- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 27, 2005

The team over at DaimlerChrysler’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) group is working overtime to keep fresh and exciting vehicles coming down the pipeline. The buzz created by the Hemi lore has certainly taken on a life of its own; however adding SRT to the Hemi emblem changes everything. Putting the SRT badge on a vehicle means more than just a few cosmetic changes. Dan Knott and the group at SRT inject a whole lot of performance into every vehicle they touch, and the Dodge Magnum SRT8 is no exception.

Putting the wonderful performance and handling characteristics into a — dare I say station wagon — would have seemed out of the ordinary just a few months ago. But with the manner in which Mr. Knott’s group has changed the Neon with the SRT4 and the Ram truck with the SRT10, it was only a matter of time before they would get their hands on the Magnum.

One very important issue was raised early in the project. They must keep the Magnum comfortable to drive, while giving the wagon the acceleration and power drivers want. I can happily report they have accomplished their objective. Not only is the Dodge Magnum a kick in the pants to drive, it is as comfortable as you would expect.

The Hemi engine under the hood is larger than the standard Hemi engine. The re-engineered 6.1-liter engine now has 425 horsepower and 420 foot-pounds of torque.

Not only did I test this vehicle in street conditions, I was able to put the Magnum SRT8 through rigorous maneuvers on a test track. I pushed this wagon hard through high-speed cornering that would have had lesser vehicles spinning into the weeds. The Magnum had very little body roll, powering through the corners with little effort. This is thanks to a suspension system that offers superior support when pushed hard, while able to absorb the cruel bumps and potholes of a typical city street.

The SRT group knows that developing excellent brakes is paramount in building a superior performance vehicle. This is the case with the Magnum SRT8. You get huge Brembo brakes, including large vented discs at all four wheels.

The Dodge Magnum SRT8 isn’t just a high-performance road machine; this wagon offers a level of comfort that will delight you. From a plush and well-designed interior that includes special performance suede seat inserts, to a quiet atmosphere, this Magnum puts many of those high-priced exotic cars to shame.

The Dodge Magnum SRT8 may not be for everyone. Maybe that’s a good thing, because there will be a limited number of these vehicles available. The Dodge Magnum SRT8 ensures the art of spirited driving lives on, even in the once-lowly station wagon.



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