DaimlerChrysler’s Dodge brand is targeting the law enforcement market dominated by Ford’s Crown Victoria with a new rear-wheel-drive Dodge Magnum (the wagon version of the Chrysler 300C sedan) police car powered by an optional Hemi V8 engine.

Engineers have integrated specific law enforcement vehicle features and functionality into the Magnum design, minimising the need for numerous aftermarket retrofits.

Electronic Stability Program (ESP), all-speed traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assist and improved tyre design are standard on the 2006 Dodge Magnum police package models, as well as SXT-badged ‘special services’ versions.

The wagon layout provides 27.2 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seat (71.6 cubic feet with rear seats folded flat). The rear cargo area features an upper flat-load floor that expands the usable cargo area when the rear seats are folded forward. Additional storage is provided for smaller items below this load floor and in deep pockets on either side of the floor.

The Dodge Magnum’s “extreme access” tailgate creates an unusually large cargo opening by allowing the gate to swing up rather than out from the vehicle. The 11.3 square foot opening swallows large items such as police emergency equipment, duffel bags, dog crates, traffic cones or barricades.

The 2005 Dodge Magnum SXT model will be available this autumn to law enforcement agencies for special service use. For 2006, Dodge will introduce a police package.

The SXT and police package versions both have a standard 3.5-litre V6 engine.

A five-speed fully electronic transmission with steering column shifter, 18-inch V-rated tyres and steel wheels, heavy-duty police brakes and linings and heavy-duty suspension will be included as standard equipment with the police package models.

The police package also will offer an optional 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine with cylinder deactivation and adds certified speedometer, column shifter, emergency rear door lock override, heavy-duty five-link suspension system, heavy-duty alternator, heavy-duty battery, heavy-duty brakes, inoperable rear door locks and rear windows, and special police electrical wiring.

Other optional equipment includes: daytime running lamps, dual spot lamp, police-type heavy-duty front seats with manual lumbar adjustment and full-size spare tyre.

The 2006 Dodge Magnum police package will begin production in the fourth quarter of 2005.