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Dodge Magnum

So, some info is starting to leak out on the upcoming big RWD Chryslers. A few years ago, "upcoming big RWD Chryslers" is not a phrase I thought I would ever utter again! Here are some drawings which are allegedly confirmed by DCX sources to be very close to the production versions:

Chrysler 300:

Dodge Magnum:

It's not clear whether these will be offered as 2004, 2004.5 or 2005 models. Both will be on the new RWD LX-body platform. I have no information on pricing, but I'll wager the 300 comes in the $27-35K range. No idea at all on the Magnum; I'm a bit confused about where they are going to position that vehicle in the Dodge lineup.

As you can see, information about specs and pricing is spotty at best right now. But what do you think of the proposed styling? I really love the 300. I hope it looks just like the drawing, but with a slightly higher roofline and more reasonably sized wheels. I'm thinking of Photoshopping a '70s-Chevy-style slim chrome bumper onto the front of it...I think it would fit in perfectly with the styling, and provide some practical protection to boot (and a place to mount the front plate!).

The Magnum I'm not so hot about. The roofline is just way too low, and recent spy photos indicate that it's going to stay that way. The front end is nothing to sing about, either. It doesn't look very practical for a wagon. I like the Pacifica (which is NOT LX-body based) styling and layout better.

-Andrew L



  • I don't really know what all the fuss over a station wagon is. The only people I can picture getting really excited are funeral home directors who want to replace their aging Chevy Caprice hearses. The idea that gets my attention is the convertible version of the 300N that is on the drawing boards. The concept car for this debuted in '99 I think and I've been drooling over it ever since. From what I've heard, it's going to be hitting production in 2005. I can hardly wait.

    Here's the link for more info:

  • I saw some spy shots in the most recent Car and Driver of the new Magnum/300. The magazine said that the car appeared to be rear wheel drive. However, they had a pretty clear picture of the rear underbody of the car. Didn't the photographer bother to check for a rear differential?
  • yositoyosito Posts: 55
    C-T publishes very interesting articles, they are doing a very good job, but sometimes they publish articles that are not true, once they published that the Liberty wasn´t capable for the Rubicom, and so on. So we better wait to see and read the official press releases from DC.
  • Will 300N really offer a Benz at Chrysler price? Or, will the same quality issues and poor resale value persist?
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    Still, as things stand, the 300 Hemi C convertible concept car that came out 2 years ago WILL NOT be produced, and these new cars are not related to that vehicle as far as any styling goes. There's only a very small chance that in a few years, a version of that convertible may be produced alongside the Viper at its factory. Otherwise, don't get your hopes up. Here are more of the latest links that give more information, such that:

    -The 300 will come in 2 models, the Concorde replacement will carry the "300" badge, and the 300M replacement will have the "300N" moniker. The "C" being talked about just a few weeks ago has apparently been dropped.

    -The 300's will be the first out, in the first half of 2004. The Dodge's will follow, later that year and into the next year. The "Magnum" wagon will come out after the 300's, rear drive first, and then with an AWD option. The Dodge sedan will be the last to show, because it was originally supposed to be the Super 8 Hemi concept car, but it got horrible response at the auto shows, so DC started the design from scratch. It now apparently resembles the Charger concept from a few years back, and may be badged the "Charger" or remain the "Intrepid".

    These are two more links, Part I & Part II pertaining to the LX's:

    And, another link that shows both a large side and complete front view of the steel blue Dodge Magnum wagon completely uncovered, resides here:,178&sid=178

    I try to stay up with the latest, so I hope these links help.

