The 2007 Dodge Magnum Srt8: Everything That a Wagon Should be

By: Jerick Brooks

The 2007 Dodge Magnum SRT8 is one sinister looking wagon and it's not just about the color. Wagons may not be the first choice by most when it comes to a cool conveyance but if utility is high on the priority list then there are always SUVs, vans and wagons.

Wagons provide as much cargo room without sacrificing a car's typically better ride, handling, braking, and acceleration. The Dodge Magnum SRT8 is like a Charger with a really big trunk which makes this wagon a match to SUVs and vans when it comes to loading cargoes.

These LX cars have proven quite a success for Chrysler and it's because of some very good reasons. It's based on the E-Class Mercedes platform, offer rear-drive, full-size comfort in a more refined package than what most American car buyers are used to. The price is also remarkable since it's very affordable.

The Hemi versions in particular offer a lot of features plus extras for the buck. But with the additional of the SRT badge, expect to get things a little more devilish.

The Drivetrain
When it comes to vehicles it's always about the engine. Instead of the 5.7 liter Hemi, the SRT will have a smokin' 6.1 liter version with an additional 80 hp. The Street and Racing technology engineers worked with their black magic and created the classic Hemi orange block and black valve cover paint to remind customers of the powerful heritage of the SRT.

The hemispherical combustion chambers were viewed as the source of dominant power in the past. And that is also one of the reasons why the Hemi 'Cuda convertibles can cost over $2 million at auction today. The "Street hemi" of the 60s and 70s produced 425 horsepower from its 426 cubic inches of displacement. The present Hemi gets a similar output from less than 90 percent of that displacement.

The SRT team begins with a run-of-the-mill 5.7 then bores the cylinders by 3.5 mm, increases the compression ratio from 9.6:1 to 10.3:1, redesigns the cylinder heads, exhaust and intake systems for increased flow and hit the redline from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm. There was nothing more left with the standard 5.7 once the SRT team gets through with it-valves, cams, rods, manifolds, rods, crank, oil pan, pistons...you name it they've changed it all....Every single part. The block is also given more reinforcement and the result is a seemingly endless grunt whenever you have a need for it.

The output is also rated at 425 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 420 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm. This power is routed through the A580 five-speed AutoStick that may prove to be a little reluctant to downshift on its own. Upshifts are smooth and may prove to be unremarkable but once under full throttle they seem a bit abrupt. The transmission may not be the smoothest in the world but it enough for most accomplished drivers.

A tap to the right or left once in drive mode will enable drivers to hold a gear which will be displayed on the dash. And the best thing about automatic is that it makes burnouts as simple as pressing both pedals for a second or two before letting the brakes out. Never forget to disengage the ESP traction control unless you want to change tires already.

The Suspension
Since the Dodge Magnum SRT8 is a large vehicle weighing 4,260 lbs it is best to start with the brakes. The SRT despite its size is capable of decelerating from 70 to 0 mph in approximately 170 feet. It can also do the quarter-mile in the mid 13s and can also do 0 to 100 to 0 mph in the mid 16-second range. That's one serious stopping power courtesy of the 14.2 inch front and 13.8 inch rear vented Brembos.

These Brembos are strong and easily modulated even when it means reducing a triple-digit velocity by half in one emergency maneuver. It just did what it is asked to do without any problem. The brakes that reside within the large, 20-inch polished 5 spokes, wrapped in 245/45 Goodyear F1 summer tires provide excellent gripping performance.

The SRT's special shocks, modified spring rates, different bushings, plus the big anti-sway bars create a huge change to the handling. The vehicles height is also lowered by just one-half inch but it feels like it's lowered by a lot more. The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) has also been reprogrammed to provide a slightly more antisocial behavior before cutting in. The riding comfort that one gets from the SRT8 will make you wonder why all suspensions are not tuned in a similar manner.

The Exterior
The exterior appeal of the Magnum SRT8 is charming and compelling. No other wagon has been as successful as the Magnum SRT8 has been able to stir the soul so thoroughly. The Dodge Ram crosshair grille, tapering roofline, and raised beltline exudes power and muscle. The Dodge Magnum SRT8 is available in Brilliant Black, Bright Silver or Inferno Red Crystal Pearlcoat.

Chrysler's Eagle
The Dodge Magnum SRT8 is not the first powerful vehicle that Chrysler has developed. The Eagle Talon which was one of the three model names given to a passenger car manufactured and sold by the then Chrysler Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors of Japan in a joint venture known as the Diamond Star Motor, between 1990 and 1998.

The Talon was then sold under the Eagle brand developed by Chrysler to compete with Japanese imports in the late 1980s. The other siblings of the Talon were the Eclipse which was sold by Mitsubishi and the Laser which was sold by Plymouth another Chrysler brand. Both Plymouth and Eagle has been discontinued but despite this fact the production of Eagle parts like the Eagle exhaust continues. The is renowned for performance and power.

The Eagle Talon together with the Eclipse and the Laser were built on the same platform at the DSM manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. The three vehicles were mechanically identical including engine, transmission, and drivetrain. In terms of exterior features the three cars only differ in wheels, tail lights, availability of colors, front and rear bumpers, and spoilers.

And speaking of colors the Eagle Talon has a two-tone body color, which is called the 'greenhouse'. Starting from its roof, pillars, door-mounted mirrors the color was always black regardless of the body color.

The other basic characteristics of the Eagle Talon include:

&bullTwo doors
&bullHatchback
&bull2+2 seating (2 front seats and 2 marginal, fold down rear seats)
&bull4 option levels (starting from lowest to highest): DL, ES, TSI, and TSi AWD
&bullFront-wheel drive (FWD) for all option levels except for the top option level which had all-wheel drive (AWD)
&bull5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions
&bullTwo-tone color combination
&bullHood bulge on the left-hand side of the car that provides it with adequate clearance for the camshaft sprockets/timing belt cover on the 4G63engine

One outstanding thing about the Talon is its success compared to the Eagle nameplate which was a huge flop for Chrysler. While the Eagle failed to gain any market share from Pontiac which was its main rival, the Talon on the other hand was a stellar success and the only Eagle model that was profitable. The Talon has received lots of awards and sold over 100,000 units in its lifetime and created a cult of followers.

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