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July 15, 2011

SRT’s Boss, Ralph Gilles, Mulls a Replacement for Dodge Magnum



2005 Dodge Magnum.

ROSAMOND, Calif. — Could the station wagon make a comeback at Chrysler?

The Dodge Magnum wagon was one of several vehicles that were killed during the dark days of Chrysler’s bankruptcy and reorganization in 2008 and 2009.

The vehicle, introduced in 2004, was initially quite popular, especially with customizers who admired its chopped-top look. A similar vehicle was also sold in Europe and Australia as the Chrysler 300 Touring, essentially a Magnum with a nose borrowed from the 300C.



Ralph Gilles, at a Nascar Sprint Cup promotional event earlier this year.

“That vehicle was single-handedly killed by one executive who is no longer with the company. He’s retired. A lot of people in the company still like that vehicle — a lot,” said Ralph Gilles, the Chrysler design chief who helped style the Magnum, in an interview here Thursday. “A lot of things that weren’t possible back then, now are.”

Mr. Gilles was at a Chrysler event at Willow Springs Raceway, introducing high-performance SRT versions of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Challenger, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Mr. Gilles was being asked about the possibility of more vehicles being added to the lineup of the SRT program, which he heads after his stint as president and chief executive of the Dodge brand; he continues also as Chrysler’s senior vice president for design.

“The Dodge Viper, certainly, is a likely choice for an SRT version,” he said. “Also, we know we need an entry-level vehicle of some kind.”

That’s when the conversation turned to whether more vehicles — like the Viper, which had been canceled as of last year — could be revived by the company; a new Viper will make its debut as a 2012 model.

“With the Magnum, we owned the station wagon segment,” Mr. Gilles said. “It was always a pleasure to go to car shows and trade fairs and see the number of Magnums that owners had personalized with such obvious loving care.”

Asked if a design for a second-generation Magnum might be found in one of his sketch pads, Mr. Gilles just smiled.

“Stay tuned,” he said. “Great things are coming. That’s all I can say.”



 

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Rick, did you post this just for me?lol. I love the idea of bringing back the Magnum. As long as the looks remain close to the last generation. I don't want them to screw it up. It was nice to see very few Magnums on the road and it was a head turner. Thanks for puttin' it out there.
 

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I read somewhere a while ago was that one of the reasons the Magnum was canceled was because the factory where they were made, along with the 300 and Charger, did not have the capacity for a fourth vehicle line when the Challenger was introduced. What a pity. I saw the 300 version here in Fort Wayne. I thought it was a one off vehicle - I did not realize that the international model was based on the 300. It was sharp - 2 tone blue and silver! I would love to see them bring this back. Good eye candy for the showroom traffic.
:cool:
 

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Rick, did you post this just for me?lol. I love the idea of bringing back the Magnum. As long as the looks remain close to the last generation. I don't want them to screw it up. It was nice to see very few Magnums on the road and it was a head turner. Thanks for puttin' it out there.
My son-in-law bought a used SR8 one for his Wife this year. It is one cool vehicle, but is hell as a drive-to-work each day for her to keep full of gas!
 
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