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Over-Achieving Sport Truck Gets Even Better; Introducing the 1998 Dodge Dakota R/T

7 January 1998

Over-Achieving Sport Truck Gets Even Better; Introducing the 1998 Dodge Dakota R/T

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 7 -- The compact sport truck known
for over-delivering on performance, power and personality now offers an
all-new handling and performance package with the introduction of the 1998
Dodge Dakota R/T.  The vehicle goes on sale this spring.
    The 1998 Dodge Dakota, already best-in-class with its 5.2-liter Magnum V-8
engine, sets the performance bar even higher with the R/T's 250-horsepower
5.9-liter Magnum V-8 engine.  Wearing new oversized 17-inch wheels and P255/55
R17 tires, the Dakota R/T has a thicker rear stabilizer bar, lowered
suspension, and limited-slip rear differential.  And in true street vehicle
fashion, R/T will only be offered in a 4X2 configuration.
    The result is a truck enthusiast's dream:  aggressive looks combined with
nimble ride, precise handling, stable cornering and an exceptionally
responsive power train.
    "The key words here are 'enhanced performance,'" said Bernard Robertson,
Vice President - Engine Technologies and General Manager of Truck Operations.
"We took our already-proven 1997 Dodge Dakota and further pushed it to the
limits with the R/T.  The result is a truck that offers an even more
exhilarating experience and still over-delivers on style, capability and
comfort."
    Dodge Dakota, the only compact truck with a V-8, now offers a choice of
two V-8 engine sizes with the addition of Dakota R/T's 5.9-liter engine.  The
250 horsepower and 345 lb-ft. of torque is maximized with a performance-tuned
dual inlet stainless steel exhaust system.  The heavy-duty electronic four-
speed automatic transmission (46RE) is standard with the 5.9 V-8.
    The 1998 Dakota R/T has front and rear stabilizer bars to control
handling, but the rear bar is a beefier 19 mm to minimize body roll in turns
during cornering.  Dakota R/T adds a limited-slip differential for improved
traction and quicker starts.
    Oversized 17-inch wheels and tires give the sport truck even more of a
solid, stable footprint, which further enhances handling.  The suspension,
which was built with a focus on road handling as opposed to load hauling, is
lowered to give the R/T a sleek, road-hugging look and feel.
    "With our 1997 Dakota, we were proud of the fact that we were able to
combine car-like handling capabilities with the functional attributes of a
truck," said Robertson.  "Without sacrificing the benefits of our 1997 Dakota,
we made the 1998 Dodge Dakota R/T even more responsive."
    Dakota R/T's distinctive sport truck styling statement is underscored with
a unique exterior package which includes front and rear color-keyed bumpers
and flared fenders to accommodate the vehicle's larger wheels and tires.
Dakota R/T is available in two body styles:  4X2 Regular Cab or Club Cab; and
four colors: Flame Red, Black, Intense Blue, and Deep Amethyst.
    1998 Dodge Dakota R/T Information:

    Assembly Plant:               Dodge City (Warren, Michigan)
    Introduction Date:            Spring, 1998
    EPA Vehicle Class:            Regular and Club Cab Compact Pickup
    Specifications:
        Engine:                   5.9 liter Magnum V-8
                                  250 horsepower
                                  345 ft. lbs. of torque
        Drivetrain:               Electronic 4-speed automatic
                                  transmission (46RE) with Limited slip
                                  differential
        Body:                     Two-door regular cab
                                  Two-door club cab
                                  All steel body-on-frame
        Suspension:
         - Front                  Upper & lower "A" arms
                                  Coil springs
                                  Gas charged shock absorbers
                                  15 mm stabilizer bar
        Suspension:
        - Rear                    Live axle
                                  4-leaf longitudinal springs
                                  Gas-charged shock absorbers
                                  19 mm stabilizer bar
        Steering:
          - Type                  Power rack & pinion
          - Overall ratio         14.8:1
          - Turning diameter      36 ft. - regular cab
                                  41.2 ft. - club cab
        Brakes:                   Four-wheel ABS
                                  Front Disc
                                  Rear Drum
        Dimensions (Inches):
        -  Club cab - Wheelbase         131 inches
                    - Overall length    215.1 inches
                    - Overall width     71.5 inches
                    - Overall height    65.7 inches
                    - Box               6.5 feet
                    - Front track       61.5 inches
                    - Rear track        62.5 inches
                    - Wheels            17 x 9 inch Cast Aluminum
                    - Tires             255/55 R17

        Dimensions (inches) :
        - Regular cab - Wheelbase       112 inches
                      - Overall length  195.8 inches
                      - Overall width   71.5 inches
                      - Overall height  65.7 inches
                      - Box             6.5 feet
                      - Front track     61.5 inches
                      - Rear track      62.5 inches
                      - Wheels          17 x 9 inch Cast Aluminum
                      - Tires           P255/55 R17

       Color:
       - Exterior    Black
                     Flame Red
                     Intense Blue
                     Deep Amethyst

SOURCE  Chrysler Corporation