New Automatic Transmission

The 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 can be coupled with a new fully automatic, electronically controlled, multi-speed 45RFE transmission. Both the engine and transmission were designed and engineered simultaneously and precisely calibrated to each other, resulting in a powertrain that delivers refined power flow and increased fuel efficiency.

Incorporating optimized gear ratio steps and state-of-the-art efficiency features, the 45RFE represents a new level for shift refinement and durability, while reducing unwanted noise, vibration and harshness. The 45RFE transmission has unique features, such as a tall 3.00:1 first gear ratio that gives the driver better initial acceleration. Real-time driver-adaptive shifting fine-tunes the shift pattern to the driver, while an alternate second gear ratio enhances drivability and performance.

"The challenge in designing a truck as practical as the Dakota Quad Cab is to not lose sight of the importance of maintaining the dynamic visual presence that Dakota has established for itself," said Gale. "The Dakota balances the four-door cab and bed elements better than any other truck, for a design and execution that is still 'all truck,' but extremely versatile."

During normal acceleration, second gear has a ratio of 1.67:1. Depending on speed and throttle position, both this gear and an alternate 1.50:1 second gear ratio are available for acceleration and passing situations, making the downshift smoother.

The 45RFE is the only compact truck transmission with a reverse gear ratio equal to the first gear ratio. While unnecessary for passenger cars, it is beneficial for light trucks, which often experience heavier loads, especially when towing.

More Choices

Dodge Dakota Quad Cab is offered with the broadest range of engine choices in its class - one V-6 and two V-8s.

A 3.9-liter V-6 Magnum engine with 175 horsepower and 225 lb.-ft. of torque is standard in the Dodge Dakota Quad Cab. It's mated to a improved NV3500 five-speed manual transmission which can also be ordered with the Magnum 4.7-liter. For those who require extraordinary levels of power and payload, an optional 5.9-liter Magnum V-8 with 245 hp and 335 lb.-ft. of torque - the largest, most powerful engine in its class - is also available with a four-speed automatic. The Dakota Quad Cab has a 6,200-lb. maximum towing capacity - also the highest in its class - and a standard 1,450-lb. maximum payload package.

Dakota Quad Cab comes in two-wheel drive or a choice of part-time or full-time four-wheel-drive models. Dakota's full-time four-wheel-drive system delivers power to all four wheels for maximum traction in dry or wet conditions.

Ride Quality

Solid frame structure, optimum steering and suspension geometry, plus large wheels and tires allow the chassis to be tuned to provide Dakota Quad Cab with a very high level of ride and handling comfort.

"When we built the Dakota Quad Cab, we were already working with the underpinnings of a best-in-class compact truck," said Felice. "But because Quad Cab will appeal to a wider range of buyers than conventional trucks - including many first-time truck buyers - we wanted to make sure it had the performance and features they're accustomed to."

In designing the new Dakota Quad Cab, engineers improved the Dakota's already best-in-class handling for an even smoother, more comfortable ride. On four-wheel drive models, a revised lightweight independent front suspension improves ride, yet retains its high ground clearance for off-road agility. A new rack-and-pinion steering system on 4WD models provides more responsive steering, more precise on-center feel and longer front tire tread life.

The Dodge Dakota Quad Cab goes into production in the fourth quarter of 1999 at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Michigan.

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