  • caneaucaneau Posts: 14
    In the automotive world, there is a spectrum of 3 primary vehicles: Sedans, Trucks, and Sports Cars. Every mass produced car ever made has taken the role of one or more of these three basic automotive concepts. With the new breeds of cross overs that we have seen recently, all three of these characteristics are combined to make some fairly nice (think Murano) cars to some pretty... different and unique designs (asking you to think "Aztek" may be considered cruel and unusual punishment). Either way though, most of the new "SUV's" being produced today, the new VW Tou-whatever, the Volvo XC90, etc. are light-medium duty unibodies (don't forget Jeeps are unibodies) with fully independent suspensions that pride themselves in "car-like" rides. Let's see, sedan-like vehicles that can have four doors, one large compartment for the cockpit, rear seats, and trunk, and make them family friendly, hmm, that reminds me of something...a station wagon!
    For years, car "experts" have been reporting that the next logical step in the automotive industry will be the station wagon. SUV's have gotten "civilized" to the point where they nearly are station wagons with a bigger wheels and a suspension lift. A new Murano with a smooth and shiftless CVT, silky VQ series engine, and independent suspension is a far cry from my Jeep Cherokee. The biggest problem that station wagons have been having in the states (they're huge in Europe), is their house mommy image. In a world where we stress equality, the station wagon concept comes with its own stereotype.
    What Dodge has done with the Magnum is simply given people a reason to buy station wagons. I'll speak for myself on this, I don't really need all the capabilities of my Jeep and in terms of handling, fuel economy, and performance, a sedan is far more practical. I still need to be able to throw my tools, a couple hundred feet of cabling, and my shopping in the back though or fold the seats down and carry my skis. Also, having power to all four wheels has saved me numerous times from having to call AAA. Most people that I have talked to have a similar mentality: they want a car that performs well on the road yet is flexible enough to act as a work truck, a toy, and, get unstuck if you accidentally drive into some mud. Taking that purpose of an SUV, Dodge has simply added more sports car (Hemi) and truck (AWD) to a vehicle that already accomplished this goal.
    So what is the hardest thing that Dodge has to do to get people to buy this vehicle? Keep away from the "Station Wagon" image at all costs. This is car has great potential to be the coolest thing with 5 doors since the 427 Impala. It's fast. It looks good. It's practical. What else could you ask for?
  • caneau-

    I think you're right about how SUVs and sedans are kind of converging on this sport-wagon type vehicle. But I must say, I'm not so sure that the Magnum will be a big sales success. I'm sure it will be a great car, and will attract lots of middle-age muscle car fans who like the RWD and the big engine options, but it doesn't seem like a wise choice as a family vehicle. The low roof with small windows does not bode well for cargo capacity and kid-friendliness.

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the Magnum per se, but simply that it's not going to be a volume leader, and I fear that too many of Chrysler Group's future products fall into that category: cool niche cars that will only sell in moderate numbers. If Chrysler Group wants to keep from losing the 3rd-place sales spot to Toyota, they need to do something that really reinvents the mainstream family vehicle, like they did with the minivans in 1984. The Pacifica isn't it -- too expensive. The Magnum isn't it -- too quirky.

    I think what they should have done was not restrict the Pacifica to the $30K-plus market. They should have made a whole range of versions covering a huge spectrum of price and equipment, with all sorts of available options. If they played their cards right, I think something like that would have a chance of upstaging the minivans and becoming a sales home run. The Pacifica should be a good vehicle as-is, but by placing it in a narrow slot of the market ($31-37K range), they are missing a huge opportunity.

    -Andrew L
  • Have to deal with cops/DOC a lot - workout and train with them in martial arts - they all hate the smaller FWD cars they have to drive now. Besides being not small, these guys have to carry a lot of stuff on themselves, plus there is additionally huge amount of (electronic) equipment being put now in the car + there is, it looks like in-born international incompartability of cops and FWD. A lot of deparments will switch from current Impala to Magnum by the first opportunity. This is quite a large market. And, it looks like cops now are willing to pay - the only alernative to Magnum now is the much more expensive and much worse handling Tahoe. And, last, but not the least - 5.7 engine - the real reason - they are the car guys too, armed with taxpayers money. I wouldn't worry for sales of this staion wagon.
  • I am a regional sales manager and fortunately, I live in the middle of my territory so all major cities are within 300 miles. This means driving is always more convenient (not to mention pleasant) than flying. I currently drive a 300M about 20-25,000 miles per year. The M is a wonderful "traveling salesman" vehicle. Loads of room: great 'big-man' driver's space; plenty of room for four large adults for the inevitable trip to lunch or dinner; big trunk for samples, giveaways and all the other junk you love to travel with. On top of all that, the M is a great balance between performance and economy. 27mpg is not unusual for steady-state interstate travel and the 250 hp is plenty of grunt for all but boy-racer situations. The perfect car right? Well, the Magnum promises more of everything above plus the option of weighting performance more heavily with the hemi. I don't really care what everybody decides to call it, but it certainly is no "station wagon" in the traditional sense. There is no third seat. The interior is designed for plenty of room for four adults plus luggage and golf clubs. This is the perfect 'executive express' for the quick trip to Kohler for a couple of days of golf, or a weekend at Daytona with your buddies. I have a rep who has a Saab 9-5 wagon which has a lot of this utility, but none of the excitement. The Magnum will outsell the M which averages about 2500/month because it will appeal to a wider audience. I've been awaiting the LX 300 but I'm afraid the Mag may have stolen its thunder. This is one gorgeous design. I love the Ramness of the front end. The chop-top roofline is starting to show up on many of the newest vehicles like the Toyota Matrix, so my eye is getting used to it, and not really associating this visual cue with "station wagon". Of course, the proof will come with a test drive. I'm anticipating a big grin as I slip into the leather driver's seat and tromp on that hot V-8. Let's just hope DC brings at least a hot sport version to market immediately (I don't hold much hope that they'll actually build the SRT-8).
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    They built the srt-4 (neon) and srt-10 (Ram pick-up) , why wouldnt they build the srt-8.
  • Has anyone seen pictures of the next 300N, not the 300 LX or "New Yorker" If that is what it will be called?
  • the face of recent news, please don't say that Chrysler is any less reliable than Mercedes. Yes, I am perfectly sane. CR rated Chrysler equal to BMW and ABOVE Mercedes in reliability this year. And from reliable sources I have heard that dealers are complaining that they aren't getting enough warranty work. Face it--Chrysler is doing better. They even got a quality control guy from Toyota, the industry leader in reliability. Why did he leave Toyota? Because he wanted to work for a company that did exciting things...and that's what we will expect from Chrysler.

