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Daimler's abuse of the Dodge Charger legacy.

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Comments

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    DC production information:

    LXDX48 Charger SRT-8 RWD Job #1 is 9/12/05
    (AHB) Police Group Job #1 is 9/21/05

    Watch for the crosshairs in the mirror - could be a law enforcement officer with a 6.1 Charger or Magnum!

    kcram
    Host - Wagons
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    police car - I sold hundreds of Crown Vics as a fleet manager at a Ford dealership, before the Caprice went out of production. It was tough competition.

    Die hard V-8/rear drive police officers have had to have Crown Vics, or settle for Malibus or Intrepids (no offense, Andre) and have moaned and complained about V-6 front drivers all along.

    They'll now have the choice of a car more powerful than a Crown Vic, just about as roomy inside, but smaller overall for easier parking and manuevering - what a deal, GI...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    I talked to an Anne Arundel (MD) county cop who got one of the county's first Intrepids, and he said at the time it simply wasted the Crown Vic in acceleration and handling. It could just be a matter of choice though...if you're raised on RWD cars you're probably not going to like the FWD ones, and vice versa. I found an old Michigan State police test from 2003, IIRC, and while the Impala, Crown Vic, and Intrepid were all close from around 0-60 or so, at higher speeds the Crown Vic and Intrepid pulled away, and I think the Intrepid hit 100 mph in the shortest time. It also had the highest top speed, although all 3 were electronically limited, and all 3 could still break 125, IIRC. I posted a link to that test somwewhere, but I'm too lazy to go find it now.

    Still, the handling on an Intrepid is going to be different from a Crown Vic, and from a durability/ruggedness standpoint is no contest. The Crown Vic should be able to take much more of a beating than the Intrepid or Impala.

    I wonder how much a Magnum/Charger police car is going to cost, though? The Crown Vic might still have an advantage in pricing, and in raw overall room it's still going to be better. Especially in the trunk. The Crown Vic's trunk is something like 21 cubic feet, versus maybe 15.6 for the Charger (although I guess the Magnum would have an advantage, being a wagon).

    Also, maneuvering might be a tossup as well. While the LX cars are about 15-16 inches shorter overall than a Crown Vic, the wheelbase is almost 6 inches longer! You've got less overhang and less overall bulk, but I'd imagine that'll make for a wider turning circle. You'll have less car to park, but won't be able to turn as tightly, so it might be a wash.

    I also have a feeling that the Crown Vic might also be a sturdier, more durable car in the long run, and more able to take a beating. It's body-on-frame, versus unitized for the LX cars. Now Chrysler has been building unitized cars, including police cars, since 1960. However those older Mopars were a totally different breed, strong and overbuilt.

    Today the LX cars only have a GVWR of around 5,000 lb. And that's for a car that weighs around 4000+ lb, with a V-8. That doesn't seem to leave a lot of capacity left over. In contrast, my buddy's '04 Crown Vic LX weighs around 4,000 lb, but has a GVWR of 5500 lb. Even my old '89 Gran Fury had a GVWR of arounf 5100 lb, yet only weighed around 3500.

    It'll be interesting to see how these things do as police cars. The Michigan State Police tested a Magnum in their last comparison, but unfortunately tested one with a 3.5 V-6. Compared to how the Impala and Crown Vic have improved in the past couple years, it was underwhelming. But interestingly, it was quicker from 0-60 and 0-100 than what the Crown Vic, Intrepid, and Impala had been for 2003! So while it looks like GM and Ford are still offering the same old thing, they do seem to be making improvements to them over the years.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    I was selling Crown Vics to the Wyoming State Police for $9,000 when the retailed at $24k. Every manufacturer uses government/municipal incentives to make sure they're competitive. I also sold Ford F-250 4x4s to Wyoming Game and Fish for $12k, when they retailed at $25k.

    Pricing won't be a problem, DCC knows what they need to do.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    ..you guys may have seen this before, but check out this commercial for the Dodge Aries:

    http://www.big-boys.com/articles/dodge88.html

    Probably seen it before, but it still makes me laugh every time.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    but I think I may have seen it years ago. Does it have some nerdy looking kid with a proud look on his face, saying, with pride "My name is Justin (or something like that)...and I drive a DODGE!"

