Chrysler 300

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Chrysler 300
Chrysler 300 facelift in Florida.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer DaimlerChrysler (2005–2007)
Chrysler LLC (2007–2009)
Chrysler Group LLC (2009–2014)
FCA US LLC (2014–present)
Also called Lancia Thema (Europe)
Production 2004–present
Model years 2005–2010 (LX)
2011–present (LD)
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size luxury car E-segment
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
Chronology
Predecessor For Chrysler 300:
Chrysler 300M
Chrysler Concorde
Chrysler Intrepid (Canada)

For Lancia Thema:
Lancia Thesis (Europe)


The Chrysler 300 is a rear-wheel-drive, front-engine, full-sized[1] luxury car manufactured and marketed by FCA US (and its predecessor companies) as a four-door sedan and station wagon its first generation (model years 2005–2010) and solely as a four-door sedan in its second and current generation (model years 2011–present). The second generation 300 was marketed as the Chrysler 300C in the United Kingdom and Ireland and as the Lancia Thema in the remainder of Europe.[2]

First generation (2005–2010)[edit]

First generation
05-07 Chrysler 300 Limited.jpg
Overview
Also called Chrysler 300C
Production January 2004–2010
Model years 2005–2010[3]
Assembly Brampton, Ontario, Canada (Brampton Assembly)[4]
Graz, Austria (Magna Steyr) (2005–2010)
Beijing, China (Beijing Benz) (2006–2009)[5]
Designer Ralph Gilles (2001)
Freeman Thomas (2001)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door notchback sedan
5-door station wagon (Europe, Australia)
Platform Chrysler LX platform
Related Dodge Charger
Dodge Challenger
Dodge Magnum
Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W211)
Powertrain
Engine 2.7 L EER V6
3.5 L EGG V6
5.7 L EZB HEMI V8
6.1 L ESF HEMI V8
3.0 L OM642 turbodiesel V6
Transmission 4-speed 42RLE automatic
5-speed W5A580 automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 120.0 in (3,048 mm)[6]
Length 197.8 in (5,024 mm)
Width 74.1 in (1,882 mm)
Height 58.4 in (1,483 mm)
SRT8: 57.9 in (1,471 mm)
Curb weight 3,721–4,046 lb (1,688–1,835 kg )[7][8]

The 300 debuted as a concept at the 2003 New York International Auto Show with styling by Ralph Gilles and production starting in January 2004 for the 2005 model year. The Chrysler 300 was designed as a modern interpretation of the Chrysler C-300 (and the letter series Chryslers that followed), featuring a large grille, long hood and low roofline that was prominent on those vehicles. The styling retained many elements of the 1998 Chrysler Chronos concept car, such as chrome interior accents and tortoiseshell finishings on the steering wheel and shifter knob.[9]

The Chrysler 300 is based on the rear-wheel drive Chrysler LX platform with components derived from the W211 Mercedes-Benz E-Class of 2003 to 2009.[10] Shared components include the rear suspension design, front seat frames, wiring harnesses, steering column, the 5-speed automatic transmission's design, and a derivative of the 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

Model range[edit]

Base[edit]

The basic 300 (or 300C in some countries) comes with standard 17-inch wheels, wheel covers, four-wheel disc brakes, single disc MP3 player, auxiliary input jack, power driver seat and a four-speed automatic transmission. It uses a 2,736 cc (2.736 L; 167.0 cu in) EER V6 making 190 hp (140 kW). In Canada, it comes standard with the Touring model's 3,518 cc (3.5 L; 214.7 cu in) V6 engine. The vehicle comes with standard rear wheel drive and available all wheel drive. The basic 300 model was renamed to LX for 2008 and remains as the code-name for the platform.[11]

Touring[edit]

