Dodge Aries coupe body (with blackout 1982-1985 Dodge 400 grille in 1983-1985 and a blackout 1986-1988 Plymouth Caravelle grille in 1986-1988) offered from 1983 to 1988 with available turbocharger ("TurboChrysler" engine) from 1984 on. Four engines were offered for the Mexican Dodge Magnum K, a SOHC I-4 2.2L (K-Trans-4, 1983–86), a turbocharged SOHC I-4 2.2L (1984–1986) and two other 2.5L SOHC I-4s, with and without turbocharger (1987–88). When it was introduced, the Mexican Dodge Magnum 400 Turbo was advertised as "Mexico's fastest car" in the TV commercials of the time, and it surely was in 1985, when the "Fox" (1979–1984) 5.0L Mexican Ford Mustang was dropped from the catalog of Ford Mexico. The Mexican front-wheel drive Magnum was officially called "Dodge Magnum 400" between 1983 and 1984, as it was a sporty Mexican variation of the American Dodge 400 of the early eighties (without the vinyl roof of the US version and with high output 2.2L engine (available turbocharger from 1984 on), heavy-duty suspension, sporty wheels, tires, dash, steering wheel, console, shifter and seats). In 1984, the Mexican Magnum 400 Turbo was the closest thing to an American Dodge Daytona Turbo south of the border. For 1985, the "400" suffix was dropped. For the 1987 season, the turbocharger received an intercooler and the power from the turbo engine changed from 140 to 150 hp (112 kW). The K-car based Magnum was replaced by the Mexican Chrysler Shadow GTS for the 1989 model year.

2004–2008[edit]

Dodge Magnum (2004–2008)
2008 Dodge Magnum SE.jpg
Overview
Production 2004–2008
Model years 2005–2008
Assembly Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Designer Ralph Gilles
Freeman Thomas
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 5-door station wagon
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform Chrysler LX platform
Related Chrysler 300
Dodge Charger
Powertrain
Engine 2.7 L (167 cu in) EER V6
3.5 L (215 cu in) EGJ V6
5.7 L (345 cu in) EZB HEMI V8
6.1 L (370 cu in) ESF HEMI V8
Transmission 4-speed 42RLE automatic
5-speed W5A580 automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 120.0 in (3,048 mm)
Length 197.7 in (5,022 mm)
Width 74.1 in (1,882 mm)
Height 2005-07: 58.4 in (1,483 mm)
2008-present: 58.3 in (1,481 mm)
SRT8: 57.9 in (1,471 mm)
Chronology
Predecessor Dodge Intrepid
Successor Dodge Journey

The Magnum name was revived in 2004 as a 2005 station wagon on the Chrysler LX platform. The new Magnum was a badge engineered station wagon version of the Chrysler 300 manufactured at the same plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

The Magnum is the last mid-size station wagon (140 to 160 cubic feet of combined passenger and cargo volume) sold by an American automobile manufacturer in the United States, though Chrysler marketed the Chrysler 300 Touring variant in Europe and Australia.

The Magnum had four engine options; the SE features the 190 hp 2.72 L LH V6, the SXT had the 250 hp (190 kW) 3.5 L V6, and the RT had the new 340 hp 5.7 L Hemi V8. The SRT-8 has a 425 hp 6.1 L Hemi engine.

All-wheel drive became an option in 2005 on SXT and RT models. The SRT8, AWD SXT, and the RT use a Mercedes-Benz-derived 5-speed automatic transmission, while all other models use a four-speed automatic.

The Magnum was on Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 2005.[4]

SRT-8[edit]

A high performance SRT-8 version debuted at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show. The SRT-8 was based on a concept car that was displayed at the 2003 Los Angeles Auto Show.[5] It went on sale in 2005 as a 2006 model. Like the 300C SRT-8, it featured the new 6.1 L (370 cu in) Hemi engine, which produces 425 hp (317 kW). 20" wheels, firmer suspension, bigger brakes (Brembo), new lower-body treatment, and a revised front and rear-fascia completes the transformation. The SRT-8 was named Best New Modern Muscle Car in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year contest.

