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Could Dodge Be Bringing Back The Magnum?

Posted in Design, Detroit, Dodge, News by Kurt Ernst | July 18th, 2011 | 5 Responses |

Good news, Dodge fans: Ralph Gilles, head of Chrysler’s SRT brand (and former head of Dodge) has let slip that a replacement for the Magnum station wagon is a very real possibility. Built from 2004 through 2008, the Magnum shared Chrysler’s LX platform with the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300. Available with engines ranging from an anemic 2.7-liter V-6 through a fire breathing 6.1-liter Hemi V-8, the Magnum represented the rebirth of an American icon: the full-size station wagon.

Sales never lived up to expectations, and the Magnum was killed (along with the PT Cruiser Convertible, Crossfire and the Pacifica) in the early days of Chrysler’s bankruptcy. It turns out that the move wasn’t a popular one at Chrysler, and Gilles told the New York Times, “That vehicle was single handedly killed by one executive who is no longer with the company. A lot of people in the company still like that vehicle – a lot.”

Put both Mike and I down as fans of the SRT8 version, which could also make a comeback if Gilles is correct. The Magnum SRT8 is the Swiss Army Knife of the automotive world: it’s comfortable enough for a cross-country run, swallows an amazing amount of cargo and even laps racetracks at surprising velocities (for its size, of course). Bone stock, a Magnum will run a 13.76 in the quarter mile without trying particularly hard; I know, because that’s the time I turned in Mike’s Magnum SRT8 at Gainesville during this year’s One Lap of America. Plus, the Magnum has a personality that a lot of modern cars lack, something else that Gilles was quick to point out.

“With the Magnum, we owned the station wagon segment,” Giles said. “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.”

If Gilles is right, a whole new generation of owners may soon get that chance.

Source: New York Times Wheels

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5 Responses

  1. Werty says:

    That’s good to hear. I usually don’t care for Chrysler products. I still liked the Magnum though. It was just so unique in today’s market to have a RWD V-8 wagon. The simple but still mean styling appealed to me as well.

  2. 68SportFury says:

    The only real complaints I ever heard about the Magnum while it was in production had to do with the size of the cargo area–the combination of the low roofline and high floor inherited from the other LX cars made it tighter back there than some would have liked.
    I’ve talked to dealers who said they couldn’t keep them on the lot and one or two who said they had trouble moving them. One of the former still grabs them up at auctions because THEY SELL.
    Stick a new Charger or 300 nose on it, kick the rear of the roof up a couple of inches and I think they’d have something that would sell.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      I can tell you from personal experience that the Magnum swallows a surprising amount of gear. If you raise the roofline, it would be hard to keep the car looking like a Magnum.

  3. Robert says:

    What wheels did you have on your Magnum Mike? I have an 06 SRT8 Magnum and live in Seattle, I don’t mind changing wheels often especially for a great sunny/track day, can you suggest two sets of tires?

  4. MrAngry says:

    Sure – the wheels were from a 2010 SRT8 Challenger. As for tires, the Michelin Pilot Super Sports are OUTSTANDING, but run 255/45/20 at all 4 corners, this way you can rotate them out when the time comes.