Voted "Car of the year" by Motor Trend and North American Car of the Year (NACOY) at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Chrysler 300C marks the return of great American cars. With an intense competiton from other cars, the 300C was declared winner for unique combination of contemporary styling and powerful performance.
Comparing the Chrysler 300’s combination of performance and styling with others in the running for the award, MOTOR TREND editors said the car, "far exceeds its competitors in style, fit and finish and daring," calling it an, "extremely compelling combo of power, responsiveness, room and refinement." They also noted that, "When design chiefs at rival automakers are overheard saying things like, "You’re going to start seeing cars like the 300 from us soon," well, you know you’re not just looking at a new automobile, you’re witnessing the onset of a paradigm shift."
"The 2005 Chrysler 300 marked the Chrysler brand’s return to a rear-wheel-drive, HEMI-powered automobile for the first time in more than a decade. Chrysler has single-handedly reinvented the large, V-8 powered American sedan," said Matt DeLorenzo, Road & Track Magazine. "With its bold looks that are uniquely American, growling HEMI power and enough attitude to cut a rap record on its own, the Chrysler 300C is a bad boy for hipsters and yet with its affordable sticker, V-6 optional engines, appeals to traditional full-size American car buyers - quite a feat to bring two disparate market segments together with just one car."
The 2005 Chrysler 300 is available in both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions.
Rear-wheel-drive models are available with the following powertrain options: Chrysler 300 - 2.7-liter DOHC V-6 engine with four-speed automatic transmission; Chrysler 300 Touring and 300 Limited - 3.5-liter High Output V-6 engine with four-speed automatic transmission; and Chrysler 300C - 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with five-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick.
All-wheel-drive models feature the following powertrain choices: Chrysler 300 Touring and 300 Limited - 3.5-liter High Output V-6 engine with five-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick; and Chrysler 300C - 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with five-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick.
The 2005 Chrysler 300C will be the first modern volume production vehicle in North America to feature cylinder deactivation when it goes on sale in the spring of 2004. The Chrysler Group Multi-Displacement System (MDS) seamlessly turns off the fuel consumption in four cylinders of the 5.7-liter HEMI engine when V-8 power is not needed. This provides a world class combination of performance and fuel economy.
"Our new generation of vehicles will separate us from the pack,“ said Zetsche. "The MDS system on our HEMI V-8 will be a first for a modern volume car in North America and will deliver a 10- to 20-percent increase in fuel efficiency.“
Transferring all this power to the pavement is Chrysler’s new rear-drive architecture. Rear-wheel drive offers improved handling with front wheels steering and rear wheels driving. With tremendous advances in tire technology and electronic stability control, Chrysler brings back the rear-wheel drive passenger sedan.
"Rear-wheel drive is the right architecture for performance,“ added Zetsche. "With the advances that have been made in technology, for large cars rear-wheel drive guarantees the best performance and handling.“
A car designed from the ground up with performance and luxury in mind demanded powertrain systems that exceeded customers’ expectations. Three engines and two transmissions were developed to provide the optimum powertrain choice for Chrysler 300. The 2.7-liter DOHC V-6 provides the 300 with an outstanding combination of performance, fuel economy, quietness and durability. The 300 Touring and 300 Limited models utilize the 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 engine with high-output performance, fitting of a touring car. For the ultimate in performance, the Chrysler 300C comes standard with the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8.
Transmissions were matched to the engines to provide the best combination of performance, smoothness and fuel economy. Two transmissions will be available in the Chrysler 300. A proven DaimlerChrysler five-speed automatic will be offered for the first time ever in a Chrysler Group passenger car, standard on Chrysler 300 vehicles equipped with all-wheel drive or a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8. The five-speed automatic transmissions will be controlled by Chrysler Group’s AutoStick® driver-selectable range control. This shifter accommodates fully-automatic shifting, or the driver can manually select a gear range. Rear-wheel drive 3.5-liter and 2.7-liter vehicles will be equipped with a revised version of a proven Chrysler Group four-speed automatic transmission.
