The redesigned 2011 Chrysler 300 took a leap forward in refinement, but the large sedan's makeover didn't come with an SRT8 variant. No worries, though, because the all-new, more powerful and damn sharp-looking 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is debuting today at the 2011 New York Auto Show.
There's a lot to go over on this new 300 SRT8, but we wouldn't waste a vowel before talking power. Gone is the 425-horsepower 6.1-liter Hemi V8, replaced with the the Pentastar's new 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine that first appeared in the new Challenger SRT8 392. The new V8 produces 465 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, up 40 ponies and 45 lb-ft versus the outgoing engine. What's more, that upgraded output is also more usable for 2012, as Chrysler tells us we can expect an additional 80 lb-ft of torque at 2,900 rpm, which translates into more thrust from a standstill. How much? Official estimates are 0-60 "in the high four-second range," and a quarter-mile time of fewer than 13 seconds. The transmission of choice will be the carryover five-speed automatic, though paddle shifters will join the automatic to give drivers a couple options for gear selection.
Continue reading 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 ready to pounce...
All that power is worthless without proper stoppers, so Chrysler engineers fitted 14.2-inch front rotors and 13.8-inch discs out back, while four-piston Brembo calipers supply the bite. Chrysler's tape measure reveals that these high-end brakes manage to bring this undoubtedly heavy sedan (the last generation SRT8 tipped the scales at 4,046 lbs) from 60 mph to a stand-still in under 120 feet.
More power and better performance can often lead to less desirable fuel economy, yet Chrysler insists that this SRT8 actually boasts a 25-percent increase in efficiency. One reason for the big improvement is a new active valve exhaust system, which allows the big V8 to drop down to four-cylinder mode over a much wider RPM range than before. The company isn't ready to provide specific numbers, but our math tells us to expect about 24 miles per gallon in highway driving.
Also new for 2012 is an Adaptive Damping Suspension, which gauges vehicle speed, steering speed and angles, brake torque, throttle position and acceleration to tone the suspension under any condition. Drivers can also choose from Auto or Sport settings that automatically change shock damping and ride comfort.
We're all for function over form, but you can't have an SRT-infused 300 without a menacing look that matches the performance. The 2012 300 SRT8 starts with a set of seven-spoke 20-inch wheels. The brawny four-door is dropped by a half inch, while side cladding is painted in body color. The front and rear fascias were updated as well, in an effort to help the SRT model stand out compared to other members of the 300 family. We're especially fond of the new slotted upper and lower front grilles, which depart from the chain-mail look of the first-generation SRT8.
Inside, the 300 SRT8 features unique leather seating surfaces; a unique, heated steering wheel; and plenty of SRT badging to go around. Also present are the expectant carbon fiber interior trim pieces adorning the dash and doors. Functional upgrades include an Electronic Vehicle Information Center that can measure 0-60, eighth mile and quarter mile times as well as braking distances. Controls for the EVIC are accessed from the steering wheel, and all of the information is available on the large 8.4-inch LCD screen, which can also display information like steering and yaw angle, horsepower and torque outputs.
Add up everything that goes into the 300 SRT8, and you have what Chrysler calls "the most powerful and best handling model ever." We want one. For more info on the 300 SRT8, along with information about the new 300S and 300C Executive Series, check out the press release below.
• All-new Chrysler 300 SRT8® with its 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 offers ultimate combination of world-class luxury and performance in Chrysler's most powerful, best-handling sedan ever
• All-new Chrysler 300S Series brings a youthful and aggressive appearance with athletic style and sophistication
• With premium materials and world-class refinement, the all-new 300C Executive Series is the most luxurious Chrysler sedan ever
• Three all-new models bring uniquely distinct personalities to the Chrysler flagship sedan's 2012 model lineup
• Available in Chrysler showrooms in third quarter 2011
The success of the modern Chrysler 300 launched in 2005 can be attributed to its broad appeal. People of all ages, incomes, and lifestyles were attracted to the sedan's dramatic styling, power and performance. The 2011 model year brought the introduction of the all-new Chrysler 300, 300 Limited and 300C. For 2012, the Chrysler brand is expanding the appeal of its flagship 300 sedan even further by launching three all-new models, all with unmistakably bold American style, luxury and performance targeted at different owner lifestyles.
As the king of the lineup, the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8® adds high-performance hardware to the elegant proportions and head turning design of the 2011 Chrysler 300C to provide the ultimate combination of world-class luxury, power and handling. With an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, the 300 SRT8 is targeted at customers that seek heart pounding, adrenaline filled excitement, but don't want to sacrifice comfort and innovative features to get it.
