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All-New Dodge Intrepid R/T Winston Cup Race Car Makes Its Debut At North American International Auto Show

11 January 2000

It's Here: All-New Dodge Intrepid R/T Winston Cup Race Car Makes Its Debut At North American International Auto Show
    DETROIT, Jan. 11 -- Dodge today unveiled one of the most
highly anticipated racing cars of all time at the North American International
Auto Show -- the Dodge Intrepid R/T that will lead the way in the brand's
long-awaited return to NASCAR Winston Cup racing in 2001.
    The Flame Red flagship of the new Dodge NASCAR Winston Cup program was
developed within the first 100 days of the company's announcement that it will
join America's most popular racing series in partnership with its network of
almost 3,000 Dodge dealers in the United States.
    "This is a significant milestone in our 500-day countdown to the 2001
Daytona 500, and certainly a moment of great pride for everyone in the Dodge
family," said Jim Julow, Vice President - Dodge Division.  "We have developed
a stunning NASCAR Winston Cup race car that looks unmistakably like a Dodge.
That's where it all starts for the legions of Dodge enthusiasts who have been
longing for a Winston Cup race car they can identify with."
    Built in North Carolina under the direction of team owner Ray Evernham --
the former crew chief for three-time series champion Jeff Gordon -- the
Intrepid R/T race car is truly a crowning achievement.  It maintains Dodge's
bold, powerful brand character while adhering to NASCAR's strict design
guidelines.  Specific design cues, such as its prominent "cross hair" grille
and its aggressive stance from every angle, are consistent with every new
Dodge car and truck on the road today.
    "One of the main things we wanted to accomplish right off the bat was to
maintain the styling integrity of the Intrepid, and I think we succeeded in
all respects," Evernham said.
    "But even before we set out to design the race car, we had a lot going for
us because the design of the Intrepid production car is very conducive to
NASCAR Winston Cup racing," Evernham continued.  "The Intrepid's dramatic
roofline and shortened rear deck make for a very sleek profile.  More
important to racing, however, it gives us a low coefficient of drag that's on
par with the most aerodynamic production cars in the world.  It's as if the
Intrepid was born to race."
    While it bears a classic family resemblance on the surface, the Dodge
Intrepid R/T race car is all about NASCAR Winston Cup Series-mandated safety
and ultra-high performance features under its stylish form.
    NASCAR Winston Cup specifications make for a Dodge Intrepid R/T race car
that is slightly narrower (72.5" to 74.7") but longer (208" to 203.7") than
the production Intrepid, while it has a significantly lower roofline (51" to
55.9") and shorter wheelbase (110" to 113").  Under the hood, the rear-wheel-
drive race car will be powered by a 5.7-liter (358-cubic-inch) Dodge V-8
racing engine with a 12:1 compression ratio that generates more than 700
horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque, all NASCAR specifications.

    "Racing is all about building and strengthening relationships with owners
and future owners of your products," Julow said.  "NASCAR Winston Cup racing
is all about performance and excitement, and who better to capitalize on that
than Dodge -- DaimlerChrysler's performance brand in America."
    Julow is quick to point out the benefits racing provides not only in the
areas of brand-and image-building, but in its ability to help expedite
performance and safety enhancements on production cars. This was true back
when the company enjoyed its initial NASCAR run from the 1950s through the
1970s, when Dodge amassed 160 victories and a pair of manufacturer's titles
with famous names such as Lee and Richard Petty, Buddy Baker and David Pearson
behind the wheel.
    It continues today as Dodge enjoys success on the racetrack.  The Dodge
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program, for instance, is coming off its best
season to date with four wins, 10 poles and 77 top-10 finishes.  The Dodge
Viper, meanwhile, has become the top American endurance racer of all time,
having won the last three FIA championships, the last two 24 Hours of Le Mans
competitions in class, and the 1999 American Le Mans Series title.  Dodge's
Neon racing program has been the most prolific grassroots program in Sports
Car Club of America history with 31 national championships.  And racing
partner Mopar took its first World of Outlaws series title in 1999.
    "Clearly, our success on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is our
springboard to develop the product, personnel and testing programs that will
help us field a competitive Winston Cup effort from the start," Julow said.
"The Dodge Intrepid R/T race car will be developed along DaimlerChrysler's
cross-functional platform team approach.  And, as with all Dodge Motorsports
programs, Dodge and Mopar Performance Parts engineers will continue to find
processes, develop parts, and hone the skills of its people to directly
benefit our passenger car programs.  We just can't wait to get our Winston Cup
car on the racetrack!"
    Full-scale testing of the new Dodge Intrepid R/T Winston Cup car is
expected to begin in March and will continue through the remainder of 2000.

    "Dodge 500" Countdown to 2001 Daytona 500:
    402 days, 5 hours, 30 minutes