5.7-liter HEMI V-8
The introduction of the modern HEMI in Chrysler passenger cars marks several milestones. This engine offers more power and torque than any Chrysler passenger car engine since the legendary 426 HEMI of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Today’s new engine produces 340 hp @ 5000 rpm and 390 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm.
The new HEMI has been engineered to deliver outstanding performance, while providing minimal noise, vibration, and harshness qualities, smoothness and low emissions. Fuel economy has also been improved, but not at the expense of performance. Chrysler Group has developed, and will be the first to offer, Multi-Displacement System (MDS) on a modern, large volume vehicle in North America.
"The Chrysler Group MDS seamlessly alternates between smooth, high fuel economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed, and V-8 mode when more power from the 5.7-liter HEMI engine is in demand," said Eric Ridenour, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler Group. "This optimizes fuel economy when V-8 power is not needed, without sacrificing vehicle performance – 2005 Chrysler 300C and Dodge Magnum RT owners will get the maximum benefit without any compromises."
Owners of the Chrysler 300C will receive the powerful benefit of the HEMI engine with the fuel economy that they would only expect from a smaller, less powerful engine.
"The MDS was part of the engine’s original design," said Bob Lee, Vice President – Powertrain Product Team. "This resulted in a cylinder-deactivation system that is elegantly simple and completely integrated into the engine design. The benefits are fewer parts, maximum reliability and lower cost."
Some of the significant technologies enabling the Chrysler Group MDS are the speed of electronic controls, the sophistication of the algorithms controlling the systems and the use of Electronic Throttle Control (ETC). The HEMI will be able to transition from eight cylinders to four in 40 milliseconds (0.040 seconds).
The HEMI engine with MDS has completed more than 6.5 million customer-equivalent miles through Chrysler Group’s development and durability testing. It is covered by the 7-Year/70,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
The HEMI engine that powers the Chrysler 300C uses aluminum cylinder heads with hemispherical combustion chambers for outstanding airflow leading to high power and torque. Dual ignition (two spark plugs per cylinder) increases peak power and torque, reduces exhaust emissions, increases fuel economy and provides a smooth idle. The combustion system has been refined and the engine uses direct-mount accessories for quiet operation.
ETC enables several of the technologies used to maximize vehicle smoothness, performance, safety and fuel economy.
3.5-liter SOHC V-6 Engine
The 3.5-liter V-6 engine used to power the Chrysler 300 Touring and 300 Limited is derived from versions of this engine used in prior Chrysler Group vehicles. An all-new active three-plenum intake manifold provides high power and torque over the entire operating band, with 250 hp at 6400 rpm and 250 lb.-ft. of torque at 3800 rpm. This engine provides the perfect blend of performance and economy.
A new active three-plenum intake manifold with electronically controlled manifold tuning valve and short-runner valves provides more power to the 3.5-liter. Additionally, ETC is used on this engine in the Chrysler 300 Touring and 300 Limited.
2.7-liter DOHC V-6 Engine The 2.7-liter V-6 has proven durable in a variety of Chrysler Group applications, and has been revised to power the Chrysler 300. The engine has been improved to produce more low-speed torque at launch and during mid-range operation for strong performance in everyday driving. The engine produces 190 hp at 6400 rpm, and 190 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm, and it offers good fuel economy for a vehicle of its size.
Revisions on the 2.7-liter V-6 include an all-new active dual-plenum intake manifold that is tuned for improved low-speed torque. In addition, the manifold includes a manifold tuning valve that further adds to low-speed torque during both part-throttle and wide-open throttle operation. This valve increases part-throttle torque by eight-10 percent in the primary driving range of 2100 to 3400 rpm, giving better performance in normal driving.
