Dodge Magnum RT East Aurora NY

Even though some people might describe the Magnum as a "station wagon," that term doesn't come up in any of the Dodge literature, and for good reason. The Magnum is described by Dodge's alliterative Craig Love of the Product Team as a car that "offers the right formula of proportion, packaging and performance that sets it apart from the competition."

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Even though some people might describe the Magnum as a "station wagon," that term doesn't come up in any of the Dodge literature, and for good reason. The Magnum is described by Dodge's alliterative Craig Love of the Product Team as a car that "offers the right formula of proportion, packaging and performance that sets it apart from the competition."

Around the Road & Track office, we went ahead and used the station wagon term anyway: "Finally, a station wagon with an attitude… a car that can haul stuff and haul ass at the same time," said Design Director Richard M. Baron. He went on to predict that a lot of sport-utility-vehicle owners probably would look favorably upon the Magnum and climb down from their oversize trucks. Senior Editor Andrew Bornhop tossed in his opinion: "Chrysler has succeeded on the look of the car, somehow incorporating a bold truck-influenced nose on a wagon-shaped body with a decidedly hot-rod attitude." Others on the staff bandied about terms like "industrial-strength styling," and "looks long, low, powerful and a bit menacing."

Along with its great looks, the Magnum also boasts an excellent drivetrain, starting with the heavily promoted and now again-famous Hemi moniker on the 5.7-liter V-8. This engine produces an abundance of horsepower (340 bhp at 5000 rpm) and all-important torque (390 lb.-ft. at 4000). Considering that the curb weight is 4200 lb., all this power is needed to provide the performance Dodge wanted to offer and buyers demanded. In our track testing, we were delighted to find that the Magnum RT charged from 0-60 mph in a very quick 6.1 seconds, and ran the quarter mile in 14.6 sec. at 97.4 mph. The Hemi has a pleasant rumble to its exhaust note, and it's an engine that hustles up through the rev range with a linear delivery of power.

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