Press Coverage :
It has been more than 30 years since Dodge ruled the streets with HEMI® power and rear-wheel-drive performance. For 2004, Dodge unleashes power in an all-new proportion with the launch of its 2005 Dodge Magnum. The legendary engine that powered Dodge's muscle cars of the 1960s has been re-engineered and reborn as a modern, high-performance, fuel-efficient and durable powerplant known as the all-new 5.7-liter HEMI V-8. The HEMI-powered 2005 Dodge Magnum RT will be the first modern production vehicle in North America to feature cylinder deactivation when it goes on sale in the spring of 2004. The Chrysler Group Multi Displacement System (MDS) seamlessly turns off the fuel consumption in four cylinders of the 5.7-liter HEMI engine when V-8 power is not needed. This provides a world class combination of performance and fuel economy.
Dodge brings back rear-wheel drive to transfer all this power to the pavement through an all-new independent five-bar rear-drive layout. The Magnum powertrain and suspension systems work together for a precise balance of performance and handling, making optimum use of all four tire contact patches. For ultimate power distribution, an all-wheel drive version of the Dodge Magnum also will be available.
Dodge Magnum delivers on the benefits of a sport-utility vehicle, with available all-wheel drive and up to 3,800 pounds of towing capacity, along with the ride and handling of a sports sedan. Magnum's unique package features an "extreme access" liftgate hinged forward off the d-pillar to open straight up instead of swinging out. The large 11.3 square foot opening can swallow a 27-inch TV.
Dodge unveils the all-new 2005 Dodge Magnum, with an all-new unique profile that will add yet another dimension to the company's new 'sports tourer' segment. Whether it's cars, trucks, minivans or sport-utility vehicles, Dodge has a well-earned reputation for putting head-turning vehicles on the road. Dodge Magnum charts a brave new direction for Dodge. Combining the functional characteristics of a sport-utility along with the performance and road manners of a sport sedan, Dodge has created a unique vehicle in its segment. Its architecture and proportions convey a bold, powerful image that is youthful, masculine, and aggressive.
Magnum is the first rear-wheel drive car for the Dodge brand in nearly 20 years, and designers used this opportunity to create a different vehicle image from what is currently offered in the marketplace today. The profile of the vehicle represents the greatest departure from today and takes on the image of a "shooting brake." With a bold hood and long tapered roof line, the look is dramatic. The front and rear overhangs have been minimized which emphasizes the wheels at the corners and conveys a message of design efficiency. The beltline on the body has been raised, while the roofline has been pulled down tautly around the windows to create a new proportion of body to glass which is usually only found on hot rods and concept vehicles. The tall bodyside is substantial and offers the driver a feeling of safety. This clean, ingot-like body is interrupted up by a set of pronounced wheel flares which contain a set of available massive 18" tires and wheels. The front-end design is very bold and features a prominent grille with the familiar Dodge cross hair center theme, which contains a Ram's head badge. Taking a cue from the Ram truck, the grille employs a texture of horizontal grille bars. The shape of the grille itself is new and signals a new signature for the face of the Dodge brand. The headlamps are large for improved functional requirements and figure prominently into the front-end design. Exterior ornamentation is minimal and supports the philosophy of visual strength and design efficiency. The interior components of the headlamps have been given a unique finish to provide optimum performance, and are executed in a fashion to create visual entertainment as well. The body side molding is a body-colored part highlighted with an elegant bright accent. The nameplates themselves reside on the liftgate with the exception of those vehicles equipped with a V-8 "HEMI" engine. In those special cases, a discreet nameplate is added to the fender above the molding punctuating the fact that there is something special under the hood.
Special attention was also given to the design of the exterior mirrors and door handles. The mirrors were shaped in the wind tunnel to maximize aerodynamic efficiencies and minimize the structural mass to achieve a light and unobtrusive appearance. The use of body color mirror heads help contribute to the vehicle's upscale appearance. The door handles as well are a new "pull style" design which look substantial, feel good in the hand, and add to the overall solid appearance of the car.
The large 18" aluminum, five spoke wheels along with the large disc brakes, and 18" tires work together to convey the message that this is a driver's car. Magnum blends the functional attributes of a sport-utility, the character of sport sedan, and the soul of a Viper to create a unique vehicle for Dodge.
An unusually large cargo opening is created by hinging the top of the rear gate midway between the C- and D-pillar. Surrounding the cargo gate, the rear taillamps are pushed to the corners to maximize functionality while accentuating the vehicle's wide stance. A large, protective rear bumper tops dual exhaust pipes, emphasizing Dodge Magnum RT's HEMI V-8 performance.
Dodge Magnum's interior is richly finished in a two-tone treatment which work together to give Magnum a luxurious but serious driver environment. Placed behind the sporty four spoke steering wheel with silver accents, are four competition-style instrument gauges with white faces and silver colored accent rings tunneled-in to the instrument panel similar to those found on Dodge Viper. The center stack components are new and feature a new HVAC control unit, along with a variety of radios. A premium radio with an integrated navigation system is also available. Secondary controls for heated seats are located low on either side of the central ash receiver. Special attention was paid to the execution of these components to minimize gaps, and touch efforts as well as highlight flushness to adjacent components to achieve world class fit and finish. The centerpiece of the center console is the silver accented leather shift knob which highlights the gated shifter and new five speed automatic transmission for greater driving enjoyment. The 60/40 split rear seats fold flat and feature a fold-out armrest. The flexible rear cargo area features an upper flat-load floor that expands the usable cargo area when the rear seats are folded forward. Additional storage is provided below this load floor for smaller items and in deep pockets on either side of the floor rearward of the wheels.