Another addition to the 2.7-liter for 2005 is the use of ETC. This maintains more consistent vehicle speed on rolling grades when cruise control is active, and interacts with the transmission control system to further minimize gear hunting under these conditions. It also tailors throttle response to pedal movement based on operating conditions. For example, a large pedal motion at a standing start may open the throttle less than the same pedal movement at highway speeds.
The Chrysler Group’s first five-speed automatic transmission for passenger cars provides a full range of transmission performance to match a great variety of driving styles, situations and road conditions.
“This transmission offers Chrysler Group customers many benefits. The five-speed gear range provides a better balance of performance and fuel economy than a four-speed automatic transmission,” said Ridenour. “Fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain feel responsive without harshness.”
The transmission’s physical attributes include compact size, robust design for high-torque rating and multiple features providing high efficiency. It also utilizes highly advanced electronic controls such as fully adaptive electronic control and an Electronically Modulated Converter Clutch (EMCC).
This five-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine on the 2005 Chrysler 300C and with all-wheel drive applications. It is a DaimlerChrysler transmission built at the Indiana Transmission Plant II in Kokomo, Ind.
The ratio spread from first to the fifth gear was selected to minimize fuel consumption and reduce powertrain noise during cruising. An aggressive first-gear ratio provides excellent launch performance, and evenly spaced gear ratios provide smooth acceleration through the gears.
World-class efficiency is achieved through physical and electronic means. This transmission uses bearings to reduce friction in many locations where other transmissions may utilize bushings.
The transmission also uses a unique scavenging system that removes oil, spun off from rotating parts by centrifugal force, through strategically placed slots in the outside of the case. This saves energy that would be consumed by internal parts rotating in oil. Also, lubricating holes in the clutches are positioned to promote quick passage of the transmission fluid through the discs, minimizing viscous losses due to trapped oil.
Fully adaptive electronic control makes shifts very smooth. The system monitors the transmission as shifts occur and adjusts hydraulic pressure as needed. In so doing, the controls make the powertrain feel responsive without harshness. Driver recognition software alters shift points based on accelerator pedal usage, brake usage and lateral acceleration. This feature allows both sporty and economical operation.
The torque management system uses engine-torque modeling to facilitate smooth transmission shifting. Because of ETC, torque management is more sophisticated and covers a broad torque range.
The shift schedule adapts to individual driving style, driving situation and road conditions. Shift points based on accelerator pedal usage, brake usage, lateral acceleration, altitude and load on the car as a result of grades. The electronically controlled engine torque management system provides quick wide-open-throttle up shifts and quick two-step (4-2 or 3-1) kick-down shifts that are smoother than would be otherwise possible without this feature.
Through the EMCC, torque converter clutch slippage is electronically modulated and provides for partial engagement in third, fourth or fifth gears. This results in improved shift feel, fuel economy, driveability and cooling. It can be used at lower speeds to provide benefits over a broad speed range. The system disengages as required to provide optimal performance.
Four-speed Automatic Transmission
The 42RLE four-speed automatic transmission is a variant of the 42LE automatic transmission used on previous Chrysler Group vehicles. It was developed for the Chrysler 300 and is included with both V-6 engines on rear-wheel drive models.
This four-speed automatic features fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting for smooth operation. Similar to the five-speed, it uses the torque management system to smoothly execute quick wide-open-throttle up shifts and down shifts. It also uses an EMCC to electronically modulate torque converter lockup and provide for partial engagement in third or fourth gears. This results in improved shift feel, fuel economy, driveability and cooling.
Chrysler 300 will be offered in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive delivers vehicle balance and handling
Performance-car experience without any compromises in performance or luxury
Optional all-wheel drive offers owners four season traction
Rear-wheel drive is standard on all 2005 Chrysler 300 cars. Using rear-wheel drive architecture for the vehicle gives the Chrysler 300 several advantages in the large-car market.
"Rear-wheel drive offers the best vehicle balance and handling, and a performance-car experience without any compromises in performance or luxury," said Eric Ridenour, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler Group. "It separates the steering and acceleration duties. This eliminates compromises and enables enhanced performance and handling."