Appealing to younger, more urban-centric customers that want world-class sophistication combined with athletic-luxury and a more aggressive look, the all-new 2012 Chrysler 300S delivers. This 300 "street machine" features 20-inch aluminum wheels with black painted pockets, sport-tuned suspension, premium audio, black exterior accents and a monotone black or exclusive black with Radar Red interior environment.
Designed to be the most luxurious Chrysler sedan ever, the all-new 2012 Chrysler 300C Executive Series with an ultra-premium leather wrapped cockpit, will appeal to customers looking to reward their hard work with a true American luxury vehicle that rivals the best the imports can offer.
"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."
2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8
The Street and Racing Technology (SRT) performance engineering team builds upon the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 sedan already executed for a world-class luxury experience, to deliver Chrysler's most powerful and best handling model ever.
Projected performance numbers include 0-60 mph acceleration in the high 4-second range; quarter mile in high 12 second range; 0-100-0 mph in less than 16 seconds, top speed of 175 mph and stopping power from 60-0 mph in 120 feet.
Owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle receive one day of professional driving instruction from the Richard Petty Racing School as part of the SRT Track Experience, designed to maximize their driving knowledge and skills on the street or track. Sessions are held throughout the year at selected tracks.
The return of the 300 SRT8 to the Chrysler lineup in 2012 evokes a strong comparison to the original high-performance production car of its time – the 1955 Chrysler 300. Known for simple, strong lines, excellent engineering, high levels of luxury and outstanding performance with the first modern American V-8 engine to produce 300 horsepower, the first Chrysler 300 (C-300) was styled by Virgil Exner, who radically redesigned the entire Chrysler line and created what they called "The Forward Look" in 1955. Without much chrome on the sides, his designs were simple, but strong. Exner is credited with creating the illusion of fast, forward movement.
The Chrysler C-300 won on both the road course and the "flying mile" at Daytona in 1955. In 1956, the Chrysler 300B model won both events again. In fact, the Chrysler 300s dominated NASCAR competition in 1955 and 1956, taking the overall championship in both years. A legendary and luxurious performance car was born. The "letter cars" quickly became the most desirable of the Chrysler lineup and became known as the "Beautiful Brutes."
Under the hood of the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, the new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 makes its debut in the Chrysler brand product lineup delivering an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, up 40 horsepower and 45 lb.-ft. over the 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 it replaces.
The improved torque output - including an additional 80 lb.-ft. at 2,900 rpm - allows for inspired standing starts and improved straight-line performance while new, performance-tuned motor mounts improve idle stability and ride control at any speed. An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing provides maximum low-end torque while optimizing high-end power.
Even with the elevated power numbers, an estimated 25-percent fuel economy increase on the highway is achieved by use of a new for 2012 active valve exhaust system that allows the standard Fuel Saver technology (four-cylinder mode) to engage over a wider rpm range. The new active exhaust system also allows for straight-through mid and rear mufflers for a throaty exhaust note under engine load.
Specific fuel economy numbers will be announced closer to the vehicle introduction.
Standard steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters join the standard Auto Stick on the floor console. Both are mated to the proven five-speed automatic transmission, allowing a choice of spirited shifting on the road and the race track.
Both methods give the driver the ability to manually shift the transmission. The transmission controller calibration in "Auto" mode prevents situations that might over rev the engine; while in "Sport" mode, it allows the driver full control of the shifting schedule. Fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain more responsive while minimizing harshness.
Outstanding ride and handling
New for 2012 is an Adaptive Damping Suspension (ADS) system that is tuned specifically for the Chrysler 300 SRT8 to offer a compliant and comfortable ride. The ADS system also 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.
In addition, drivers can manually choose between "Auto" and "Sport" settings that quickly change the shock damping and harshness characteristics from everyday commuting to more spirited driving situations.
The performance SRT-tuned, fully-hydraulic steering system also has been improved with a new, heavy-duty pump and revised gearing to give drivers more direct feel and on-center response.
New seven-spoke, 20-inch lightweight forged aluminum wheels and available three- or four-season tires provide great looks with fun-to-drive performance and handling.
SRT vehicles are well known for their world-class stopping power and the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 features 14.2 inch (front) and 13.8 inch (rear) vented/slotted rotors with four-piston Brembo calipers painted in silver finish. Improved brake cooling and fade performance comes courtesy of new underbody belly pan with integrated brake ducting.
The standard Ready Alert Braking system anticipates situations when the driver may initiate an emergency brake stop and engages the electronic stability control pump to set brake pads against rotors in order to decrease the time required for full brake application.
