January 1, 2003 , Los Angeles -

The HEMI® is back.

It was a legend in the 1960s — stunning the racing world and topping the muscle car era. Last powering Dodge Challengers and Chargers, the HEMI passed into history in 1971 as concerns about emissions and fuel consumption led to major detuning of all high-performance engines.

More than three decades later, the HEMI makes a powerful comeback in the Dodge Magnum concept vehicle.

“This HEMI is a trend-setter for a new era in engine technology,” said Eric Ridenour, Executive Vice President – Product Development, DaimlerChrysler. “Through class-leading engineering, the HEMI provides performance, efficiency, and emissions to compete with the best engines in the market.”

Super-charged Power
The Dodge Magnum concept features a super-charged version of the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 recently introduced in the 2003 Dodge Ram. A Whipple Charger provides heart-stopping acceleration, with the unique combination of maximum power at low rpms for drivability and ultra-high efficiency for top-end horsepower. Just squeeze the throttle and the engine will respond immediately, from idle to redline.

Rear-wheel-drive Performance
Dodge’s first rear-wheel-drive configuration in more than 10 years enabled designers to sculpt new proportions for their latest concept vehicle. The result is a long hood and bold grille that give the Dodge Magnum concept vehicle its classic, noble proportions.

The return of rear-wheel drive also allowed deep-dish wheels to push out of massive wheel arches, visually planting the vehicle on the road.

“The Dodge Magnum is a mix of performance, utility and engineering excellence,” said Ridenour. “This vehicle accentuates stunning American design, with select proven German technology.”

Performance and Handling
Rear-wheel-drive vehicles inherently offer a direct transfer of power to the pavement. During acceleration and dynamic handling, for example, rear-wheel-drive cars have excellent traction because of the weight shift to the rear end. Gone are power limitations needed to manage “torque steer,” or the tendency to steer the car during acceleration. The Dodge Magnum powertrain and suspension system work together for a precise balance of performance and handling, making optimum use of all four tire contact patches. Technologies, such as electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brake systems, also have reached new levels of advancement to provide rear-wheel-drive cars excellent performance under a variety of conditions. Tire technology utilizing silica sand further enhance traction in all weather conditions.

Merger Benefits/Technology Sharing
Although Chrysler Group had already decided before the merger that the next generation of premium vehicles would be rear-wheel drive, the 1998 merger with Daimler-Benz afforded Chrysler Group a great portfolio of technology and components. For example, Mercedes-Benz is the leader in stability control systems, and spreading that technology across a higher volume will result in reduced per unit costs and proven quality. The production version of the Dodge Magnum will use adapted Mercedes-Benz components, including the five-speed automatic transmission, steering and front suspension system, seat structures and electronic architecture. Additionally, Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300C, will use five-link rear suspension architecture based on adapted Mercedes-Benz technology.


Revised: Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 25, 2003.