Rear-wheel-drive architecture allowed the design studio significantly to alter the overall profile of the vehicle for luxury and performance proportions. Most notable are a longer hood and front fenders, short front overhang, and improved ride, handling and impressive stance that comes with the tires pushed to the corners.
Advancements in technology in the last five years enables a rear-wheel-drive large car to perform with all-season capability. Electronic Stability Program (ESP), All-Speed Traction Control, advanced anti-lock brake systems and tire technologies have reached new levels of performance.
The rear-wheel-drive system mounts the engine and transmission in a North/South configuration in the vehicle. It includes a two-piece driveshaft that incorporates a unique Chrysler Group collapsing feature to enhance passenger protection during frontal and offset frontal impacts. The remainder of the system consists of a cradle-mounted rear differential and two half shafts. The rear differential is double isolated and precision machining for significantly reduced noise, vibration and harshness.
All-wheel drive provides the solution to those who require the best in passenger-car four-season traction. It is available on Chrysler 300 Touring and 300 Limited with the 3.5-liter high-output engine, as well as the 5.7-liter HEMI powered Chrysler 300C.
The all-wheel-drive system adds a front differential and a transfer case compared to the rear-wheel drive configuration. The power is divided between the front and rear differentials and is transmitted to both axles at all times. The transfer case is a planetary center differential that delivers 62 percent of the engine torque to the rear axle and 38 percent to the front.
By driving continuously through all four wheels, the all-wheel-drive system provides excellent cornering balance under all driving conditions, and better traction in snow and wet-weather conditions. Combined with All-Speed Traction Control and ESP, performance and stability are outstanding under all traction conditions.
Chrysler 300 is engineered to offer a smooth, luxurious ride while maintaining a feeling of control and confidence. Effort was also focused on minimizing noise, vibration and harshness, resulting in a driving experience that is smooth and quiet.
The HEMI®-powered Chrysler 300C offers athletic and nimble suspension and steering characteristics, with the front and rear suspension tuned for greater handling performance. A well damped ride, with reduced body roll, gives the customer a precise and responsive driving experience.
"We designed the suspension to be very responsive while delivering superb ride and comfort," said Eric Ridenour, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler Group. "The front and rear suspension are all-new. We used a short and long arm design in the front and a sophisticated five-bar link, independent rear suspension. The suspension will delight performance drivers with excellent handling and improved responsiveness while also providing impressively smooth ride characteristics."
All-New Front Suspension
An all-new short and long arm (SLA) front suspension provides excellent handling and ride characteristics. High upper control arms, which place the upper ball joints above the tires, provide suspension articulation that helps keep the tires perpendicular to the road during cornering for high adhesion. Lateral links and tension struts, rather than one-piece lower control arms, position the lower ends of the steering knuckles. These links attach to the steering knuckle via separate ball joints. Multiple bushings offer flexibility to tune for ride and comfort. This architecture creates a virtual pivot point for the tire to reduce reaction to bumps that would otherwise be perceptible at the steering wheel.
All-New Rear Suspension
The five-link independent rear suspension system allows independent tuning of handling and ride comfort so that each can be maximized for a no-compromise situation. The rear suspension has been developed to complement the performance of the front suspension for a very balanced vehicle.
Multiple aluminum links maintain independent control of camber and toe during suspension movement for excellent handling. Multiple bushings offer flexibility to tune for ride and comfort. Stabilizer bar attachments to the knuckles provide maximum response to vehicle lean the Chrysler 300C.
The rear suspension is isolated from the passenger compartment to provide a quiet and smooth ride. All rear suspension components, except the coil springs and shock absorbers, mount on a steel cradle that attaches to the body structure through four large rubber mounts. Premium urethane jounce bumpers provide smooth progressive engagement over sharp bumps to minimize harshness.
