Chrysler is up and running with its last attempt to make their 300 even the teensiest bit successful on the market and just a few months after the 300 sedan hit the ground running at the Detroit Auto Show, the company has now brought the 300 SRT8 (Street and Racing Technology) - the most powerful version in the line-up - to the 2011 New York Auto Show.
The new 300 SRT8 comes with a distinct upgrade to the exterior, as well as the interior, and a bigger engine ready to spit out 40 HP and 45 lbs-ft more than the standard model. This new 6.4L engine will come equipped with a new active valve exhaust system and a five-speed automatic transmission with "Auto" and "Sport" modes.
"We’re bringing three new and distinct models to our 300 lineup in 2012 with the 300 SRT8, 300S Series, and 300C Executive Series, each designed with specific consumer lifestyles in mind," said Olivier Francois, President and CEO - Chrysler Brand and Lead Executive for Marketing, Chrysler Group LLC. "More than an icon of simple American motoring, the Chrysler 300 is an icon of attainable style and performance. For those customers who live for the sport of being first, the all-new Chrysler 300 SRT8 is the no compromises king of the hill, featuring the ultimate combination of world-class luxury and performance in our most powerful, best-handling sedan ever."
UPDATE 07/15/2011: Chrysler has announced that the 2012 300 SRT8 will go on sale at a starting price of $47,995. The model will be built at the Brampton Assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8.
The 2012 300 SRT8 has something to prove and it is trying to do that by getting a sportier appearance to go along with the improved engine power. The exterior of the SRT8 gets an updated front and rear fascia, 20-inch aluminum wheels with black painted pockets, a sport-tuned suspension, a premium audio system, and black exterior accents. We’re not exactly jumping for joy over the exterior modifications because, well, it still looks like a boring little sedan.
The interior upgrades are a bit spunkier than the exterior which give us hope that the focus was aimed more so at performance than looks. There is a new full-color graphic EVIC with exclusive Performance Pages that lets the driver flip through his 0 to 60 mph time, one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times, 60-0 braking distance, and lateral and longitudinal g-forces. The vehicle also receives an all-new leather-wrapped, heated SRT-exclusive steering wheel that features a unique rim section with a flattened bottom surface showing the SRT logo. New contoured palm rests and paddle shift controls located on both sides of the wheel ensure a comfortable steering experience. The interior also gets an instrument panel, door spears, and shifter bezel all covered in a carbon fiber trim.
Upon request, customers will receive a Premium Leather Interior Package that adds Poltrona Frau "Foligno" leather wrapped upper door trim panels, instrument panel, cluster brow, and center console side panels. Nappa leather covers the door bolster, armrest, and center console armrest.
Under the hood, Chrysler has placed a 6.4 liter HEMI V8 engine that replaces the current 6.1-liter HEMI V-8. The new engine delivers a total of 465 HP and 465 lbs-ft, an increase of 40 HP and 45 lbs-ft over the current engine. The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission that comes with two different modes: "Auto" prevents over-revving and "Sport" allows the driver full control of the shifting schedule.
A new active valve exhaust system allows the standard Fuel Saver technology (four-cylinder mode) to engage over a wider rpm range, which translate into 25% improvement in fuel economy (highway).
The SRT8 will also be offered with Adaptive Damping Suspension (ADS) system that uses a wide range of on-road and driver inputs - such as vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, brake torque, throttle position and lateral and vertical accelerations - to automatically tune the suspension for specific conditions when necessary.
The new 300 SRT8 will go on sale later this summer and prices will be announced closer to that date.
When it comes to high performance sedans, there are plenty of options to choose from. Many of these vehicles follow along the same path in terms of performance, so the final decision rests on the buyer’s personal taste.
Potential customers of the 300 SRT8 can find suitable competition in models like the Cadillac CTS-V and the Lexus IS-F.
The CTS-V is powered by a 6.2 liter supercharged V-8 with an output of 556 HP and 551 lb.-ft. of torque and went on sale at a starting price of $64,290. The look and power output of the Cadillac is much more appealing, so we’re thinking Cadillac has to do a bang-up job with the price of the 300 SRT8 for it to even compare.
The IS-F is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine rated at 416 HP at 6,600 rpm and 371 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 5,200 rpm. It may be a bit more elegant than the 300 SRT8, but the Chrysler does overtake it in terms of power.
Nice little horsepower bump
Performance focused interior upgrades
Some of the competition delivers better performance
Still looks boring