    As I recall, it was hysterical! And put together very professionally!
  • jimhemijimhemi Posts: 223
    Just to touch on the top speed issue. I have a Vic Interceptor, I got mine up to 135 mph and it runs out of steam from 110 up. Takes a long time to get from 110-135, or so it seems. The Police package cars do not have a computer speed limitor, if they do it's not factory. With the Hemi and much better aerodynamics, the Charger/Magnum should be able to more easily run down speeders or just to get a cup of coffee quicker.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    running Code 3 to the donut shop....those guys know when a fresh batch is done.

    Hey, I was a cop, I can joke...
  • I dunno - they might re-consider if it's a really hot seller right out of the gate... I remember 6, 7 years ago, GM was going to make a Police version of the Tahoe, but at the time, gas was cheap, they were selling all they could build..they decided they could make more money selling loaded Tahoes to consumers than they could selling Police package Tahoes to local governments.

    I'm just saying, if there's a waiting list for Chargers when they first come out, they might delay the police version until 2007, 2008
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    that a Hemi Charger/Magnum would blow the doors off of a Crown Vic in acceleration. I just have a feeling that it might have some long-term durability/abuse-ability problems, and might not be able to take the same punishment that the Crown Vic, being body-on-frame, having a higher GVWR, etc would be able to.

    As for the Tahoe, there is a police package Tahoe, as well as an Expedition. According to the MSP, they do 0-60 in about 10 seconds and top out around 100 mph. They're not meant to be high-speed pursuit vehicles.

    Also, some of the acceleration times, especially 0-60, that the MSP quotes might seem kind of slow. But that's because they time them differently from MT, C&D, etc. Where the buff rags will do everything they can to get the quickest time out of the car, such as power-braking and such, the MSP just puts two cops in the car and has them take off, with no special launch tricks. They do one run one way, one run back, to account for wind resistance, and then take the average.
  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    I thought they scrapped plans to build the police Tahoe? I've never actually see one on the road...I've seen Expeditions, my local Police department has a few (they use Impalas as their car)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    it must be out, because the MSP tested a 2005. The test can be downloaded here: http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,1607,7-123--16274--,00.html

    It's a pdf file. It lists 4 different Chevy trucks:

    Silverado 2500 HD 4WD (0-60 in 10.97 seconds)
    Tahoe PPV E85 4WD (0-60 in 8.19 seconds)
    Tahoe PPV 2WD (0-60 in 8.27 seconds)
    Tahoe 4WD (0-60 in 9.46 seconds)

    the PPV models are actually topping out at 124-125 mph! The other two won't even hit 100.

    They also tested a Ford Expedition that topped out at 99 and an Explorer that topped out at 107
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    several PD Tahoes in our area. Also two Excursions and an Expedition.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Oklahoma State Highway Patrol uses them. Evediently they couldn't find something more expensive to chase down speeders with. Not quite sure why they are using them as "persuit" vehicles.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    they're easier to spot from a longer distance - don't complain!

    These new Charger police cars will be harder to spot than a Crown Vic, especially if they use low profile light bars, or no light bar.
  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    I believe you guys, I've just never seen one - my local PD has Expeditions - I still remember reading something years ago about the Police Tahoe being cancelled due to strong consumer demand.. this was back in 96, 97 timeframe...I guess since demand isn't as strong now, they're glad to sell Tahoes to PD!
  • jimhemijimhemi Posts: 223
    Durability will be the ultimate sell to any department. They have to retrain the mechanics that work on these cars and that becomes very costly. The Hemi for law enforcement might not work unless they disable the MDS feature on the cop versions. The Hemi, with the MDS needs regular oil changes and I know first hand that the oil change schedules are every 6,000 miles for most of the state cars here. That's a lot of heat and idle time which just kills an engine. The MDS having the special valve allowing for half of the engine to work at sustained highway speeds might become problematic with sludged up oil.
    When they service the cars here, the oil comes out looking like tar, and of course there is the issue of cheap, contract oil. There also is an issue of running premium gas vs. the cheap stuff that any vic will run on. Think of all the local and state gas pumps that now must have a premium tank installed. If the Charger/Magnum cop special comes out I'm wondering if it would come equipped with a 4.7L V8? Then cheap gas and oil changes aren't so problematic.
    As for the Tahoe issue it comes down to training and costs. The Troopers here did not like the high center of gravity and poor handling of the Tahoe, despite its police package. Without 4x4 they where worse in the snow then the vics. Government contracts determine what gets bought and if you can purchase 2 cars for the price of say 1 Tahoe, usually 2 cars were bought.
  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    You bring up a good point about the MDS...

