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Dodge Does Trucks: Dakota, Ram 5500

2008 Dodge Dakota

2008 Dodge Dakota

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Manufacturers like Dodge have had a long tradition of bringing their latest truck products to the Chicago Auto Show, and things stayed true to form this year, especially over at the Dodge stand, where the automaker unveiled an array of light and mid-duty pickups, starting with the 2008 Dakota.

Aimed squarely at the likes of Toyota’s Tacoma, the ’08 Dodge gets a new look, a more refined interior and significant additional power, with a new 4.7-liter V-8 pumping out 290 horsepower – up 25 percent – and 320 lb-ft of torque, a ten-percent jump. The flex-fuel powertrain is likely to dominate the consumer wish list, though the Dakota will also offer a more fuel-efficient, 3.7-liter V-6.


The cabin gets additional, under-seat storage, as well as a new instrument panel and center console. Exterior styling changes put more emphasis on the big Dodge crosshair grille and headlamps, though there’s also a new spoiler on the tailgate.


The family face is immediately apparent when you get a glimpse of two Dodge workhorses that took their bow in the Windy City . The 2008 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 models complete the automaker’s medium-duty lineup. Both feature the stump-pulling 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel, which makes 305 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque. The Cummins introduces an array of new clean-diesel technology, including a particulate filter, all designed to permit it to meet tough new emissions standards going into effect across the country.


While there’s been plenty of attention paid to the use of ethanol biofuel, the Cummins diesel twins will leave the factory filled with B5 biodiesel, noted Chrysler Group’s product chief, Frank Klegon. The 4500 and 5500 models will be offered in 4x2, 4x4, dualies and both quad- and two-door configurations.

Related Articles


2007 Chicago Auto Show by TCC Team (2/7/2007)
Scion xB and xD, Dakota, Taurus, Pontiac G8 and more.


2008 Dodge Dakota Preview by Marty Padgett (2/5/2007)
Squared off against the Tacoma et al.


2008 Dodge Avenger R/T by TCC Team (2/3/2007)
A revved-up look for a mid-sizer in a tough battle.


Chicago Show Shapes Up by Marty Padgett (1/30/2007)
Saturn, Pontiac, Toyota lining up debuts.

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