C/D Short Take - 2005 Dodge Magnum RT

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Dodge builds a wagon with streetswagger to go.

    [​IMG]

    BY PATRICK BEDARD
    PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM COSGROVE
    January 2005

    Wagon or muscle car? Mommy's grocery getter or bad-boy drive-in cruiser? Ah, such artful ambiguity.

    For sure, Tom Gale's fingerprints are all over the Dodge Magnum. Before he retired in 2000 as Chrysler's longtime head of design, some say he made sure this choptop two-box form was locked down and beyond second thoughts from Daimler's takeover guys. DaimlerChrysler's response to our query on this point was firmly noncommittal.

    Gale brought swagger and stance to what, by the late '80s, was the K-car company. You see Gale's DNA in the end views of the original Viper, radically wide and low. The new-for-1991 Dodge Stealth had it, too. And now, as a 2005 model, we have the Dodge Magnum, outrageously broad for its height.

    Call it the street-rod illusion.
    Gale is very fluent in this art form, to the point of sculpting, and then commissioning, his own impression of a 1933 Ford roadster. The result is stunning and fresh.

    Street rods look low, but they really aren't, and neither is the 58.3-inch-tall Magnum. The effect comes from just the right slope of the roof, a high beltline, and slit-shaped windows. Broad shoulders add to the look. The Magnum has the full rodder's treatment.

    It's fun and, at times, frustrating, too. The top of the windshield crops off your view of overhead traffic signals. In the Safeway lot, be careful when you back up. With the driver seat full up, giving the best view, a shopping cart within 11 feet disappears behind the liftgate. And parallel parking is tricky. The whole hood of a Cavalier was eclipsed when we still had six feet of backup space remaining.

    The above comments apply to all the Magnum models, but only the RT gets the 345-cubic-inch Hemi V-8 (saying "5.7 liters" fights with the pushrod Hemi image). It delivers its 340 horsepower with a satisfying basso voice and authoritative thrust through the five-speed automatic.

    The RT, on its standard-equipment 225/60R-18 touring tires, moves confidently over the road, yet it has clearly been told not to beat up the customers. Few will find the ride too sporty. There is a welcome tautness about this car that we find reassuring—;no slack at the top of the brake pedal, for example, and timely transmission responses.

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    The 120.0-inch wheelbase is up in the range of standard-cab full-size pickups, and so is the turning circle. You sometimes must take two cuts at a straight-in parking slot.

    The wagon roofline gives the Magnum its look—and extra flexibility as a hauler. Attention, Home Depot shoppers: With the rear seatbacks folded forward, you can slide six-footers in without hitting the backs of the front buckets (eight-footers extend between the buckets about halfway to the dash). The Chrysler 300 sedan swallows similar lengths. The Magnum's advantage is easier loading—the liftgate opens hatchback style from a pivot point well forward in the roof—and about 12 more inches of "headroom" in the cargo area.

    Passenger space in the back seat has a limousine mood about it. Partly, that's a comment on the generous room for shoulders, elbows, and feet, but it also describes the isolation. It's dark back there. The windowsills come up to your chin. The view out is trimmed down by the slit windows. Next stop: the castle. Or will it be the dungeon? Did we mention the darkness?

    The RT designation dates back to Dodge muscle cars of the '60s (it was R/T then), but applied to the Magnum, it just means "top of the line." The RT has fog lights; a bright grille; leather seats, wheel, and shift knob; and a six-speaker stereo. Four-wheel discs and anti-lock are included, but traction control is extra. And don't forget the 19-gallon tank, up one from the lesser Magnums.

    This is a Hemi, after all.

