AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 7 1998 — 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.