Even if you don't like the styling of Dodge's new low-riding Magnum or other LX platform cars, you must admit it's nice that Mopar finally provided a V-8-powered, rear-wheel-drive performance automobile. In our eyes, the Magnum is a nice blend of utility, performance, and style, and the Hemi-equipped R/T version has plenty of power to elevate your heart rate. But while the Magnum R/T performs well, it just doesn't have many styling cues to distinguish it from its V-6-powered siblings. So when our friend Steve Edwards of Bartow, Florida, decided to give his Magnum R/T the look of an SRT, we decided to follow along and see just how involved the conversion was.

Adding aftermarket hardware to a car to improve its looks, performance, or both, is nothing new. In the '70s, it was Hi-Jacker air shocks, traction bars, and a set of Cragars. In the '80s, everything was overchromed or pro-streeted, but rarely ran down the track. In the '90s, the G-machines became popular as more aftermarket suppliers were manufacturing quality suspension and brake components for older vehicles. These days most automotive upgrades are a blend of performance and looks. Large diameter wheels, low-profile tires, composite body panels, and ground effects are now the trend, especially when it comes to new iron. Since the Magnum already has large wheelwells, Steve wanted to take advantage of this feature by adding larger rims and tires. When it came to the external appearance of his Magnum, he liked the styling of the SRT.

To achieve the look of an SRT Magnum, both the front and rear bumper covers must be changed, as well as the grille and trim. There is also some ducting which must be added to take advantage of the additional openings in the SRT bumper, routing air to cool the brakes. All the parts necessary to complete the bumper change are available from Mopar through your local dealer.

Since Steve didn't want to simply look like every other SRT Magnum on the road, he opted for a fiberglass "Magnum Force" hood from RKSport in Murrieta, California. This hood closely resembles the hood of a Viper SRT 10 and fits well on the SRT-adorned Magnum, giving a look that appears somewhat factory, but is much more aggressive. An added benefit of this hood is that it ducts fresh air to the airbox, giving a performance gain as well. The swap is really pretty straightforward, but since the new SRT bumper covers and the hood all come unfinished, they need to be painted to match the outer body color of the car.

Overall, this conversion is easy and, except for the painting, can be accomplished with basic hand tools. Aside from the painting, the entire conversion took about 10 hours to complete and really changed the appearance of the car. While the parts aren't cheap, they cost far less than the price tag of an actual SRT Magnum, so this conversion makes sense if you're after the look but not necessarily the performance of a Magnum SRT-8.