July 16, 2007 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group unveiled its new 2008 Dodge Dakota mid-size pickup with a new engine that not only offers 31 percent more horsepower and 13 percent more torque, but also better fuel economy and increased refinement. The new 2008 Dodge Dakota also features new exterior and interior styling, and many best-in-class capabilities. The most powerful mid-size pickup arrives in Dodge dealerships this August.

New for 2008 are striking exterior and interior enhancements that bear signature Dodge styling cues while creating a new persona for Dakota.

“The Dodge truck DNA is well-understood in the marketplace,” said Ralph Gilles, Vice President – Jeep®/Truck and Color and Trim Studios, and Specialty Vehicles, Chrysler Group Design. “We are creators of powerful trucks with a distinct flair for style and no compromise in function. We restyled our new 2008 Dodge Dakota to reflect that DNA in a package that presents a sporty lifestyle vehicle and a work truck.”

New 4.7-liter V-8 Engine
Dodge trucks are bold, powerful and capable. The powerful and capable parts of the equation in the 2008 Dodge Dakota begin with powertrain choices, which include a new V-8 engine — the only V-8 option available in the mid-size pickup segment.

The new 4.7-liter Flex Fuel V-8 offers more power and torque plus more than 5 percent better fuel economy than the previous 4.7-liter engine. It also delivers improvements in refinement. The new 4.7-liter V-8 incorporates two spark plugs per cylinder (the only Chrysler Group engine to do so, other than the 5.7-liter HEMI®), increased compression ratio, improved cylinder-head port flow and a new combustion system. The result is 302 horsepower, a 31 percent increase; and 329 lb.-ft. of torque, a 13 percent increase. The new engine is also capable of operating on E85 ethanol fuel, making the Dodge Dakota equipped with this engine a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV).

Refinement improvements in the new 4.7-liter Flex Fuel V-8 result from significant revisions to the induction system, a lightweight piston/rod assembly and reduced accessory drive noise through lower accessory drive speed. Engine smoothness at idle is enhanced with a new valve-lash adjuster system. The new 4.7-liter Flex Fuel V-8 is also equipped with Electronic Throttle Control.

The new 2008 Dodge Dakota comes standard with a 3.7-liter Magnum® V-6 engine producing 210 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine also comes with Electronic Throttle Control for positive throttle response, and exhaust gas recirculation to help lower emissions.

The new 2008 Dodge Dakota powerplants are backed up by a choice of a six-speed manual transmission, standard on all V-6-equipped 2008 Dodge Dakota models except Laramie and Sport; a four-speed automatic with overdrive available with Dakota’s V-6 engine; and a five-speed automatic available on V-8-equipped models.

For more capability when traction is at a premium, the new 2008 Dodge Dakota may be equipped with a transfer case featuring two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive with locked high and low ranges, or an available transfer case with full-time four-wheel drive as well as selections for locked high and low ranges.

New Look, More Model Choices
In addition to powerful and capable, Dodge trucks are bold.

For the bold part of the equation, the 2008 Dodge Dakota’s exterior includes a newly styled hood, grille, front fascia, rear spoiler, fenders and headlamps. The front-end design improves aerodynamics and features better fit and gap management. The hood surface is designed to signify power and further amplify the drop-fendered, signature look for Dodge trucks. With these styling enhancements, the “face” of the new 2008 Dodge Dakota is better aligned with the Dodge truck lineup.

Like Dodge Nitro, headlamps are rectangular in order to achieve a contemporary appearance and maximize the surface area for better forward lighting. Reflectors are deep-set behind each lens to create a serious demeanor.

All-new fascias integrate with the restyled grille and incorporate fog lamps. The 2008 Dodge Dakota’s tailgate includes a new spoiler that helps smooth air flow over the rear of the truck to improve fuel economy, and the top surface of the cargo box has a new protective surface.

For 2008, the Dodge Dakota will again be offered in two body styles – Extended Cab and Crew Cab – and six trim levels: ST, SXT, SLT, TRX/TRX4, Sport and Laramie.

“The new 2008 Dodge Dakota is an activity-oriented vehicle designed to serve a variety of needs,” said Mike Accavitti, Director – Dodge Brand and SRT Communications. “With two body styles, six trim levels and a multitude of powertrain options, our new Dodge Dakota can be personalized to suit anyone’s lifestyle.”

Interior Loaded with Form and Function
The new 2008 Dodge Dakota’s interior includes a new instrument panel, center console and accent finishes, and several new interior storage choices.

“The interior offers improved comfort, utility and thoughtful storage amenities to complement a variety of lifestyles,” said Gilles.