The Touring model uses a 3,518 cc (3.5 L; 214.7 cu in) V6, producing 250 hp (190 kW) and 250 lb⋅ft (340 N⋅m) of torque, either a 4 or 5spd transmission depending on the year and drive configuration, and comes with 17-inch aluminium wheels, AM/FM radio with CD player and auxiliary audio jack, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), remote keyless entry, leather trimmed seats, and SIRIUS satellite radio. This model was renamed Touring Plus for the 2009 and 2010 model years.[11]

Limited[edit]

The Limited model included the Touring model's 3.5 L V6 engine, generating 250 hp (190 kW) and 250 lb⋅ft (340 N⋅m) and either a 4 or 5 speed transmission depending on the year and drive configuration. Additional features included 18-inch chrome-clad aluminium wheels, anti-roll bars.

300C[edit]

Chrysler 300C

The top-of-the-line 300C version uses a 5.7 L (345 cu in) Hemi V8.[11] Using the Multidisplacement System (MDS), this engine can run on four cylinders when less power is needed in order to reduce total fuel consumption. The USEPA-rated fuel consumption of the 300C is: 15 miles per US gallon (16 L/100 km; 18 mpg‑imp) city, and 23 miles per US gallon (10 L/100 km; 28 mpg‑imp) highway. When all eight cylinders are needed, the 300C can make 340 hp (250 kW) and 390 lb⋅ft (530 N⋅m) torque. It uses a five-speed automatic transmission and comes standard with 18-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, Chrysler's MyGIG Infotainment System in 2008 and SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Backseat Television in 2008. The HEMI cylinder heads necessitate the use of a double rocker arm shaft configuration, with a cam-in-block, overhead valve (OHV) pushrod design. There are two spark plugs per cylinder to promote efficient fuel/air mixture burn and thereby reduce emissions. In 2009–2010 power output was increased to 360 hp (268 kW; 365 PS).

SRT-8[edit]

Chrysler 300C SRT-8

The SRT-8 model was equipped with a 6.1-liter Hemi engine producing 425 hp (317 kW; 431 PS) at 6,200 rpm and 420 pound force-feet (570 N⋅m) of torque at 4,800 rpm. The SRT8 can hit 0–60 mph in 4.9 seconds.[12]

Other variants[edit]

Station wagon[edit]

2010 Chrysler 300C Touring

The 300C was sold in Europe, Australia and Japan as both a four-door notchback sedan and a five-door station wagon. The five-door station wagon was sold as the 300C Touring (not to be confused with the North American notchback sedan's "Touring" trim level), which shared much of its sheet metal aft of the C-pillar and wheel designs with the Dodge Magnum. The base Chrysler 300 was not sold in Europe, instead all cars came with the 300C body style/interior and a choice of either V6 diesel or V8 gasoline powerplants. The economical Mercedes-based V6 diesel was popular in Europe, where gasoline prices are high. All 300C Touring models, along with European 300C sedans and right-hand drive models were assembled by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria beginning in June 2005.[13] Steyr insisted on upgrading suspension components to suit European tastes. The five-door station wagon bodystyle was discontinued after the first generation.

Diesel (2006–2011)[edit]

In Europe and Australia, the 300C was available with a Mercedes-Benz 3.0 L diesel V6 engine (internal code OM642) rated 218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp)@3800rpm and 376 lb⋅ft (510 N⋅m)@1600rpm. Fuel economy for the 300C diesel is rated at 26.2 mpg‑US (9.0 L/100 km; 31.5 mpg‑imp) City, 42.8 mpg‑US (5.50 L/100 km; 51.4 mpg‑imp) Highway and 34.9 mpg‑US (6.74 L/100 km; 41.9 mpg‑imp) on the combined cycle. Acceleration from 0–60 mph happens in 7.9 seconds while the top speed remains the same as the gasoline V6 (140 mph (230 km/h)).

