2005–2008 Dodge Magnum History: The Charger Wagon You Forgot

2005–2008 Dodge Magnum History: The Charger Wagon You Forgot

Utilized to neither a gun nor personal investigator, Dodge’s most up-to-date use of the Magnum identify was slapped as an alternative on a station wagon. Not simply any wagon, the Magnum was based mostly on the then-new Charger sedan and bought for the 2005 by means of 2008 mannequin years. So, the place did this Charger station wagon go?

Dodge dropped the Magnum after 2008 for causes that ought to develop into clear if you consider what occurred to the financial system that yr. Earlier than that, the Magnum bought decently—for a station wagon—in America, with gross sales topping the 50,000 mark at the very least one yr. Weirder nonetheless, Dodge refreshed the Magnum for 2008, that means the up to date mannequin lived for a single yr earlier than it was culled.

When you have been to ask us, the Dodge Magnum wagon suffered a untimely dying—are you able to think about if one in every of these items got here with a 707-hp-plus supercharged Hellcat V-Eight just like the one launched to the surviving Charger sedan for 2015? So, whereas we think about what may have been, let’s check out how the Dodge Magnum got here to be—and why it is now not with us.

Dodge Magnum: Historical past, Engines, Specs

When the Magnum arrived for 2005, it wore chunky, low-slung bodywork with a plunging roof and big flared fenders. It clearly shared its offended, chonky vibe with the also-then-new Dodge Charger sedan, however the headlights, grille, taillights, and different key pores and skin markers have been barely totally different. This wasn’t merely a Charger wagon, at the very least not outwardly.

It’s value noting that the Magnum’s aggression depended closely on which trim degree one chosen. Entry-level SE and SXT fashions sat up excessive on tall-sidewall tires, wanting considerably dorky and like, nicely, conventional American station wagons. A 190-hp 2.7-liter V-6 was commonplace (together with an old-school four-speed computerized), whereas SXT trims introduced a barely larger-caliber 250-hp 3.5-liter six with the identical four-speed. These may sit even increased if outfitted with all-wheel drive—obtainable on SXT—which introduced a barely lifted suspension and a Mercedes-sourced five-speed.

The R/T model introduced bigger, bolder wheels and a decrease stance (besides, after all, these with the obtainable all-wheel drive choice, which like on the decrease trim additionally got here with a barely raised suspension for higher clearance). Additionally included? A 5.7-liter Hemi V-Eight engine placing out 340 hp. All Magnum R/T fashions additionally upgraded to the aforementioned five-speed computerized transmission and good-looking 18-inch wheels. The R/T was able to ripping from zero to 60 mph in round six seconds flat, not unhealthy for one thing that weighed almost two tons.

Lastly, launched for 2006 was the high-performance Magnum SRT8 powered by a 425-hp 6.1-liter Hemi V-8. Crouching low on its suspension and using on enormous (for the time) 20-inch wheels with rubber-band-thin tires, the SRT8 was the meanest, baddest Magnum. This top-dog wagon proved it may hit 60 mph in as little as 5.1 seconds in our testing—placing it on par with the period Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG wagon.

Oh yeah, there have been cop Magnums, too, outfitted with beefier operating gear similar to their extra widespread Charger counterparts. Certainly the five-oh loved the Magnum’s further cargo house and even angrier look.

A Station Wagon Bred for Consolation and Efficiency

Dodge lucked out when designing the LX platform that underpinned the Charger and Magnum—in addition to the Challenger coupe and Chrysler’s 300 sedan. The automobiles have been developed on the tail finish of the DaimlerChrysler partnership, so there was a wholesome crossover between the rear-wheel-drive LX structure and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Direct components sharing included the five-speed computerized transmission in sure Magnum fashions, in addition to the optionally available all-wheel drive system.

Engineers for Chrysler will say the “E-Class with a Dodge badge” comparability is overblown, and notice that regardless that the LX bones reside on right now beneath the present Charger, Challenger, and 300, what Benz lineage there was has light considerably after steady updates over the previous 16 years. However there is no such thing as a denying the Mercedes lurking beneath the Magnum and its ilk. When it debuted for 2005, the Magnum was enormous—the wheelbase is an unimaginable 120 inches!—and startlingly refined for one thing from the Pentastar. These simply ate up freeway miles with a sure Germanic solidity.

Additionally, regardless of their slammed rooflines, Magnums have been fairly spacious inside. Credit score that massive wheelbase and beneficiant exterior dimensions, which opened up stretch out house entrance and rear even for taller passengers. And the Magnum’s cargo house was nothing to smell at, both: 27 cubic ft behind the rear seats, and as much as 72 cubic ft with the rear bench folded. The Charger sedan’s trunk was comparatively tiny, with solely 16 cubes of house—good for a sedan, however no comparability to the Magnum’s open cargo space.

If the comparatively reasonably priced, enormous, rear-drive, V-8-optional Magnum had a shortcoming, it was its inside. Whereas the wagon’s {hardware}, styling, and driving expertise clearly transcended early-2000s expectations for a Chrysler product, the cabin was something however transcendental. Truck-like expanses of unadorned, mediocre plastics meet at roughly proper angles to outline the shapes of the door panels and dashboard. To name it uninspired can be an understatement, notably in distinction with the extroverted exterior styling.

A Fast Refresh, Then a Hurry-As much as Die

The Magnum’s components proved compelling sufficient to notch up about 40,000 gross sales yearly between 2004 and 2007, an anomalous efficiency for a station wagon in America. Regardless of this, and a refresh Dodge had ready for the 2008 Magnum, the wagon was canceled for 2009. This launched the unusual, one-model-year-only ’08 Magnum as a lifeless wagon rolling.

Many of the 2008 Magnum’s updates centered on its entrance finish, the place the unique’s blocky, wide-eyed headlights have been swapped for slimmer rectangular items framing a equally slimmed-down Dodge “crosshair” grille. SRT8 models gained a hood scoop, and new wheel designs adorned your complete lineup. Dodge fiddled barely with the inside, however it remained principally the identical.

So, what occurred to the Magnum? Gross sales appeared okay, and there weren’t some other massive American station wagons with obtainable V-Eight energy lurking round. Nicely, Chrysler’s restructuring within the midst of the 2008 monetary disaster occurred. Chrysler needed to slim down its operations and give attention to core (learn: worthwhile) fashions—to whit, different oddballs such because the Pacifica (the tallish crossover factor that preceded right now’s minivan by the identical identify), PT Cruiser convertible, and Crossfire sports activities automobile joined the Magnum within the dustbin. The Magnum would reside on in barely totally different type because the Chrysler 300 Touring wagon abroad, however just for a number of extra years.

It is troublesome to push thoughts of what could have been from one’s thoughts. The Charger and its two-door Challenger sibling lived on, seeing main updates a number of years later, receiving ever-more-powerful V-6 and V-Eight engine choices till, in 2014, some unhinged genius inside Chrysler determined to shove the 707-hp supercharged 6.2-liter “Hellcat” V-Eight into the massive sedan and coupe. Thus started an escalation within the horsepower wars, and right now the Charger and Challenger can be found with as much as 707 to 797 horsepower. Dodge additionally sells each in “Widebody” type with pumped-out fenders. Had the Magnum survived to right now, it, too, may have greater than 707 horsepower and presumably an obtainable Widebody therapy. With the Charger sedan able to greater than 200 mph, the Magnum may have been among the many quickest station wagons on the planet—if not the quickest.

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