    by the way, you can go to the Allpar forums at, where I am known as "eaglecars." They have a news & rumors forum that's pretty active.
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518 now has a [rather poor] undisguised pic of a Chrysler LX-body sedan. It looks pretty good, in my opinion, though it's a very radical departure from the Concorde and 300M. I'll be interested to see some more pics when the official ones come out.

    -Andrew L
  • kosh_2258kosh_2258 Posts: 338
    Obviously targeted at a different market than the current car. Thanks, but no thanks - I'm not into "bricks" with wheels. Time to start the hunt for a new brand of vehicle.
  • I have to agree. I love the new brick car for what it is, but I would want a sleeker, cab-forward car for myself. At least something that is an evolution of the 300M. But, don't gripe yet...there are more designs on the way. anyhow, the April autoshow should have some new stuff for us to see.
  • qualityguyqualityguy Posts: 101
    So what? I believe they have rated Hyundai and Honda the same also...
  • kosh_2258kosh_2258 Posts: 338
    I know what Chrysler is trying to do, I just think they went way too far with it.

    They are trying to recapture the unique American look in a contempory car but they've overshot the mark. Their glass ratio is too low. The Magnum has potential but needs to be smoothed out and slimmed up some. They need to shoot for the mid 60's proportions, not the mid-late 50's they pursued.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    You haven't even seen the vehicles yet. The Magnum will definitely get "smoothed out" just like all concepts do on their way to production. The last issue of C&D has a great article on the Crossfire's evolution from concept to production. Even though the theme of the article was how little it changed, it still changed a lot. The Magnum will be fantastic. No one has seen enough of the new 300 to tell anything.
  • kosh_2258kosh_2258 Posts: 338
    The direction is obvious.

    Yes, I read the Magnum is something like 89% of what the production vehicle will look like. The C&D article on it was less than convincing stating that clinic participants described it as "tanklike".
    I also know that in recent years Chrysler production cars vary little from their "concepts" too.
    The production Crossfire is different from the concept to be sure, but then again it's nothing more than an MB CLK in Chrysler clothes. It's rear end styling has already been compared to a 60's AMC Marlin.

    There are some things that simply will not change because of structural considerations and production lead times, the glass ratio is one of them. The doors ARE going to be tall and the glass short.

    As for seeing the LX or not seeing the LX that's not relevant. I know what I've seen so far, I know what I like and what I don't like.

    I don't care for the direction DC is taking with the LX based on the samples revealed so far. I've also explained why I don't. Will my opinion change anything? Nope, and I don't expect it will. But I will express it none the less. If you agree OK. If you disagree that's your privilege too.

    The ultimate decision will be in the market place regardless of anyones opinion.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    then I guess there's no point in you following this board any longer.
  • kosh_2258kosh_2258 Posts: 338

    You do seem to have a pattern of telling people who disagree with you to get lost, subtly or not so subtly. I've noticed that on the 300M board too.

