Exactly a year since the Chrysler Group introduced the 425-horsepower (317 kW) Chrysler 300C SRT8 for Europe and other markets outside of North America at the 2005 Geneva Show, the Chrysler Group has confirmed that the versatile 300C Touring wagon will also be available as a high-performance SRT model.
Like the sedan, the new high-performance rear-wheel drive version of the already popular Chrysler 300C Touring arrives in international showrooms in the second half of 2006 and will be available in both left- and right-hand drive.
"The HEMI® is a critical ingredient to the success of the Chrysler 300C," said Dan Knott, Director – Street and Racing Technology (SRT), Chrysler Group. "With the two new Chrysler 300C SRT8 models, we are now adding even more horsepower to the HEMI® and even more performance to this charismatic Chrysler."
The Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring will be as sensational a drive as the sedan and the preliminary performance target is 0-60 mph in the low five-sec. range. Top speed will be electronically limited to 168 mph.
"With the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring, we’re delivering the ultimate performance wagon," said Thomas Hausch, Executive Director, International Sales and Marketing. "With its world-class handling, benchmark braking, functional exterior enhancements, race-inspired interior appointments, versatile cabin and load space and a jaw-dropping 425 horsepower, we’re sure this new model will capture driving enthusiasts in Europe and other international markets when it goes on sale later this year."
Hausch concluded, "The 300C family provides a unique proposition to European buyers by delivering expressive Chrysler design and, in SRT8 form, immense power – coupled with exceptional cargo volumes, thoughtful features like our unique access rear liftgate on the wagon, premium appointments and state-of-the-art technology."
The 317 kW (425 hp), normally aspirated 6.1-litre HEMI® engine is the highest specific-output engine ever offered by the Chrysler Group. Its 52.05 kW-per-litre rating exceeds even that of the legendary 1966 `Street HEMI.’ Torque is rated at 569 N•m (420 lb.-ft.) at 4800 rpm.
Although the Chrysler HEMI® was born in the 1950s and entered into legend in the 1960s and ’70s, today’s version took much of its inspiration from the original – particularly the namesake hemispherical combustion chambers that provide power and efficiency.
When Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Team (SRT) set out to develop a more powerful HEMI® for the Chrysler 300 C SRT8, they were mindful of the engine’s heritage, which led to adopting traditional HEMI® engine cues such as an orange painted cylinder block and black valve covers.
The SRT powertrain engineers who developed the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring’s engine achieved more horsepower by adding increasing capacity, increasing the compression ratio, redesigning the cylinder head intake and exhaust systems for increased flow, and increasing engine speed.
To get more displacement, SRT engineers bored out the diameter of the cylinders in the Chrysler 300C SRT8’s HEMI® by 3.5 mm each, to increase the total displacement to 6.1-litres from 5.7-litres. Compression ratio was also increased to 10.3:1 from 9.6:1, unleashing more energy in the combustion process.
Engine breathing was increased with new high-flow cylinder heads, a specially designed intake manifold, and exhaust `headers’ with individual tubes encased in a stainless steel shell, all unique to the new SRT8’s 6.1-litre HEMI® engine. Larger diameter valves and reshaped cylinder ports in the heads allow for maximized air flow. The intake manifold was designed with larger diameter runners for higher-speed tuning. Exhaust is routed through a larger-diameter 70 mm (2.75 in.) exhaust system (up by 10 percent) with 90 mm (3.5 in.) chrome tail pipes.
Performance-oriented camshaft profiles were developed to balance total vehicle requirements, simultaneously allowing more air in and out of cylinders. This increases performance and manages a higher engine speed, which is another method to increase horsepower. SRT engineers increased the HEMI®’s peak engine speed to 5800 rpm from 5400 rpm. Intake and exhaust valve stems are hollow, and the exhaust valve stems are filled with sodium to help dissipate heat more efficiently.
The high-performance 6.1-litre HEMI® is further strengthened with a host of redesigned components, including a reinforced engine block with increased coolant flow, forged steel crankshaft, high-strength powdered-metal connecting rods, floating-pin pistons (cooled by oil squirters), and a sump modified to ensure reduced oil foaming.
In the 300C SRT8 Touring, the 6.1-litre HEMI®’s power is channeled through an W5A580 five-speed automatic transmission with specially calibrated AutoStick® driver-selectable range control, which offers fully automatic or sequential manual gear shifting. A heavy-duty four-flange prop shaft sends the torque from the transmission to an upgraded rear differential and axle.
Ride and Handling
The Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring’s suspension and chassis are tuned for outstanding ride and handling across the broadest dynamic range that customers are likely to experience.
Chassis setup for the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring is aimed at all-round performance with a number of enhancements, including tuned Bilstein dampers, specially tailored spring rates and suspension bushings and larger-diameter anti-roll bars. New front and rear suspension knuckles contribute to a ride height lowered 13 mm (0.5 in.) compared to the regular model. And, the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) has been specially tuned for the SRT8’s performance handling characteristics.
The Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring connects with the road via a new wheel and tyre assembly consisting of 20-inch aluminium SRT performance wheels.
Braking performance goes hand-in-hand with the new Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring’s outstanding accelerating and speed — and the braking system was specially designed to slow and stop the car safely, predictably and with maximum stability. At the same time, this system was designed to provide benchmark braking performance, setting a new standard for wagons in its class.
Within each of the large diameter 20-inch wheels are high performance brake calipers developed by Brembo — well known in racing and high-performance circles — equipped with four pistons for unrivalled stopping performance. Up front, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring has 360 mm x 32 mm ventilated discs, with 350 mm x 28 mm ventilated discs at the rear.
Design and Amenities
Befitting its high-performance character, the new Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring exterior styling is a sophisticated treatment that resonates with the Chrysler brand’s premium character.
Modified front and rear fascias help direct air flow, particularly through unique ducts that help cool the brakes. In addition, a specially designed rear deck spoiler, while refined in appearance, is also functional — increasing rear downforce by 39 percent without increasing drag.
Other unique touches to the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring’s exterior include body-colour front and rear bumper inserts, body-colour grille insert with chrome collar, body colour mirrors and door handles, and unique SRT badging.
Two exterior colours are available: Bright Silver and Brilliant Black. The interior is offered in a Light Graystone/Dark Slate combination.
Standard interior features of the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring include front seats equipped with heat and memory functions, clad with performance suede inserts that secure occupants during spirited driving. Other features include an adjustable pedal cluster; `technical’ leather trim on the steering wheel, shifter and door pulls; and special finishing on interior trim such as on the centre stack. Full instrumentation includes a 290 km/h (180 mph) speedometer, tachometer and temperature gauges.
Versatility and Capacity with Extended Cargo Bay
The Chrysler 300C SRT 8 Touring wagon shares all the major attributes of its sedan sibling, but adds the customer benefit of a 630-litre load area which can be expanded to 1,602 litres with rear seats folded, plus easy access through the unique rear liftgate.
The body of the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring shares the strong structure of the sedan, but has unique rear side panels, roof and rear liftgate. The steel liftgate is shaped like an inverted "L," and the hinges are set back over the load area so that the liftgate rises almost vertically and does not require the operator to step back from the vehicle. This unique liftgate architecture also allows for enhanced access to the rear cargo area. The liftgate, fitted with a two-speed wiper and wash system for additional customer convenience, can be unlocked using the button on the key fob and opened by the centrally mounted external handle.
Both the front and rear seats of the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring are as spacious and comfortable as those of the Sedan — with near identical head, leg and shoulder room — but the trunk area is 25 percent larger than in the sedan when the rear seats are up. Within its competitive set, Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring offers exceptional minimum and maximum cargo volume — more than Audi A6 Avant, BMW 5-Series Touring and Saab 9-5 Estate.
The load area features a removable, rollaway tonneau cover, large storage bins in each side panel, four cargo tie-down loops and a 12-volt power outlet. The load floor has a removable tri-fold panel that weighs just 7.25 kg (16 lbs.) and can be partially or fully folded, or completely removed. When used, small items can be stored below this floor panel. When removed, the maximum available load height is increased by 102 mm (4.0 in.). An optional cargo-management system is available, which stores below the tri-fold panel. It includes a waterproof liner and folding divider with cargo retaining nets.
Additional cargo can be carried on the optional roof bars that come with two cross bars. Roof bar load capacity is 68 kg (150 lbs.).
Safety and Security Features
Following are safety and security features available on the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring:
- Advanced multi-stage air bag system: Inflates with a force appropriate to the severity of the impact
- Anti-lock brake system: Electronic sensors that help prevent wheel lockup. The standard ABS system offers improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC): This standard feature aids the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability, providing oversteer and understeer control to maintain vehicle behaviour on various road surfaces
- Energy-absorbing steering column: Manual-adjust telescoping steering column includes two hydroformed coaxial tubes that move relative to each other, which allows the column to move forward and provide more energy absorption during an impact
- High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting: This available feature provides 70 percent more light to increase driver visibility, using XENON bulb technology
- Rear park assist: This available ultrasonic rear obstacle detection system signals through an audible warning and a rear overhead display to avoid potential collisions
Street and Racing Technology
The Street and Racing Technology team has created some of Chrysler Group’s most distinctive, performance-oriented products. Currently the SRT line up encompasses eight models, each a performance leader in its class. The range is comprised of: Dodge Viper SRT10 (Coupe and Roadster), Dodge Caliber SRT4, Dodge Ram SRT10 (regular and Quad Cab), Dodge Magnum SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8, Chrysler Crossfire SRT6 (Coupe and Roadster), Chrysler 300C SRT8 (sedan and wagon) and Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8.
The Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring will be built for European and other international markets at the Magna Steyr Manufacturing Facility in Graz, Austria, and will be available in the second half of 2006.