All-New Wheel Drive Suspension
All-wheel drive models use an SLA front suspension that is slightly different compared to the rear-wheel drive models to accommodate the front drive axle and related components. The SLA suspension uses a forged upper control arm and single piece cast-iron lower control arm, efficiently packaged around the front-axle drive system.
The steering gear effort and response, and the suspension characteristics, are tuned to the all-wheel drive vehicle’s handling characteristics.
Power Rack and Pinion Steering
Power rack-and-pinion steering has an overall ratio of 16.1:1 on all models. The steering effort is varied to balance comfort and ease of operation with feel and responsiveness requirements. The steering gear mounts to the suspension cradle through two spool isolators that are tuned to minimize road noise while delivering steering responsiveness. Friction is minimized to enhance steering precision.
The steering systems deliver light parking efforts, without compromising steering performance at speed. In addition, the systems are also tuned to match the handling capabilities of the vehicles.
Four-Wheel Disc Brakes
Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all Chrysler 300 models. Ducts in the front fascia direct cooling airflow to the front brakes, reducing front brake temperatures by up to 15 percent in heavy use for enhanced performance and longer lining life.
High caliper stiffness facilitates firm pedal feel and linear response with increasing demand for braking effort. To reduce rolling resistance for better fuel economy, all models use low-drag calipers. New-technology caliper construction allows minimal drag of the pads on the discs. Tight pad clearance to the rotors maintains maximum pedal feel and responsiveness. The Chrysler 300C features twin-piston aluminum calipers and 13.6-inch vented rotors in the front and single-piston aluminum calipers with 12.6-inch vented rotors in the rear. The calipers are readily visible through the aluminum wheels, and they have a gray anodized coating for corrosion protection and long-term appearance.
Even the base brake system offered on V-6 rear-wheel-drive models offer substantial braking performance and safety. They feature single-piston aluminum calipers and 12.6-inch vented rotors in the front and single-piston aluminum calipers with solid 12.6-inch rotors in the rear.
ABS (Anti-Lock Brake System) and All-Speed Traction Control
A combined ABS and Traction Control system is standard with the 3.5- and 5.7-liter engines; it is optional with the 2.7-liter V- 6. Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum are the first Chrysler Group vehicles to offer all-speed traction control. ABS keeps the vehicle straight while retaining steering capability when braking on slippery surfaces by preventing wheel lock-up. It benefits from state-of-the-art electronics that provide faster system response than in the past.
All-Speed Traction Control enhances mobility and prevents wheel slip when accelerating on slippery surfaces. Depending on how slippery it is, an automatically activated "Winter Mode" feature will select lower transmission up-shift speeds on the five-speed automatic transmission. It also provides a measure of directional stability control - an advancement beyond prior traction control systems. Using the wheel-speed sensors, it can detect excessive yaw and help keep the car on the intended course as, for instance, when accelerating around a curve.
In addition to low traction braking situations, all-speed traction control on the Chrysler 300 models can use throttle control as well. This makes the vehicle less reliant on brake application alone to maintain traction, increases the operating speed range and more closely modulates speed, resulting in smoother operation. With All-Speed Traction Control reducing engine torque when accelerating, it is possible to achieve almost seamless torque application at the wheels. All-Speed Traction Control also benefits from state-of-the-art electronics that provide much faster system response than in the past.
Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
Electronic Stability Program, which includes a Brake Assist feature, is standard on the Chrysler 300C, 300 Touring and 300 Limited. It is optional on the Chrysler 300, and offered for the first time on a North American-built Chrysler Group automobile.
This system enhances driver control and helps maintain directional stability in turns, including uneven surface conditions and patchy snow, ice or gravel. If there’s a discernible difference between what the driver asks through the steering and the vehicle’s path, ESP applies selective braking and throttle input to put the car back onto the driver’s intended path.
The system is calibrated to offer safe control of the vehicle under a variety of conditions, and to operate in a manner that is not intrusive in normal or spirited driving.