Remember the Dodge Magnum? If not, don’t feel bad. A lot of other people don’t either. Produced from 2005-2008, the Magnum—essentially a wagon version of the popular Dodge Charger—never caught on like Dodge thought it would. On the contrary, the 300C wagon—the European version of the Magnum—was popular, but that’s not enough of reason for Chrysler-Lancia boss Saad Chehab to resurrect it like earlier reports have stated.
In spite of this Chehab did say to Autocar that “there will be an all-wheel drive Chrysler 300C joining the lineup in the UK, complete with an eight-speed gearbox.” Chehab also said the system is an improvement upon the one already used by Chrysler and Jeep vehicles. Chehab stated that “sales in the U.S. for [300C] estates are too slow to justify the development costs,” so with the 300C wagon getting the boot all eyes are now on the 300C sedan.
The latest 300C will hit the European market in the spring of next year with the current five-speed gearbox (for now) and will be rear-wheel drive. The eight-speed gearbox will get the call to action later on in 2012 and will replace the five-speed transmission. Currently, the Chrysler 300C wears a Lancia Thema badge across the pond and has been one of the main focal points with $1.5 billion U.S. invested over an eighteen month span for development. Lancia is the luxury division of corporate parent Fiat, and it’s positioning the 300C-based Thema as a high-end alternative “without the arrogance of the established rivals,” according to Lancia.
In the U.S. market the Chrysler 300 is not as highly regarded but is sold as an upscale sedan, with its sibling the Dodge Charger being the affordable alternative. Sales have lagged in recent years but with the second generation 300 introduced last year Chrysler expects that to turn around quickly.
Do you think introducing a 300C wagon or bringing back the Dodge Magnum would be a good idea? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.