The name Dodge Magnum has been used several times by Chrysler throughout its history. The first Magnum was introduced in the United States in 1978. Richard Petty was driving the Mopar and the introduction of the Magnum allowed him to continue to do this. This car was the last one to be manufactured by Chrysler using one of the older platforms. Designs were moving away from the bigger heavier vehicles such as the Charger and becoming more aerodynamic and fuel efficient. The public’s desire for more streamlined vehicles was showing up in the sales of the Charger so Chrysler was desperately trying to adjust.
The Dodge Magnum still had the look and feel of the Charger but appeared as a softer and slightly sleaker vehicle. With the concerns over the economy and the recent energy crisis early in the decade, Chrysler was also bigging to faze out the heavier gas guzzling engines. The early version of the Magnum offered for the last time the the 318 cu in V8 lean burn engine.
Although the 318 was offered as the base engine in the 1970′s version of the Dodge Magnum, there were also two other engines offered. The two barrel carbureted 360 and the four barrel carbureted 400 engine. Chrysler stopped producing the big block V8 engine in 1979. The 1979 Dodge Magnum would be the last car to offer this engine as an option.
Chrysler revived the name Dodge Magnum for the 2005 model year but the name was all the two cars had in common. The Dodge Magnum station wagon , believe it or not, was offered in a police car version also, but sales lagged in this department. The new Dodge Magnum was having difficulty selling in civilian markets as well partly due to the fact that minivans and SUV’s had taken the place of the station wagon.
The new Magnum was offered with four different engines. The Dodge Magnum RT was offered with the 5.7 L Hemi V8 engine which was one of Dodges most popular engines. All wheel drive was also available in the 2005 Dodge SXT and the 2005 Dodge RT.
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