Aggressive and functional exterior with available Black Chrome Package
An exclusive new front fascia has a modern, yet timeless appearance that is carried through with the all-new grille and new Chrysler wing badge. The black chrome upper and lower grille surrounds and rear valance strip are part of the available Black Chrome Package.
The 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is one-half inch lower when compared to the base car and features new SRT-exclusive side sill cladding painted in matching body color for the "planted" look of a true sports sedan.
The rear includes a unique lower fascia with chrome accent bar, new 4-inch round dual exhaust tips and a modified SRT8 decklid badge with new black accent. Rounding out the Black Chrome Package are the black chrome accent spear and exclusive black chrome wheels.
Race inspired and functional interior
The all-new interior environment combines world-class luxury accommodations with performance-oriented technology and appointments.
An all-new leather-wrapped, heated, SRT-exclusive steering wheel features a unique rim section with a flattened bottom surface showing the SRT logo. Standard paddle shift controls flank both sides of the new contoured palm rests while all audio and Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) controls are accessible from the horizontal spokes on the steering wheel.
For the high-performance look, real carbon fiber interior trim pieces are integrated into the new instrument panel, door spears and shifter bezel and new racing style brake and gas pedal pads are standard.
The new full-color graphic EVIC with exclusive Performance Pages includes timers for 0-60 mph, one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times, 60-0 braking distance, along with lateral and longitudinal g-forces within the touchscreen display.
The new instrument panel's 8.4-inch color touchscreen display – the segment's largest standard display – also has all the same Performance Pages data as the EVIC, and is further expanded to include steering angle, vehicle yaw angle, horsepower, and torque outputs along with engine gauges. The display is customizable to a driver selectable background.
An available Premium Leather Interior Package offers 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.
The standard heated and ventilated front seats have active head rests with the SRT logo embroidered in seat backs. Rear seats also are heated for passenger comfort.
Modified door trim panels feature unique bolster material and accent stitching on arm rests to match the seats.
Safety and security
The all-new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 features more than 70 advanced safety and security features, including standard Keyless Enter-N-Go and electronic stability control (ESC) with segment-exclusive Ready Alert Braking and Rain Brake Support safety features to improve overall vehicle handling and performance.
Chrysler brand's signature SafetyTec Group is available on the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 and packages many first-time-available features including adaptive-forward lighting (AFL), high-intensity discharge (HID) projector high and low-beams with automatic headlamp leveling, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with adaptive-cruise control (ACC), Blind-spot monitoring (BSM) with Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, ParkSense® front and rear park assist system, LED-illuminated rear fog lamps, exterior mirrors with supplemental turn signals and approach lamp.
In addition, standard front-row reactive head restraints, standard full-length side-curtain air bags, driver's knee bag and standard front seat-mounted side-thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision.
Connectivity and Infotainment
New for 2012 is the available SRT performance sound system from Harman Kardon®. Producing the ultimate in sound quality, the 900-watt, 19-speaker system includes:
• Seven 3.5-inch Unity coaxial mid-range speakers with seven integrated tweeters located in the instrument panel, rear doors and rear deck
• Two 6 x 9-inch subwoofers located in the front doors
• Two 6 x 9-inch subwoofers in the rear deck
• One 10-inch subwoofer in the rear deck
• 12-channel, high-speed amplifier
The state-of-the-art Uconnect® Touch 8.4N system provides all of the next-generation mobile infotainment and multimedia items to keep passengers connected between any destinations. With the segment's largest standard touchscreen display (8.4-inches), the easy-to-use system delivers world-class functionality with an intuitive user interface that was benchmarked against the best E-segment sedans from Europe, Asia and North America.
Segment-exclusive Garmin® navigation on the premium Uconnect Touch 8.4N model provides easy-to-use maps, lane guidance and more than 6 million points of interest. SIRIUS Travel Link on the premium Uconnect Touch 8.4N provides real-time weather, fuel prices, sports scores and movie theater information to make any trip more efficient and fun. SIRIUS Traffic provides real-time traffic reports where available.
Uconnect Voice Command, Uconnect Touch, steering-wheel controls and familiar center-stack controls all work in synergy to make the experience intuitive and simple for the driver.
