AW Vehicle Review - 2005 Magnum RT and 300C AWD

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,822
    Likes Received:
    1,754
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Wonders for Winter: Joining the snow-worthy club

    [​IMG]
    The biggest difference of the awd Dodge Magnum, above, and the Chrysler 300 appeared on slick surfaces.

    RICHARD CHANG
    Published Date: 11/22/04

    When did all-wheel drive become the new black? Where once Subaru and Audi had to struggle to convince buyers of the advantage of awd vehicles, now every auto*maker from Acura to Ford wants in on the game. It seems overnight that a vehicle with awd has come to mean it has more, and is better, like those shampoos with conditioner.

    It’s not that easy, though, especially when it comes to the Chrysler Group’s 300 and Magnum family of vehicles, all of which are available with awd save the base V6 models. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, the facts.

    The awd treatment given to the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Magnum is a full-time, open system that features the addition of a front differential and transfer case to the existing rear-wheel-drive configuration. A planetary center diff inside the transfer case transmits 32 percent of the torque to the front wheels, 68 percent to the rear wheels, a fixed ratio. That is slightly more rear bias than the 35-65 split found in the Subaru WRX STi.

    Mechanically, it’s a relatively simple system. Then again, the 300 chassis didn’t need much help to begin with, except perhaps in the marketing department. Detroit did such a good job of convincing its custom*ers front-wheel drive is superior in bad weather that the return to rwd poses a re-education problem.

    In rear-drive form the 300C is surprisingly balanced and lively for such a large car. Side-by-side testing with awd and rwd 5.7-liter Hemi-powered 300Cs on a short, low-speed autocross, with ESP off, revealed the awd version to be tighter and easier to drive in dramatic situations, such as the skidpad and the three-turn slalom. Also, there was less oversteer in the auto*cross quick-lane-change simulation.

    As expected, the biggest difference appeared on slick surfaces. On hard launches in slushy, man-made snow, the awd 300C planted itself on command as the front and rear tires coaxed the car slowly forward. The rear-drive car spun tires hopelessly, with the engine revving to 6500 rpm before the car squiggled free to dry asphalt. The difference was clear. Yet with ESP on, wet conditions do not provide too tough a challenge for the rwd 300C to handle. This confirms our earlier midwinter experience in northern Michigan, where a Magnum R/T did fine on both snowy fields and icy, gravel roads alike.

    The folks at Chrysler say they have designed their awd to work with the ESP, traction control, ABS and electronic braking system—enough technojargon to inspire a headache. For the purist, the systems interject an artificial flavor to the way the car handles. On the other hand, the stuff really works. With ESP on—and everything else doing what it is supposed to do—tire spin and launch skids in wet and snowy conditions are reduced to nil.

    Chrysler did not provide performance figures for this 300 or Magnum, but the awd versions of the cars should be slightly slower than their rwd counterparts, given the additional 200 pounds of weight and drivetrain characteristics. To accommodate the front-drive axles, Chrysler modified the front suspension using a forged upper control arm and a single-piece cast-iron lower control arm. “The steering gear effort and response, and the suspension charac*teristics also are tuned to the handling characteristics of all-wheel-drive vehicles,” quotes the press material, and therein lies the rub.

    Yes, the system is effective, and yes, it retains superb driving feel (mostly with the ESP turned off). But it has taken Chrysler so long to develop a new rwd platform that’s fun to slog and toss around, some people might not be ready to give up that fun factor just yet. Of course, mountain dwellers might have a different view.

    2005 CHRYSLER AWD VEHICLES

    ON SALE: Now
    BASE PRICE: $31,995 Magnum R/T, $34,820 300C
    POWERTRAIN: 5.7-liter, 340-hp, 390-lb-ft V8; awd, five-speed automatic
    CURB WEIGHT: 4393 pounds, 4273 pounds
    0 TO 60 MPH: 6.8 seconds (est.), 6.5 seconds (est.)


    [​IMG]
     
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,822
    Likes Received:
    1,754
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    In for 6.1L Hemi and AWD.
     
  3. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Messages:
    157,363
    Likes Received:
    78
    Location:
    SoCal
  4. We_Todd

    We_Todd I'm a naughty squirrel.

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2001
    Messages:
    23,851
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, US of A
    :werd:
     
  5. Short Bus

    Short Bus Beep beep!

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2001
    Messages:
    104,725
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't like it.
     
  6. Bloke

    Bloke Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Messages:
    26,775
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pekin, IL
    somehow I thought rt model would at least have a stick option
     
  7. bubbaZR2

    bubbaZR2 i poop too much, then i get tired... OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Messages:
    49,043
    Likes Received:
    97
    Location:
    New Mexico
    V8 RWD > rice buring gay cock sucking fagot-mobiles
     
  8. troglodyte

    troglodyte Guest

    My R32 Skyline had AWD and now I don't want anything but! Of course, all the big Dumbmestic shit-talkers don't know jack about true Japanese performance vehicles, yet yap-yap-yap-yap their mouths like a toy poodle. Embarassments to true cars fans everywhere.
     

Share This Page