The modern HEMI engine offers more power and torque than any Chrysler Group vehicle passenger car engine since the legendary 426 HEMI of the '60s and '70s. Today's engine produces 340 hp @ 5000 rpm and 390 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm.
The new HEMI has been engineered to deliver outstanding performance, and also provide minimal noise, vibration, and harshness, smoothness and low emissions. Fuel economy has also been improved, but not at the expense of performance. Chrysler Group has developed and will be the first to offer to offer Multi-Displacement System (MDS) on a modern, large volume vehicle in North America.
Some of the significant technologies enabling the Chrysler Group MDS are the speed of electronic controls, the sophistication of the algorithms controlling the systems and the use of Electronic Throttle Control ETC. The HEMI will be able to transition from eight cylinders to four in 40 milliseconds (0.040 seconds).
The HEMI engine with MDS has completed over 6.5 million customer-equivalent miles through Chrysler Group's development and durability testing. It is covered by the 7-Year/70,000-mile Limited Powertrain warranty.
The HEMI engine that powers the Dodge Magnum RT uses aluminum cylinder heads with hemispherical combustion chambers for outstanding airflow leading to high power and torque. Dual ignition (two spark plugs per cylinder) increases peak power and torque, reduces exhaust emissions, increases fuel economy and provides a smooth idle. The combustion system has been refined and the engine uses direct-mount accessories for quiet operation. The engine is equipped with ETC which enables several of the technologies used to maximize vehicle smoothness, performance, safety and fuel economy.
Hard to fold paper maps may become a thing of the past with the new navigation radio option in the all-new 2005 Dodge Magnum. Designed with a large, easy-to-read screen, voice guidance and a number of unique options, the DVD-based navigation system has features that will appeal to both road travelers and music enthusiasts alike. The navigation radio system is housed in the center of the vehicle's dashboard, which is convenient to both the driver and passenger. This system features a large 5.8-inch full-color display, MP3 player, AM/FM stereo, 6-disc CD system and navigation system in one unit. An eight-way joystick allows the user to scroll through the navigation menus and icons. Audiophiles will enjoy the MP3 player, a navigation first, and SIRIUS Satellite Radio availability. The MP3 feature enables the user to view and play files and folders contained within MP3 discs. Coupled with SIRIUS Satellite Radio, the stream listing, stream category, song title and artist, can be viewed on the system's display screen. When equipped with UConnect™, the REC navigation radio becomes compatible with the hands-free module within the system. This feature enables the user to place voice-activated, hands-free calls to "Points of Interests" such as restaurants, banks or other public addresses located within the navigation system's information database. Phone numbers and call times appear on the system's screen upon incoming calls. The navigation system features a single DVD solution which contains mapping, points of interest and business phone numbers across the U.S. (where digitized mapping data and information are available). The navigation system receives its GPS, or global positioning system signals, from up to eight satellites to display the position and direction of the vehicle. A gyroscope and the vehicle's speed sensor enable the system to display the present vehicle position even in locations where a GPS signal may not be available. When a destination is entered, the navigation system uses data from the DVD to quickly calculate a route.
The latest version of the Hemi has a feature no other Hemi has had: a Multi-Displacement system, which imperceptibly disables four cylinders during idle and cruise conditions to save fuel. The Hemi delivers an estimated 25 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg in the city, which is decent for a nearly two-ton wagon. Without the engine cut-out feature, the Hemi would be a lot more fuel-thirsty. A Mercedes-designed 5-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift feature is hooked to the Hemi.
While a little heavy, the steering is quick and feels good, with a nice linear action. Curves can be taken quickly and safely, and an easily modulated pedal activates strong brakes. The RT has a firmer ride than the SE, but it's not harsh. The rear-drive design helps provide a more balanced feel than one provided by a front-drive vehicle.
Major options aren't inexpensive. They include an $895 power sunroof. Power adjustable pedals for shorter drivers are in a $925 RT option package, which also contains heated front seats. Satellite radio costs $325.
Doors have large outside handles and open wide to allow easy entry to the upscale interior. It's quiet in there, especially considering that this is a wagon with an open cargo area instead of a sedan with a closed-off trunk.
The white-face gauges with red needles are more stylish than practical for a quick read. But power window switches and major controls can be quickly reached and work precisely. Dual front console cupholders are well-placed.
The open cargo area exposes the ears to a little more road grain and exhaust rumble than in the sedan, but radio and conversation settings remain relaxed. With all seats at attention you get 27 cubic feet of space. The 60/40-split rear bench folds flat to make about 72 cubic feet, numbers within a few shoe boxes of a Ford Escape. Tennis rackets will slip into a shallow storage cubby below the sliding floor, which faces up with either a carpeted side for dry items or a rubber-laminated side for wet ones. An extra 12-volt socket powers your tailgating toys, and four light-duty D-rings (part of a $410 cargo package that includes a net and a roof rack) tie down the swag.
The Magnum's work area is starker (or is that sportier?) than the 300C's, with greater seas of monochromatic charcoal. Four white-face gauges lie at the bottom of tubes ringed with satin-metal-finish plastic. It's very "Oakland Roadster Show." The seat cloth of the SXT feels Euro expensive, finely woven and high friction. Magnum back-seaters get the same comfortable, spacious bench as in the sedan.
Car and Driver
2002-2004 Dodge Intrepid SXT
3,518 cc / 244 hp / 250 lb-ft / 3487 lbs / 0-60 mph 7.4 sec.