The 2008 UK models included the 300C SRT-Design model in sedan or Touring body, which included SRT 20-inch alloy wheels and wheel arch spats, chrome mesh grille, MyGIG satellite navigation, SRT-8 steering wheel, SRT-8 leather sports seats and carbon fiber interior details.[14]

ASC Helios 300[edit]

ASC created a convertible version of the Chrysler 300C, dubbed the ASC Helios 300, and unveiled it at the North American International Auto Show in early 2005. Despite rumours, Chrysler confirmed that the vehicle would not be produced.[15][16]

Executive Series 300[edit]

The Walter P. Chrysler Executive Series 300 was an extended wheelbase version shown at the 2006 New York Auto Show. It added six inches (152 mm) to the rear passenger compartment.[17]

Heritage Edition 300C The Chrysler 300C Heritage Edition debuted in 2006 and was a performance oriented trim that used the 5.7 Hemi and had styling cues from the Chrysler 300 "letter series" of the 1950s and the 1960s.[18]

Reception and legacy[edit]

In the USA, the 300C enjoyed a wave of popularity in the mid-2000s, aided by celebrity owners (including US President Barack Obama,[19]) and appearances in music videos. In 2004, rapper Snoop Dogg famously called then-Chrysler CEO, Dieter Zetsche, asking for his own 300C; he later appeared in a commercial for the car alongside Lee Iacocca.[20] The 300C was ranked #12 in a Complex.com article, "The 25 Most Iconic Hip-Hop Cars" due to its popularity in many hip-hop music videos following its introduction.[21] Chrysler 300 designer Ralph Gilles reflected on the vehicle's success in 2008, saying that the "300 turned out to be a bit of an icon for Chrysler".[22]

In the UK, the BBC Top Gear team described the 300C as "something different with a bit of kitsch gangster cool". They praised the spacious and well-equipped interior and the low price while criticizing the quality of materials, ride, steering and low engine torque.[23] The first generation model was popular with British buyers who regarded it as the "poor man's Bentley".[24]

On Hip-hop artist Drake's album Views, the song "Keep The Family Close" references the Chrysler 300 with the lyrics: "Always saw you for what you could've been / Ever since you met me / Like when Chrysler made that one car that looked just like the Bentley".[25]

Awards[edit]

The 300C was the 2005 Motor Trend Car of the Year.[26] It was on Car and Driver's Ten Best list for both 2005 and 2006.[27][28] Automobile Magazine named it its Automobile of the Year.[29]

It also won the North American Car of the Year award.[30] It was voted Canadian Car of the Year by automobile journalists as the Best New Luxury Car.[31]

Receiving numerous other recognitions during its debut year, it was promoted as being one of the most awarded new cars ever.[32]

The 300C was also included in the finalists for 2005 World Car of the Year, but final points total put it in fifth place equal to the BMW 1-series.[33]

Second generation LD (2011–present)[edit]

Second generation
Chrysler 300C 3.6 Limited 2014 (19655263969) (cropped).jpg
Overview
Also called Lancia Thema (Europe)
Chrysler 300C (global)
Production 2011–present
Model years 2011–present
Assembly Brampton, Ontario, Canada (Brampton Assembly)[4]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door notchback sedan
Platform Chrysler LX platform
Related Dodge Charger
Dodge Challenger
Powertrain
Engine 3.6 L Pentastar V6
5.7 L HEMI V8
6.4 L HEMI V8
3.0 L VM A630 turbodiesel V6
Transmission 5-speed 5G-Tronic automatic
8-speed 8HP45 automatic [34]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 120.2 in (3,053 mm)
Length 198.6 in (5,044 mm)
Width 75.1 in (1,908 mm)
Height 58.4 in (1,483 mm)

A mildly redesigned 300 was introduced in 2011 as a four-door notchback sedan, the five-door station wagon version of the 300 having been retired.

Exterior design[edit]

Chrysler 300S (USA; pre-facelift)

Exterior changes included revised sheet metal, thinner roof pillars, a more raked windshield, bi-xenon HID projector headlights, LED daytime running strips within the headlights, new taillights with LEDs and a horizontally slotted front grille with an updated version of the Chrysler winged brand emblem. Options included a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and 20-inch polished-aluminium wheels.