    I sorta doubt they'd build a special edition with the 4.7L..I don't know all the laws, but wouldn't they have to certify it with the EPA, etc.. even if it wasn't sold to the general public?

    Here's a scenario - maybe it would have the 3.5L V6 - I know that sounds crazy, but it has 250hp, which is more than the Crown Vic has.

    Or, would the DOHC be more of a maintenance problem than the MDS system?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    that the Hemi police cars didn't have the cylinder deactivation, and were set up more like the Hemi that's in trucks. And FWIW, I don't think the big 6.1 Hemi has cylinder deactivation at all.

    As for the 3.5, yeah it has 250 hp, compared to something like 224 for the Crown Vic. But where it comes up short is torque. It also has 250 ft-lb of torque, where I think the Crown Vic is more like 280? In the MSP test, the Crown Vic would do 0-60 in the low-8's, while the 3.5 Magnum was 9.1.

    Another shortcoming of the Magnum 3.5, IMO, is the transmission. It's the same transmission that has been giving Chrysler problems for years now, and while they continue to improve it, it still has its issues. And they tend to pop up more in cars with larger engines, higher torque, and higher weights. I think the tranny is also designed to preserve itself somehow, and it does that by not utilizing the full power of the engine. I've driven an Intrepid R/T with and a Magnum with the 3.5 V-6, and the tranny just felt slow to shift to me. It's like it would delay for a moment before shifting into the next higher gear, and just didn't react all that quickly. In contrast, the tranny in my 2.7 Intrepid is much more responsive. Although it's still not as quick to react as an old Torqueflite!

    Oh yeah, the 3.5 V-6 is just an SOHC unit. It's the small 2.7 V-6 that's DOHC.
  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    You're right, the 6.1L doesn't have the MDS, that's why the SRT-8 300 has to pay a gas guzzler tax... Also, the 6.1L (at least in the SRT-8) is set up for premium fuel. They'd have to 'de-tune' it somewhat, I'd assume, to use 'regular' in the Police application....

    Seems to me, like you said above, the most logical choice would be the 5.7L Hemi without the MDS, like they use in the trucks. Like Jimhemi said above, I'm sure the municipal gvmts would trade away a few HP and MPG in exchange for durability.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    MDS is used on the 5.7 Hemi, but not the 6.1 that will be used in the SRT-8 (and likely the police) versions. And I'm sure the police version of the 5.7 would be without MDS, like the truck versions. (Just announced today, Auburn Hills MI has two 3.5 V6 Magnums and two 5.7 V8 Magnums for testing, donated by DC.)

    The 425hp 6.1L Hemi, with the Charger or Magnum body and window strobes instead of a light bar, would probably catch anything short of a 911 Turbo or one of the exotic Italians. The departments that bought Camaros, Firebirds, and Mustangs for highway pursuit will be all over these Hemis.

    I can hear Elwood now... "It's got a cop motor: a 440 cubic inch plant. It's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas."

    kcram
    Host - Wagons
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    "I traded it for a microphone..."
  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
    Now that you mention it, yeah, the Magnum would probably be more practical that the Charger - more room for storage, etc... You could put a police dog back there

    I doubt any of them will have 425hp - like I said above, I bet they would "detune" it somewhat to run on regular...The car would be plenty fast enough with the "regular" 5.7L making 340hp
  • jimhemijimhemi Posts: 223
    Yes, the RAM Hemi is a 5.7 without the MDS, but rumors are that the MDS will be making its way into the trucks sometime in the near future. The 6.1L is a "hopped" up Hemi. It has higher cam profiles and higher compression. I can not imagine budgets going towards Hemis instead of bullet proof vests and more cops on the beat. Dodge still makes the 4.7 which they offer in the Durango and Ram, sure the Dakota has it as well but don't quote me.
    My mother has a Hemi Durango and she practically tows a gasoline tanker behind her, not to mention the cringe each time she has to say, "fill it with the plus." The book calls for 91 octane or better. The Vic will run on 87 or if you find some horse "water".
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    that the 4.7 would be a good mid-range motor to put in the LX. I don't think it makes any more hp than the 3.5, but it out-torques it.