    These boards are here for discussion of a subject, good, bad, or indifferent. If you can't deal with that then perhaps you should consider seeking out a board that better fits your beliefs.
  • haha, yes, well, I usually try not to offend people on boards. Not too much, at least. :)

    I am very excited about the return of the HEMI. I was browsing auto review this morning, and I read one on the 300M. They wished it had an engine like the ol' V8 HEMI, they said, although the current engine was good enough. Well, looks like they will get their wish.

    As for the styling, I maintain that the brick car looks classy and would be a great New Yorker, but I personally would likely want a sleeker LX...called the 300N. Now, I don't know what they will actually build. The plan a while ago was to build both the "brick" and the 300M-like N. however, I don't know now whether there will be a sleek version or not.
  • kosh_2258kosh_2258 Posts: 338
    Where I'm coming from is that there are a lot of current customers that won't embrace this style (me being one). If DC expects to increase market share they won't get there trading customer bases. They'll get there by keeping the customers they have and adding to that.

    So that raises the fair question of what, if anything, are they going to offer that appeals to the existing base.

    I happen to own two DC products, a 300M and Grand Cherokee and I really like both these vehicles. But so far I'm not seeing anything in the LX line that I can plunk my money down for and that's disappointing to me as a current customer. Maybe something will come out of New York.

    Brampton Plant employees who are members here have said there will be 7 LX based products. We've seen 2 1/2 (Magnum, Airflite, 1/2 of an unnamed LX) so far so there is more yet to come.
    Perhaps some of those will go a different way.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    I could care less whether or not you agree with me that the upcoming LX "future vehicles" will be exciting, class leading vehicles. I do assume that anyone visiting a "future vehicles" board would have some enthusiasm for the vehicle. You simply stated that you had seen enough to be turned off so I'm simply encouraging you to find a board you can be enthusiastic about. At least you own DC which is more than can be said about the many trolls looking to smear DC in any public forum. Is it just DC that attracts the naysayers? I really don't know what happens on the Honda boards, because I could care less, so, guess what, I don't go there.
  • kosh_2258kosh_2258 Posts: 338
    Your view on the point of these boards is narrow to say the least.

    Did it ever occurred to you that DC observers might just be checking around here to get feedback, good and bad, from customers to assess the customer mood and get a reality check?

    Guess what, the world isn't all sweetness and light. Unless customers express an honest opinion about things like style, quality, and content we won't get what we seek.

    The 300N is the follow on to the 300M I drive today. So I'm qualified to voice a commentary on the 300N - which happens to be thumbs down - if the LX we've seen represents the 300N.

    If you don't care about my opinion why do you feel compelled to comment?
  • qualityguyqualityguy Posts: 101
    Though everybody is entitled to own opinion, regardless of how extreme it is, we should be courteous enough to everybody on the forum. Opposite opinions are good, since they might open certain sides of reality a person for whatever reason didn't pay appropriate attention to. This way, we should be open - and helpfull to each other - 'cuz, as per Wisnot Churchill, voice is raised only when there is lack of arguments. And I guess, everybody can see a lot of toughness shown every day on TV. All I am saying, is give peace a chance.
  • dmauly2kdmauly2k Posts: 6
    Looks similar to the Dodge Magnum and Chrysler Crossfire. Rumour has it that this will be at the New York International Auto Show
  • kosh_2258kosh_2258 Posts: 338
    In the immortal words of Jar Jar Binks: Pee yousa!

    Exciting? Class leading? I think similar words were used to describe the Edsel.

    Lutz would have taken one look at this and said: What else have you got to show me? It would never have seen the light of day on his watch. Tom Gale is either laughing his [non-permissible content removed] off or crying, I'm not sure which.
  • hawkpa25hawkpa25 Posts: 1
    I just saw the Chrysler 300 concept for the first time today and in my opinion, its stunning. A complete departure for sure from my 2001 LHS in every way. This car is beautiful. Chrysler has a created an elegant and sophisticated entry into the near lux category. As God is my witness, there will be one in my driveway.
  • qualityguyqualityguy Posts: 101
    elegant and sophisticated is sort of a stretch, but different from anything cab-forward built up to now, and retro-cool. elegant and sophisticated design was it up to now. it's not bettet or worth - it's different. and change is good.
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