Variants[edit]

The 2011 model was offered in Touring, Limited, 300C, and 300C AWD trim levels. Touring and Limited trims included the Pentastar V6, while the 300C line offered a standard 5.7 HEMI.[35]

A new 300C Executive Series luxury trim level was introduced alongside a new 300S trim at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. The Executive/Luxury Series was also sold in Europe, rebranded as the Lancia Thema from 2011–2014. The sport themed 300S featured black treatment for grille and headlamps, 20-inch polished-face aluminium wheels with black painted pockets, 10-speaker Beats by Dr. Dre sound system,[36] and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.[37]

SRT[edit]

Chrysler 300 SRT-8 (Australia)

An SRT version was unveiled at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, powered by a 6.4-litre 392 HEMI V8 engine. The 6.4 392 Hemi engine is also used in other Chrysler Group SRT vehicles. With 470 hp (350 kW), the new 300 SRT can go from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in the low 4 second range.[38]

In addition to the increase in power, the SRT receives specific exterior trim including a lower front fascia, large exhaust tips, body color instead of chrome trim and large 20-inch aluminium wheels. The car also gets a lowered, sportier suspension setup and a large Brembo brake package.[39]

The 300 SRT (or SRT8) was discontinued for the 2015 model year in the United States, but is still sold in Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East. Contrary to past statements by Chrysler, the 300 SRT is still sold in left-hand drive abroad.[40]

Special editions[edit]

  • Mopar '12, available as a 2012 model year vehicle. This Special Edition Chrysler 300 was designed by Mopar Performance to mark Mopar's 75th anniversary. Featuring a 3:91 gear ratio, sport-tuned suspension, and unique badging, only 500 Mopar Edition 300's were made.
  • 300S Glacier Edition, available in the fall of 2012 as a 2013 model year vehicle. Based on the Chrysler 300S, the Glacier Edition adds signature details not found on other Chrysler 300 models.
  • The 300 Motown Edition model sales began in the spring of 2013. The Motown Edition is a tribute to the Motown genre of music. Additions to the Chrysler 300C features include special chrome wheels, a Beats by Dr. Dre ten-speaker sound system, "Motown Edition" badges on the front fenders, as well as 100 Motown songs preloaded on a USB drive.[41] Berry Gordy, Jr., the creator of the Motown genre, appears in a 2012 TV ad for the Chrysler 300 Motown Edition, promoting his musical, and saying "This is Motown. And this is what we do". The song playing in the commercial is "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".
  • John Varvatos Edition available in 2013 and 2014 in "Luxury" or "Limited" trim.[42] Each version featured unique exterior and interior colors and materials.
  • In early 2016, Chrysler announced a new 300S Alloy Edition. Features included dark bronze 20" wheels (19" on AWD) and 300S badge, titanium exhaust tips and wing badge, as well as gloss-black window, headlight and taillight accents.

Powertrain[edit]

The predecessors' 2.7- and 3.5-litre engines were replaced with Chrysler's new 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine producing 292 horsepower (218 kW) and 260 lb⋅ft (350 N⋅m) of torque. The 5.7-litre HEMI V8 engine remained available with 363 horsepower. A 3.0-litre VM Motori V6 turbodiesel is also available in Europe, and Australia.[43] Beginning with model year 2012 all V6 models were equipped with the 8-speed 8HP45 automatic transmission, licensed from ZF Friedrichshafen.[44]

