|Assembly||Brampton, Ontario, Canada|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury car|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Platform||Chrysler LH platform|
|Engine||2.7 L EER V6 (Europe)
3.5 L EGG V6
|Transmission||4-speed 42LE automatic|
|Wheelbase||113.0 in (2,870 mm)|
|Length||197.8 in (5,020 mm)|
|Width||74.4 in (1,890 mm)|
|Height||56.0 in (1,420 mm)
Special: 55.5 in (1,410 mm)
The Chrysler 300M is a sports sedan produced by Chrysler from 1998 to 2004. Chrysler Corporation revived the 300 name on the 300M. This time it was a front-wheel drive, 255 hp (190 kW) V6 engined car using the Chrysler LH platform. While not technically part of the famous "letter series" that was built from 1955 to 1965, Chrysler did use the next letter after the last of the series, the 300L. It was 10 inches (250 mm) shorter than the Chrysler Concorde to make it exportable to Europe as a sports sedan, and was priced above the Concorde. The 300 was positioned just below the flagship LHS (1999–2001) and Concorde Limited (2002–2004).
When Chrysler redesigned the LH-cars in 1998, the Eagle Vision was discontinued. In order to fill the "import-fighter" gap, a position held by the Vision, Chrysler brought back the 300 name. Chrysler once stated that if the Eagle brand had not been dropped, the 300M would instead be sold as a redesigned Vision. Indeed, design images surfaced on the Internet showing a 300M with an Eagle badge on the grille. The 300M was similar in exterior and almost identical in the interior as the Concorde. The 300M also fit the European "5 metre" (16.4 ft) size class for export, unlike the substantially similar, yet larger Chrysler LHS. It had the same wheelbase as the Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision, and pre-2002 Chrysler Concorde, reducing its length by cutting front and rear overhangs.
Only one engine was available, the Chrysler-engineered 3.5 L V6, initially created for first-generation LH vehicles and revamped for the newer LH line. It was shared with the Plymouth Prowler and a limited edition R/T variant of the second-generation Dodge Intrepid. The engine was shared with the LHS and rebadged Concorde (2002–2004). For 1999, it was rated at 253 horsepower (189 kW), and 255 pound-feet (346 N·m) of torque. It was connected to the 42LE, a four-speed automatic transmission with Autostick, which allowed manual selection of gears. Standard gear ratio on the 300M was 3.66:1. The 300M Special was offered beginning midyear of 2002. This model included imitation-carbon-fiber interior trim panels, replacing the woodgrain trim panels (which come in the standard 300M), 255 hp (190 kW) 3.5 liter engine on 91+ octane with 258 lb·ft (350 N·m) of torque, and a 3.89 final drive ratio. Performance dual exhaust, high-intensity discharge headlamps, and 18-inch Z-rated wheels and tires were also standard on the Special. Other standard features of the Special included premium "Waterfall" leather seats, signal mirrors, body cladding, and slightly lower ride height.
For the 2004 model year, Chrysler offered the Platinum Series 300M to coincide with the company's 20th anniversary of the minivan (Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Town And County/Plymouth Voyager). In addition to the 300M, a five other vehicles were offered as Platinum Series: the Sebring Convertible, PT Cruiser, Sebring Sedan, Sebring Coupe, and Town & Country.
The Platinum Series 300M was available only in exclusive paint finishes: Graphite Metallic, Bright Silver Metallic or Brilliant Black Crystal. Other special features include: Deep Slate/Light Taupe two-tone interior, chrome door handles, deep gloss black turn signal mirrors with a reverse gear auto pivot feature, and 17-inch chrome wheels. 360-watt Infinity II Cassette/CD player, and a no-charge SIRIUS satellite radio system, complete with a one-year SIRIUS subscription were also included. Additional features include leather seats, satin silver bezels, chrome or platinum clad wheels, and other unique interior features. These models have a special Platinum Series badging on the rear B pillars also.
In 1999, automatic headlamps were added, and the Handling Group removed the speed limiter. In 2000, an interlock was added to prevent shifting from Park unless the brake was pressed; and tether anchors were added to the rear shelf for child seats. The year 2001 brought more changes, with an optional luxury group that included an automatic dimming driver-side mirror and supplemental side airbags. A more advanced EVIC (trip computer) was made optional. The 300M also received new jeweled taillights.
In 2002, electronic brake distribution was added to the antilock brakes; a new computer combined engine and transmission controls; LATCH tethers were built in; and “natural” evaporative emission monitoring was added. Midyear, the 300M Special was introduced with a 255 horsepower 3.5 liter engine (running on premium gas) with 258 lb·ft (350 N·m) of torque, and a 3.89 final drive ratio. The 300M Special also had high intensity discharge headlights, faux carbon fiber trim, high performance brakes, and optional Michelin Pilot Sport 245/45R18 performance tires. A new grille design was also introduced. Also, not as powerful as the 300M Special but much more rare, the 300M Pro-Am appeared in 2002. It included an Infinity system with subwoofers. 2 toned leather was also added in the Pro-Am edition.
In 2003, new colors were added, a six-disc CD changer replaced the four-disc changer, and the changer controls were added to the stereo. 2004 brought optional Sirius Satellite Radio and an optional stereo with DVD-based GPS navigation.
- "Allpar 300M section". Allpar.com. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
- "Chrysler Introduces Limited Edition Platinum Series for 2004". Motor Trend. 2003-08-14. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
- "Chrysler 300M cars and repairs". Allpar.com. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chrysler 300M.|
- http://300mclub.org phpBB Chrysler 300M Enthusiasts Club
- http://www.lhforums.net vBulletin community dedicated to the LH platform cars.
- Chrysler.com - 2001 Chrysler 300M homepage, courtesy of Internet Archive