Click image for gallery of high-res photos by Drew Phillips and the author. Can you hear that? I make a rich woman beg, I'll make a good woman steal... It's George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone." The stereo isn't on. The car isn't even running. But you hear that song quite clearly as you approach this wagon. Yep, you heard that right. It's a badass wagon we're talking about. Think that's an oxymoron? Think again. Even if it wasn't as black as Satan's pupils, it would still qualify as evil looking. But this particular sample is black and therefore perfect. So sinister and muscular and functional. We'll admit that wagons aren't everybody's first choice for a cool conveyance, but if utility is high on your list of priorities, they have SUVs and vans beat by a mile in our book. Wagons offer just as much cargo room without sacrificing a car's typically better ride, handling, braking and acceleration. Think of this Dodge Magnum SRT8 as a Charger with a really big trunk. So the car is pretty capable to begin with. These LX cars have been quite successful for Chrysler, and for good reason. Based on an older E-Class Mercedes platform, they offer rear-drive, full-size comfort in a more refined package than many American buyers are used to. All that at a bargain basement price too. The Hemi versions in particular offer a lot of bang for the buck. But when you add the SRT badge, things suddenly get more than a little wicked. Chrysler has promised a freshened Magnum for 2008, but when we got the call to drive a 2007, we still felt compelled to give it a whirl. Follow the jump to come along for the ride. %Gallery-2482% Drivetrain All conversations about the SRTs begin and end with the engine. In place of the already hot 5.7-liter Hemi, goes a smokin' 6.1-liter version with an additional 80 hp. The Street and Racing Technology engineers work their black magic, and on goes the classic Hemi orange block and black valve cover paint to remind us of the heritage of this legendary powerplant. Those namesake hemispherical combustion chambers were seen as the source of dominant power back in the day. That's one of the reasons Hemi 'Cuda convertibles can bring over $2 mil at auction today. That "Street HEMI" of the '60s and '70s produced a not coincidental 425-horsepower from its 426 cubic inches of displacement. Today's Hemi gets a similar output from less than 90% of that displacement. And that power is available at the dip of a toe, no matter how fast you're going or what gear you're in. The SRT team starts with your run-of-the-mill 5.7, then bores the cylinders by 3.5mm, increases the compression ratio from 9.6:1 to 10.3:1, redesigns the cylinder heads, intake and exhaust systems for increased flow, and bumps the redline from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm. There's actually not a lot left from the standard 5.7 when they are through with it. …
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|MPG||21 City / 28 Hwy|
|Transmission||4-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||190 @ 6400 rpm|
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