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The first Dodge Magnum vehicles were large 2-door coupes that were available on the US market in 1978 – 1979. The Magnums from this period featured FR layout and 115 in wheelbase. They were based on the Chrysler B platform and were offered in two versions – "XE" and "GT". This generation came with a 3-speed A727 automatic transmission and three engine options: 318 cu in (5.2 L) LA V8, 360 cu in (5.9 L) LA V8, and 400 cu in (6.6 L) B V8 engine.
In 1979, the nameplate "Magnum" was used in Brazil for a two-door upper trim level version of the Dodge Dart model. This Magnum enjoyed high popularity in Brazil. It was equipped with a 318 cu in (5.21 L) LA V8 engine and 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission. Another version of Dodge Magnum was produced in Mexico (1981 – 1988). It was available with 360 CID (5.9L) engine with a Carter Thermoquad four barrel carburetor. The Mexican Magnum also came with heavy duty suspension, power brakes and more useful features.
In 2004, Dodge Magnum has returned. The new generation was based on the Chrysler LX platform and featured a 5-door station wagon body style. The new Magnum was also available with a 120 in wheelbase and a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout. Later, an all-wheel drive layout became optional as well. The Magnum also came with 4-speed or 5-speed automatic transmission. Four engine options were provided: 2.7 L (167 cu in) EER V6, 3.5 L (215 cu in) EGJ V6, 5.7 L (345 cu in) EZB HEMI V8, and 6.1 L (370 cu in) ESF HEMI V8 engine.
In 2005, a new high-performance version, named "SRT-8" was introduced as a 2006 model. It was available with a more powerful engine, 20" wheels, firmer suspension, bigger brakes and some other modifications. However, in 2008 all Magnum models were discontinued – they were replaced by the new Dodge Journey model.
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