The Dodge Magnum could be coming back–here’s what they should do to it.Posted: July 22, 2011
This past week, Ralph Gilles, the head designer for the Dodge division, announced that the Magnum could be making a comeback. This news makes me very, very happy.
To be honest, the Magnum was in a class of its own during its time in the Dodge lineup, and according to Gilles, there are people still with the company that had a liking for the car when it was around. In fact, one man’s poor decision-making was what killed it off (That man has still indeed gone unnamed), according to Gilles. I have some suggestions for this car that will make it possibly even more successful than it was when it launched six years back.
For one thing, with gas prices as they are, AWD should be strictly an option, considering that it does reduce mileage. Make a small engine such as a turbocharged inline-four, standard equipment, and the Pentastar V6 a midlevel option–if the turbo engine (think Hyundai Sonata engine, guys) could produce about the same as the old 3.5L V6 (about 250-255hp). This should come with a standard eight speed automatic transmission, which is already in the works and slated to hit the lineups in the next couple of years. The Hemi should keep its cylinder deactivation, and upgrade to the 8-speed as well, but Dodge must keep all prices down–the car should start at around 25-25.5K and the R/T should probably not start at more than about $31,000 to keep demand nice and even. Meanwhile, the SRT version should get a six-speed manual as standard (automatic as an option), with the 6.4L V8, at about 470HP to offset the extra weight. Or, maybe an SRT-10 to make a cut-rate competitor to the CTS-V wagon. That would be nice, too.
As for the rest of the car, the styling should deviate from the Charger, but still be attractive. The bodywork on the old one was great, until it got that pig nose in 2008. Dodge would do well to make it look smaller than it is, but to still give the car some heft in its design. In addition, to keep weight down, if Dodge can afford it, use high-strength steel and aluminum as much as possible to keep rigidity at a maximum. The LY platform can certainly support the Magnum, and if Dodge does bring it back, the big-wagon void can be filled, and Dodge could have a lower-cost competitor to vehicles like the Ford Flex and the German wagons like the BMW 5 Series GT (a car that needs no introduction in itself), Mercedes-Benz E-Class Touring, and the upcoming Audi A6 Avant. Make it so, Dodge. I’ve driven the 300 and I loved it–I can’t wait to see what you can do with this car.