Chrysler
Model Engine Displacement Power @ rpm Torque @ rpm Years
Touring 3.6 V6 Pentastar 3,604 cc (219.9 cu in) 296 PS (218 kW; 292 hp) @ 6350 rpm 350 N⋅m (260 lb⋅ft) @ 4800 rpm 2011–
Limited
300S[45] 3.6 V6 Pentastar 3,604 cc (219.9 cu in) 304 PS (224 kW; 300 hp) 350 N⋅m (260 lb⋅ft) @ 4800 rpm 2011–
300C 5.7 V8 HEMI 5,654 cc (345.0 cu in) 368 PS (271 kW; 363 hp) @ 5150 rpm 527 N⋅m (389 lb⋅ft) @ 4250 rpm 2011–
300 SRT-8 6.4L 392 Hemi V8 engine 6,430 cc (392 cu in) 477 PS (351 kW; 470 hp) 637 N⋅m (470 lb⋅ft) 2012–
Lancia - (Chrysler UK)
Petrol 3.6 V6 Pentastar 3,604 cc (219.9 cu in) 286 PS (210 kW; 282 hp) @ 6350 rpm 340 N⋅m (250 lb⋅ft) @ 4650 rpm 2011–2014
Diesel 3.0 V6 VM Motori A630 2,987 cc (182.3 cu in) 190 PS (140 kW; 190 hp) @ 4000 rpm 440 N⋅m (320 lb⋅ft) @ 1600–2800 rpm 2011–2014
239 PS (176 kW; 236 hp) @ 4000 rpm 550 N⋅m (410 lb⋅ft) @ 1800–2800 rpm
  • Source for Lancia[46]

Interior changes[edit]

Interior

Interior changes included a revised instrument panel with localized "soft-touch" materials, 8.4-inch Uconnect Touch, new steering wheel and center console, and standard leather seating on all trim levels. Both seat-mounted and curtain side airbags were standard.

2015 facelift[edit]

Chrysler 300 (USA; facelift)
Chrysler 300 (USA; facelift)

In late 2014 a facelift version of the 300 was introduced. Changes include:

Marketing[edit]

As part of the 2011 Chrysler 300 advertising campaign, three TV commercials were produced. "Homecoming" featured Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh driving through his rainy hometown of Portland, Oregon, in his new 2011 Chrysler 300, retracing his humble beginnings. "Attitude" featured John Varvatos seeking inspiration at a record store in Brooklyn and record under his arm and into his Chrysler 300. "Good Things" featured Dr. Dre driving through the streets of Los Angeles in a Beats by Dre equipped 2012 Chrysler 300.[47]

The 'See It Through' TV commercial featured the Chrysler 300 and notable Detroit locals, including Detroit Lion Ndamukong Suh and a poem written in 1917 by Edgar Guest titled "See It Through".[48]

Safety[edit]

The Lancia version was safety tested by Euro NCAP in autumn 2011 and got the following results:

Euro NCAP test results
Lancia Thema (2011)[49]
Test Points %
Overall: 5 /5 stars
Adult occupant: 29.7 83%
Child occupant: 37.7 77%
Pedestrian: 21.3 59%
Safety assist: 5 71%

Concept cars[edit]

  • In 2000, Chrysler introduced the 300 HEMI C,[50] a 2+2 convertible powered by the new 5.7 litre HEMI engine with 353 hp (263 kW) and 353 lb⋅ft (479 N⋅m) of torque. It had rear wheel drive and a four-speed automatic transmission. It was capable of 0–60 mph in under 6 seconds.
  • In 1991, Chrysler introduced a Monteverdi High Speed inspired concept 300,[51] employing the Dodge Viper engine. It was inspired by a 1970s Swiss-built sedan powered by Chrysler.

Sales[edit]

Calendar year US Canada
2004[52] 112,930 10,048
2005[52] 144,068 14,654
2006[53] 143,647 13,316
2007[53] 120,636 10,021
2008[54] 62,352 7,443
2009[55] 38,606 5,234
2010[56] 37,116 4,180
2011[57] 36,285 3,045
2012[58] 70,747 5,760
2013[59] 57,724 5,375
2014[60] 53,382 4,117
2015[61] 53,109 4,443
2016[62] 53,241 3,662
2017[63] 51,237 3,838
Total sales to date 1,035,080 95,136

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External links[edit]