    Here's a Hemi question...is the car Hemi an aluminum block and the truck Hemi an iron block? I couldn't remember if they were doing two different blocks or not.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    All 5.7s are the same construction. You may be thinking of how the V10s differed with the Viper engine being aluminum, and the HD Ram engine being iron.

    kcram
    Host - Wagons
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    As shown at the NY Auto Show:

    image

    image

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    - choice of 250hp 3.5 V6 or 340hp 5.7 Hemi V8 MDS
    - 18x7.5 steel wheels with hubcap or full cover
    - 225/60VR18 tires
    - 160-mph speeedo
    - 800CCA battery and 160amp alternator. 100amp battery feed in trunk
    - aux coolers for oil, trans fluid and steering fluid
    - 5-speed automatic
    - 4-wheel ABS with all-speed Traction Control, ESP, and Emergency Brake Assist
    - Dodge estimate with Hemi: 0-60 in 6 flat

    "With rear-wheel drive and available HEMI® power at the pavement, the Dodge Charger provides optimum police car pursuit performance," said Darryl Jackson, Vice President – Dodge Marketing, Chrysler Group. "Dodge has a strong police heritage and is proud to offer vehicles armed with modern muscle and cutting-edge technology.”

    Press release: Dodge Charger Police

    Looks like the Crown Vic has its first serious competitor since the demise of the Caprice...

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    just like an old Diplomat or Gran Fury, St. Regis, etc, or even those old 70's Monacos and Furys, the Charger seems to look BETTER in police car guise!

    I wonder how much those 18x7.5 steel wheels weigh? I've had a few RWD Mopars with 15x7 wheels, and my Intrepid has 16x7, and those suckers are HEAVY!

    Interesting too how alternators just keep on getting stronger. My '89 Gran Fury police interceptor had a 100 amp alternator, and I remember that being a big deal back then. Kinda makes you wonder how cars ever got along with 45-amp and 60-amp alternators or, God forbid, generators!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Oh, generators are great. Gives you one more gauge that will move with the reving of the engine! Oh and it will also.....uh......er.....well that's about it. Always nice not producing any charge at idle. ;-)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    if you pop the car into neutral and gun the engine a bit!

    Do generators tend to last longer than alternators, though? As far as I know, my '57 DeSoto is still on its original generator, but in my experience most alternators tend to have a lifespan of about 7 or 8 years. Of course, it doesn't get driven very much either, so it's probably hard to compare. The speedo/odometer is broken, but I doubt the car has more than 70,000 miles on it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,249
    I think that Charger looks better as a police car too. Very fitting. I bet it will do well in that regard, should it be reliable.

    My fintail has a generator...what I think was the original one crapped out 6 years ago. A rebuild was very cheap, and is still working like new.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    A Charger police car? Give one to Roscoe - maybe then he'll finally catch them Duke Boys in the General Lee...
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,287
    With that front end, I bet you'd be able to give some subtle "nudges" to the bad guys! :)

    PF Flyer
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  • dougd7dougd7 Posts: 71
    andre....

    The alternator in my retired 92 Acclaim lasted 302K miles. At least it was still working when I permanently parked it. And as far as I know the 90 Acclaim I currently have is still on the original alternator - 176K miles and still going strong.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    of an alternator for a normal car, versus requirements of an alternator on a police vehicle, are night and day - think about 3-4 times the strength and stamina requirement - just for info.

    Very much like stereo competition folks who run 10 amps, 2500 watts, 14 speakers, and flashing neon...oh, and plasma TVs...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    my '89 Gran Fury WAS a police car, and only had a 100-amp alternator. That was pretty much the standard Chrysler police package throughout the late 70's and 80's, and possibly earlier.

    But then, I guess police cars these days probably have a lot more electronic stuff in them than just the radio, and they do have a lot more lights on them nowadays, as opposed to the "Texas Bubblegum Machines" of days gone by.

    If you end up going with TOO big of an alternator though, will you start noticing a sap in the engine's power, since that's just that much extra the engine has to power?
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    conversation - I was just commenting about a Plymouth Acclaim's alternator not being required to do nearly as much as a police car's.