The 2008 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab’s available Full Swing™ rear access doors open nearly 170 degrees – unique in the segment – to an interior with class-leading room and seating for five. With rear seats folded, up to 30 cubic feet of storage space is available. A total of six storage hooks are located on the Extended Cab’s rear interior panel.

Separately, the 2008 Dodge Dakota Crew Cab offers best-in-class room: – 37.1 cubic feet -- and seating for up to six. With rear seats folded, a new under-seat storage system, a first for Dodge Dakota, is easily accessible. This system includes a unique, collapsible and removable cargo management system that enables gear to be organized and taken anywhere.

Other storage options are provided throughout the interior. For example, an additional storage bin is located above the glove box, providing easy access for everyday items. An all-new center console incorporates cup holders with modular inserts and a pull-out bin specifically designed to hold electronics such as an MP3 player (which may be plugged into any of the 2007 Dodge Dakota’s audio systems), cell phone or Personal Digital Assistant. An additional power outlet is also provided.

Seating is available with YES Essentials® Worry Free Fabric, which is stain-resistant, odor-resistant and anti-static. Heated bench seats are available in the 2008 Dodge Dakota for the first time.

Seating options include an available 40/20/40 split-bench front seat with a folding center armrest. The 2008 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab is available with 40/40 folding split seats, while Crew Cab models have a standard 60/40 folding rear seat.

Electronic choices include AM/FM stereo radios with MP3 capability and available SIRIUS Satellite Radio that delivers more than 130 channels of music, sports, news, talk and weather. Also available is the MyGIG™ Multimedia Infotainment System with navigation and turn-by-turn directions. A power accessory delay, standard on all 2008 Dodge Dakotas, allows power functions, including radio, to operate after the vehicle is turned off.

Dodge Dakota = Versatility
The foundation of the new 2008 Dodge Dakota is a ladder-type frame, with main rails formed to precision tolerances under liquid pressure and fully boxed for strength and rigidity. All 2008 Dodge Dakotas feature independent front suspension with coil-over shock absorbers. The result is identical ride height for two- and four-wheel-drive models, which contributes to smooth ride and handling characteristics.

The 2008 Dodge Dakota continues to offer the largest and longest standard cargo bed in its class: 6-foot-6-inches in the Extended Cab. Available built-in utility rails make cargo box tie-downs infinitely adjustable. The 2008 Dodge Dakota’s dual-position tailgate may be secured in a mid-position, which provides support for extra-wide or -long cargo laid on top of wheel wells and extending beyond the end of the bed.

The new 2008 Dodge Dakota also continues to wear the crown for highest tow ratings, with towing ability up to 7,050 pounds.

As a complete package, the 2008 Dodge Dakota is as safe as it is capable and versatile. Up front, replaceable octagonal front frame rail tips collapse rearward in an impact in order to absorb energy and deter force from the cabin. An anti-lock brake system is standard on rear wheels, and available on all four wheels.

Advance multi-stage driver and front-passenger air bags are standard, and supplemental side-curtain air bags are available. Rear head restraints on Crew Cab models, which are designed for the driver’s rearward visibility, have a foam-padded structure for increased protection.

Following is a list of more than 25 safety and security features available on the new 2008 Dodge Dakota:

  • Advanced multi-stage air bags 
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) 
  • BeltAlert 
  • Brake/park interlock 
  • Child-protection rear door locks (Crew Cab only) 
  • Constant Force Retractors (CFR) 
  • Crumple zones 
  • Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) 
  • Energy-absorbing steering column 
  • Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS) 
  • Head restraints 
  • Height-adjustable seat belts 
  • HomeLink universal home security system transceiver 
  • Interior head-impact protection 
  • Knee bolsters 
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) child seat anchor system 
  • Low-risk deployment front-passenger air bag 
  • MyGIG™ Multimedia Infotainment System with navigation 
  • Replaceable octagonal front frame-rail tips 
  • Remote keyless entry 
  • Seat belt pretensioners 
  • Sentry Key® Engine Immobilizer 
  • Supplemental side-curtain air bags 
  • Three-point shoulder belts 
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) system 
  • UConnect® hands-free communication system

Dodge Brand
With a U.S. market share of 6 percent, Dodge is the Chrysler Group’s best-selling brand and the fifth largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2006, Dodge sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in the global market. Dodge continues to lead the minivan market with a 20 percent market share in the U.S. In the highly competitive truck market, Dodge has a 15 percent market share. Last year, Dodge entered key European volume segments with Nitro and Caliber. Dodge Avenger made its European debut this year.