Motor Trend Test Results:[6]

  • 0-60 mph: 5.1 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 11.7 sec
  • Standing 1/4-mile: 13.1 sec @ 108 mph (174 km/h)

Europe and Australia[edit]

In Europe and Australia, the Magnum was sold as the Chrysler 300 Touring. It was essentially the same as the U.S.-market Magnum, but with the Chrysler 300C's front end and interior, and right-hand-drive for Australia and the U.K. The 300C Touring added an available 3.0L CRD Turbo Diesel version. The 300C Touring was assembled in Austria.

2008 changes[edit]

2008 Dodge Magnum SRT-8

For the 2008 model year, the Magnum received a facelift as well as an updated interior in line with that of the Dodge Charger. The front fascia sported new aggressively squared off headlights and a smaller rectangular grille more reminiscent of the Charger. The SRT-8 variant gained a new hood scoop. A new bright red paint scheme was introduced. The new changes brought the car closer to its Charger platform mate, away from the Chrysler 300.[7]

Cancellation[edit]

On November 1, 2007, Chrysler announced that, as part of its restructuring plans, the Dodge Magnum would be one of four models discontinued after the 2008 model year. In Chrysler's words: "The Magnum, along with the PT Cruiser convertible, the Crossfire, and the Pacifica were not earning their keep". Production ended on March 28, 2008. The Dodge Magnum, (along with the short-wheelbase Dodge Caravan), has been replaced by the Dodge Journey. [2]

On July 17, 2011, Ralph Gilles (Chrysler Group Design Chief, head of the SRT division, and former head of Dodge Division) told the New York Times that Chrysler may revive the Magnum. Gilles says folks at Chrysler are still proud of the Magnum—which attracted famously loyal owners. "With the Magnum, we owned the station wagon segment," says Gilles, who oversaw the wagon's creation as design chief. "It was always a pleasure to go to car shows and trade fairs and see the number of Magnums that owners had personalized with such obvious loving care." He blames its death on a single suit who didn't survive with new Chrysler: It "was single-handedly killed by one executive who is no longer with the company. He's retired. A lot of people in the company still like that vehicle -- a lot." Gilles says Chrysler now is in a position to dream, but he backed off when asked whether Magnum, the Sequel is a sure thing, telling the NYT: "Stay tuned. Great things are coming. That's all I can say."

Total U.S. sales[edit]

Calendar Year Sales
2004[8] 39,217
2005[8] 52,487
2006[9] 40,095
2007[9] 30,256
2008[10] 6,912
2009[11] 113

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chrysler brochures: Chrysler de México 1981-88
  2. ^ a b Dee-Ann Durbin (AP) (2007). "Chrysler to cut up to 12,000 jobs". Yahoo News. Archived from the original on November 3, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2007. 
  3. ^ "1979 Dodge Magnum XE specs, specifications, tech specs - 2 door 5.9 litre (5900 cc) V8 152.1 PS, 3 speed automatic". Carfolio.com. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  4. ^ "CNNMoney.com: Car and Driver names 10 best cars". Money.cnn.com. 2004-12-14. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  5. ^ "Dodge Magnum SRT-8". www.ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Motor Trend Comparison Test: Dodge Magnum SRT-8". Motortrend.com. 2007-02-26. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  7. ^ "Automobile Magazine: 2008 Dodge Magnum". Automobilemag.com. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  8. ^ a b "Chrysler Group 2005 US Sales". Chrysler. 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  9. ^ a b "Total Chrysler LLC December 2007 Sales Up 1 Percent on the Strength of Retail". CheersandGears.com. 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  10. ^ "December 2008 Sales: Chrysler LLC". CheersandGears.com. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  11. ^ "Chrysler Group LLC December 2009 Sales". CheersandGears.com. 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 

External links[edit]