March 1, 2004 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

  • Dodge designers flex creative muscles

When the sports car market got boring, Dodge introduced Viper.

When the passenger car market was cramped and crowded, Dodge introduced Intrepid.

When the truck market was a sea of sameness, Dodge introduced Ram.

Now, Dodge unveils the all-new 2005 Dodge Magnum, with an all-new unique profile that will add yet another dimension to the company’s new "sports tourer" segment.

Whether it’s cars, trucks, minivans or sport-utility vehicles, Dodge has a well-earned reputation for putting head-turning vehicles on the road.

“Consistent with the bold, in-your-face philosophy of the Dodge brand, our design objective with Dodge Magnum was to break away from the pack,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Design, DaimlerChrysler. “With a rear-wheel-drive architecture and a HEMI® engine inside, we created yet another package with proportions unlike any other in the marketplace.”

A CHISELED, CUT EXTERIOR
Dodge Magnum charts a brave new direction for Dodge. Combining the functional characteristics of a sport-utility along with the performance and road manners of a sport sedan, Dodge has created a unique vehicle in its segment. Its architecture and proportions convey a bold, powerful image that is youthful, masculine, and aggressive.

“This noble, powerful design appears as if chiseled from a metal ingot, building on the powerful presence of the new Dodge Ram truck,” said Creed. “Magnum is pure Dodge. It is substantial, with every element having a purpose.”

Magnum is the first rear-wheel-drive car for the Dodge brand in nearly 20 years, and designers used this opportunity to create a different vehicle image from what is currently offered in the marketplace today. The profile of the vehicle represents the greatest departure from today and takes on the image of a “shooting brake.” With a bold hood and long tapered roof line, the look is dramatic. The front and rear overhangs have been minimized which emphasizes the wheels at the corners and conveys a message of design efficiency.

The beltline on the body has been raised, while the roofline has been pulled down tautly around the windows to create a new proportion of body to glass which is usually only found on hot rods and concept vehicles. The tall bodyside is substantial and offers the driver a feeling of safety. This clean, ingot-like body is interrupted up by a set of pronounced wheel flares which contain a set of available massive 18” tires and wheels.

The front-end design is very bold and features a prominent grille with the familiar Dodge cross hair center theme, which contains a Ram’s head badge. Taking a cue from the Ram truck, the grille employs a texture of horizontal grille bars. The shape of the grille itself is new and signals a new signature for the face of the Dodge brand. The headlamps are large for improved functional requirements and figure prominently into the front-end design.

Exterior ornamentation is minimal and supports the philosophy of visual strength and design efficiency. The interior components of the headlamps have been given a unique finish to provide optimum performance, and are executed in a fashion to create visual entertainment as well. The body side molding is a body-colored part highlighted with an elegant bright accent. The nameplates themselves reside on the liftgate with the exception of those vehicles equipped with a V-8 “HEMI” engine. In those special cases, a discreet nameplate is added to the fender above the molding punctuating the fact that there is something special under the hood.

Special attention was also given to the design of the exterior mirrors and door handles. The mirrors were shaped in the wind tunnel to maximize aerodynamic efficiencies and minimize the structural mass to achieve a light and unobtrusive appearance. The use of body color mirror heads help contribute to the vehicle’s upscale appearance. The door handles as well are a new “pull style” design which look substantial, feel good in the hand, and add to the overall solid appearance of the car.

The large 18” aluminum, five spoke wheels along with the large disc brakes, and 18” tires work together to convey the message that this is a driver’s car. Magnum blends the functional attributes of a sport-utility, the character of sport sedan, and the soul of a Viper to create a unique vehicle for Dodge.

An unusually large cargo opening is created by hinging the top of the rear gate midway between the C- and D-pillar. Surrounding the cargo gate, the rear taillamps are pushed to the corners to maximize functionality while accentuating the vehicle’s wide stance. A large, protective rear bumper tops dual exhaust pipes, emphasizing Dodge Magnum RT’s HEMI V-8 performance.

BOLD, FLEXIBLE INTERIOR
“Dodge Magnum’s interior delivers on the promise of the exterior making a strong business like statement with, silver accented gauges, door pulls and two- tone color scheme, which complement the spacious, leather interior,” said Creed. “And in a time when people are used to the flexibility and taller seating packages of sport-utility vehicles, Dodge Magnum combines both by raising the seating position two-and-a-half inches from our current passenger cars and adding a spacious and flexible cargo area.”

Dodge Magnum’s interior is richly finished in a two-tone treatment which work together to give Magnum a luxurious but serious driver environment.

Placed behind the sporty four spoke steering wheel with silver accents, are four competition-style instrument gauges with white faces and silver colored accent rings tunneled-in to the instrument panel similar to those found on Dodge Viper. The center stack components are new and feature a new HVAC control unit, along with a variety of radios. A premium radio with an integrated navigation system is also available. Secondary controls for heated seats are located low on either side of the central ash receiver. Special attention was paid to the execution of these components to minimize gaps, and touch efforts as well as highlight flushness to adjacent components to achieve world class fit and finish. The centerpiece of the center console is the silver accented leather shift knob which highlights the gated shifter and new five speed automatic transmission for greater driving enjoyment.

The 60/40 split rear seats fold flat and feature a fold-out armrest. The flexible rear cargo area features an upper flat-load floor that expands the usable cargo area when the rear seats are folded forward. Additional storage is provided below this load floor for smaller items and in deep pockets on either side of the floor rearward of the wheels.