    [​IMG]

    Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door wagon
    Price as tested: $31,435 (base price: $29,995)
    Engine type: pushrod 16-valve V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, port fuel injection
    Displacement: 345 cu in, 5654cc
    Power (SAE net): 340 bhp @ 5000 rpm
    Torque (SAE net): 390 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

    Transmission: 5-speed automatic with manumatic shifting
    Wheelbase: 120.0 in
    Length/width/height: 197.7/74.1/58.3 in
    Curb weight: 4289 lb

    Zero to 60 mph: 6.1 sec
    Zero to 100 mph: 15.6 sec
    Zero to 120 mph: 24.0 sec
    Street start, 5-60 mph: 6.5 sec
    Standing 1/4-mile: 14.7 sec @ 97 mph
    Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph
    Braking, 70-0 mph: 182 ft
    Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.78 g

    EPA fuel economy, city driving: 17 mpg
    C/D-observed fuel economy: 15 mpg

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    [​IMG]
     
  2. Raider007

    Raider007 om nom nom nom

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    i drove one a couple months back...
    i loved it...not something to toss around but definiately an awesome cruiser car...and since i do alot of long trips it would be perfect...

    only wagon i've ever concidered...
     
  3. Short Bus

    Short Bus Beep beep!

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  4. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    :2.82s:
     
  5. CitznFish

    CitznFish Don't live life by a single sentence OT Supporter

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    not bad for a tank... :slap:
     
  6. mhrc4

    mhrc4 New Member

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    i still love the looks of those....
     
  7. Steve Kerr

    Steve Kerr 6 Time NBA Champion OT Supporter

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    :rofl: @ slow ass acceleration... yet it's advertised as a rocketship.

    My favorite ad is when it pulls on a Lotus V8.

    IN IT'S DREAMS.
     
  8. Scream_Phoenix

    Scream_Phoenix Handsome Boy Model

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  9. Incognito315

    Incognito315 New Member

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    fuck that, wait untill the srt-8 version comes out. It gets a 383 with 425hp and 420lb-ft and a six speed. The 300c srt-8 also gets the same engine, and all wheel drive, but only comes in an automatic
     
  10. Redsky

    Redsky Beat the one you love.

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    :werd:
    For a 2 ton tank, that's decent acceleration.
     
  11. ShoeBull

    ShoeBull New Member

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    I'd pull.
     
  12. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest


    One can only hope the Lotus's tranny gives up the ghost from teh ph34r of teh HEMI.
     
  13. Redsky

    Redsky Beat the one you love.

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    It's a Lotus. It will break. Today.
     
  14. ChosenGSR

    ChosenGSR Mama always said you'd be the chosen one

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    those are so ugly :hs:
     
  15. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    There are other two ton tanks that move better than that. :o
     
  16. Redsky

    Redsky Beat the one you love.

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    "decent"

    Words are great for describing things. :o
     
  17. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The car is screaming for a set of better gears, 2.82 is way too high. 3.73s would really wake it up.
     
  18. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It would look good towing an Elise.

    IByouknowho
     
  19. BajaDak

    BajaDak If you have poo......fling it now

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    <shrug>

    and your car was a stellar performer out of the box? what did yours run 17 flat? Or did you lose to all those NA v6 trucks cause you couldn't hook up?
     
  20. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The V6 Magnums come with lower gears stock, swapping a set in would be easy. I wonder if it would make the computer or five-speed tranny go crazy though?
     
  21. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    They're different transmissions all together.

    The 5 speeds are Mercedes sourced and the 4 speeds are from wherever Chrysler gets their autos. And the chances of them being able to handle any more power than the already do are slim--they already have a fair bit of problems. Or did/do, in the LH and JH/JX cars.

    A better find would be a mercedes auto with lower gears.
     
  22. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Hence the gear swap I already mentioned. :uh:
     
  23. Drewski

    Drewski New Member

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    hot...right now the future srt-8 is tops on teh list for my next vehicle, in a few years
     
  24. 351wstanggt

    351wstanggt Guest

    it's not too bad looks wise... and performance wise it's decent for the power it makes and how heavy it is
     
  25. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    I didn't see that. Sorry.
    :wtc: :hs:
     

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