    But, yes, you have a digital radio system, with a receiver, amp, and antenna module, a laptop assembly with the drive system for that, plus the radar unit, and of course, overhead lights, takedown lights, and strobes in the headlights, taillights, and turn signals.

    A long way away from a single rotating beacon and a two-way radio...
  • jimhemijimhemi Posts: 223
    Went to the NYC autoshow on Easter Sunday. After fighting the enormous crowd to get through the Dodge Section, I came to the Charger SRT. The lines just to see the car on the rotating stage was amazing. The amount of people that clamored just to get to peak into the Chargers that were on the floor was impressive. The Charger was definatlty the buzz and hot car of the autoshow. The only other cars that had any kind of excitement that the Chargers had were the Shelby Mustang and Cobra Daytona Coupe. I'm no fan of the NAME Charger on a 4 door car, but it was obvious that this was the hot car of the show and people will buy it. The SRT version was cool looking. Had Dodge released that back in Jan. it would have been an easier pill to swallow. The Candy Red pearl coat looks great in person.
  • plum500plum500 Posts: 12
    ...don't know if some might think this is abuse...but here's my take on it:
    image
    imageimage
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    because it's tempting and taunting us with something that we'll never see in the real world! So cut it out! :P Or better yet, show us a convertible version! :shades:
  • plum500plum500 Posts: 12
    ...ah, one more :) (admit the colors look a bit cartoony, but it's cause their rendered and I didn't do anything to bring em' into the real world color of the original pic...)

    image
  • davem2001davem2001 Posts: 564
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Coool! What's the transmission? I've heard that the Charger will normally be available with an auto only (which puts it off my list in a big way), but maybe the Daytona will have a manual option?

    I think I'd actually like the Daytona version better than the upcoming higher-performing SRT-8, in sort of the same way that I think the Mustang Mach 1 is a cooler car than the Cobra. I guess when it comes to pony/muscle cars, I'm of the view that heritage is an important thing, and counts as much if not more than raw performance.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    When is the new Charger scheduled to arrive at dealerships? I thought production began early last month.
  • dougd7dougd7 Posts: 71
    I believe the first shipments should be hitting the showroom floors around mid-May. As far as the transmission goes, the closest to a manual will be an "Autostick" type setup.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    ...thanks for the information. I was wondering when the Charger would arrive at dealerships.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,803
    on my way home from work, i pass a pickup with vermont plates towing a boat.
    it had twin outboards, with the words 'charger' over 'chrysler' underneath on the motors. i wonder how old those were? :confuse:
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • The car that Daimler is parading around as the 2006 Dodge Charger is a travesty.
    It's a squat, stubby Ford Maverick look-alike with a Dodge Dakota truck snub-nosed grill. It's about as aerodynamic as a carboard box. It looks hideous as far as I'm concerned and it’s a slap in the face to the Charger legacy.

    Forrest Gump has more in common with Albert Einstein, than Daimler's abortion of automotive engineering has to the sleek and aggressive Chargers of the sixties and seventies.

    The aggressively designed '99 Charger concept was the true heir to the Charger legacy, but Daimler dumbed-down the Charger legacy to a mere grocery getter. Through a ridiculous "Bait & Switch" routine they substituted the attractive '99 concept with Yugo's answer to the muscle car.

    Daimler can continue to pay exorbitant sums of money to spin-doctors, race car drivers and commentators to push what they are serving, but I'll never goose-step to their rhetoric. Instead this former lifelong MOPAR enthusiast will take his business elsewhere.

    Left unchecked, it is apparent that the Daimlerization of Chrysler will soon result in a complete line of squat, snub nosed Mercedes-like vehicles. The result will be the complete eradication of any sheet metal DNA from Dodge's true muscle car legacy.

    When this happens there will only be two U.S. automakers to carry on the American muscle car heritage. It's time for the De-Daimlerization of Chrysler.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    your comment on the "Charger" outboard motors gave me a bit of a flashback. I used to have a 1969 Dodge Dart GT with a slant six. On the air cleaner cover, it had "CHARGER 225" written in bold, forward-swept lettering. It didn't make it any faster than any other slant six, but I thought it sure looked cool! So, could I say that I had a Charger, then? :)
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