When the Chrysler 300 dropped on an unsuspecting public in 2004, it was all crisp edges and upright stance, with a bulldog face to help drive home the message of urgent thrust delivered by a reborn Hemi V8. Chrysler's got a refreshing in the pipeline for the 300, and that's giving designers fits. It's akin to sophomore album syndrome – when the original is a huge hit, how, exactly, do you follow it up? Chrysler designers are invoking the Porsche philosophy used to update its 911 through the generations as a roadmap for the 300's body changes, so don't expect anything too dramatic on the outside.

Inside, however, will be where the real action occurs. While not the worst interior Chrysler puts out, it's certainly got room for improvement. Cerberus chairman Steven Feinburg is reportedly passionate about improving the quality of Chrysler's offerings, and the lower quality materials we have today are being jettisoned in favor of more competitive finery. Whether that means competitive with what's out there right now, or as good as what everyone else will have by the time the new 300 hits the market, we don't know. Equipment levels, too, are an area where Chrysler wants to improve. Look for more technology and features that are better executed in the new 300, which the design staff has hopefully not managed to whack with an ugly stick in the name of "continued distinctiveness," or some other marketing double-speak for "we couldn't do better, so we did weird."

[Source: Wards Auto]