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The Dodge Magnum SRT-8​

Now get to Los Angeles! West Coast show offers several world debuts

Posted Date: 1/5/05

The New Year typically arrives amid a clatter of car stories from Detroit as the auto world gears up for the Motor City’s annual early-January auto show/lovefest. This time around there’s a distinct rumble from the Los Angeles show, where automakers are making numerous world introductions.​

Detroit iron led the way, starting with the unveiling of the classic lines of the Ford Mustang convertible (Jan. 3).

Next up: the production Dodge Magnum SRT-8 wagon, which first appeared in concept form at Los Angeles in 2003. The Chrysler Group’s Magnum and Chrysler 300 struck a chord with the American car-buying public in 2004, and Chrysler hopes to keep that momentum going with the Magnum SRT-8 wagon and 300C SRT-8 sedan. The 300 was revealed at Pebble Beach last summer and goes on sale in February as a 2005 model; the Magnum should be available midyear as a 2006 model.

Mechanically, the Magnum SRT-8 is much the same car as the 300C SRT-8, with a 6.1-liter 425-hp Hemi and SRT performance upgrades to brakes and suspension, plus the appropriate interior and exterior trim items. The biggest visual telltale is that an SRT-8 edition wears 20-inch wheels and rides a half-inch lower than the stock Magnum. Add a new front fascia with brake cooling ducts, side skirts and a rear fascia with openings for dual 3.5-inch exhaust tips, and you’re dressed appropriately for sporting endeavors, such as a 13-second quarter-mile or a 0-to-100-to-0 exercise in the 16-second range. Pricing is not yet available, but assuming you get a dealer who sells for MSRP (don’t pay more!), we’re guessing it will turn up in the lower half of the $40,000 range.

General Motors introduced a bevy of new models, including three Chevys and two Pontiacs. Leading the list is the 2006 HHR, Chevrolet’s take on a theme thoroughly explored in recent years by the Chrysler PT Cruiser. No matter, says Chevy, which is following the recipe to a T for an inexpensive, retro-looking do-everything-mobile. HHR is built on the Cobalt and Saturn Ion small-car chassis, and is powered by either a 2.2-liter 140-hp or 2.4-liter 170-hp four. HHR goes on sale late this summer. Other Chevy debuts included the 2006 Monte Carlo and 2006 Impala, both in SS trim with 5.3-liter 303-hp V8s with fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation technology under the hood.

Pontiac revealed a convertible alternative in its 2006 G6 lineup, sort of a Toyota Solara look-alike, or a Nissan 350Z Roadster with a back seat. Along with the midsize coupe, by early 2006 Pontiac will offer the G6 with a retractable two-piece hardtop, priced somewhere near $30,000. For those cross-shopping GM divisions for small sport/utes, Pontiac will add its version of the Saturn Vue/ Chevy Equinox. Pontiac’s Torrent SUV arrives in late summer.

European makers were represented by Volkswagen, with the redesigned fifth-generation Jetta (AW, Nov. 29, 2004), which goes on sale in March; the Ferrari Superamerica (Dec. 6, 2004), a limited-edition (aren’t they all?), Pininfarina-penned convertible powered by a 540-hp version of the 575M’s V12 engine; a BMW M3 with a handling package; and the 5.5-liter 469-hp supercharged Mercedes CLS55 AMG (Oct. 25, 2004) that goes on sale next month.

Pacific Rim automakers were represented by Korean maker Hyundai, which showed a fuel-cell version of its Tucson SUV.

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26,203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
More info

2006 Dodge Magnum SRT-8

Engine: 6.1-liter V-8
Horsepower: 425
Height: 57.9 inches
Width: 74.1 inches
Length: 197.7 inches
Curb weight: 4,260 pounds
What the automaker says: "The current take-rate for the Hemi in the Dodge Magnum is 43 percent. The new SRT 6.1-liter Hemi quenches the thirst for even more power.
What you should know:With the pumped-up Hemi V-8 making an eye-popping 425 hp, this wagon rockets from 0-60 mph in just over 5 seconds.
Production possibility: Production begins this summer.

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