All-new Chrysler 300S and 300C Executive Models Expand the Chrysler 300 Letter Series Heritage with More Personality and Style
• All-new 2012 Chrysler 300S series brings a youthful and aggressive appearance with athletic style and sophistication
• Chrysler brand redefines mobile audio experience with the world's first integration of Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ audio technology on all-new 300S models, creating the high-definition sound experience the way the artist intended you to hear it
• With premium materials and world-class refinement, the all-new 300C Executive Series is the most luxurious Chrysler sedan ever
• Two all-new models bring uniquely distinct personalities to the Chrysler flagship sedan's 2012 model lineup
• Available in Chrysler showrooms in third quarter 2011
With its dramatic styling and world-class power, the Chrysler 300 has appealed to people of all lifestyles since 2005. Now, with unique luxury and style appointments, the all-new 2012 Chrysler 300S and 300C Executive Series models broaden the appeal of the Chrysler brand's flagship sedan with even more style in two uniquely appointed directions, while delivering world-class refinement, materials and grand-touring performance.
All-new 2012 Chrysler 300S Series
Adding an avant-garde appearance to the letter-series flagship sedans, the all-new Chrysler 300S V-6 and V-8 models take the American brand in a new direction with world-class ride and handling, discrete exterior styling elements, contemporary interior materials and state-of-the-art technology features.
"No chrome . . . no wood . . . matte carbon fiber finishes . . . unique black or Radar Red leather . . . our biggest wheels, and world's first integration of Beats by Dr. Dre audio technology – the best standard audio system period. This is the new Chrysler 300S and it has an attitude that comes through loud and clear," said Olivier Francois, President and CEO - Chrysler Brand and Lead Executive for Marketing, Chrysler Group LLC. "For the Chrysler brand, it's not just about design, it's about substance. And with the Chrysler team working with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine for months, I know the new 300S with its mapped sound waves, designed algorithms and unique Beats Audio components are a direct result from our model collaboration – a partnership between an OEM and the music industry – that makes the 300S perform with the power to play music as the artist intended it to be heard."
With larger 20-inch polished-face aluminum wheels with black painted pockets, wider all-season performance tires, touring-tuned (performance-tuned with HEMI® V-8 engine) second-generation E-segment chassis architecture with 25 percent quicker steering and 20 percent heavier on-center feel than the entry-level 300 model, the all-new Chrysler 300S V-6 and V-8 models are engineered for driving enjoyment.
Hinting that this Chrysler sedan was born with attitude and street-cred – unique body-color fascia accents and mirrors, and black-accented headlamp bezels with matching sculpted horizontal grille blades in black chrome replace bright chrome to give the 2012 Chrysler 300S a low-key street presence.
The interior of Chrysler 300S models exude an athletic-luxury theme with 12-way power driver and passenger front seats with large-bolstered and heated monotone cloth sport seats surrounded by an interior environment in black or Radar Red. Exclusive use of Piano Black on interior center stack, instrument panel, steering wheel, gauge cluster and door panel elements provide a uniquely lacquered and highly detailed appearance. Completing the enthusiast-designed interior are matte carbon hydrographic finished accents, replacing traditional burl wood.
State-of-the-art Uconnect® Touch 8.4 provides 2012 Chrysler 300S passengers with the segment's largest touchscreen display (8.4-inch) and next-generation mobile infotainment, connectivity and multimedia features.
Uconnect Touch also controls the 522-watt 12-channel amplifier that integrates the heart of the Beats proprietary equalizer algorithm, creating the high-definition sound Beats Audio founders Dr. Dre, and Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, require in their professional recording studios.
Behind the world's first integration of Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ audio technology, the 2012 Chrysler 300S features a high-performance 10-speaker Beats Audio system. Delivering the mid- to high-range needed for studio-quality sound are three 3.5-inch speakers located in the instrument panel and two 3.5-inch speakers located in the rear doors. Two 6 x 9-inch front-door woofers provide bass, while two 6 x 9-inch speakers and a center-mounted 8-inch speaker located in the rear-shelf area provide full-range audio.
Maximizing how music genres from hip hop to Motown should sound and feel, an 8-inch Beats Audio trunk-mounted dual-voice coil subwoofer with sealed enclosure delivers tight, powerful, punchy bass.
• Chrysler 300S V-6
The 2012 Chrysler 300S V-6 model features the aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar engine delivering 292 best-in-class six-cylinder horsepower through an all-new segment-exclusive ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. For even more spirited driving with performance feel, the driver can utilize all-new steering-wheel mounted magnesium paddle shifters to manually select the desired gear.
When equipped with the optional Luxury Group, the Chrysler 300S V-6 includes premium Nappa leather sport seating in black or exclusive Radar Red, memory module that stores position of the driver seat, exterior mirror, steering wheel, pedal and radio for two drivers, heated rear seats, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering column, power-adjustable pedals, power sunshade, vehicle security alarm, driver's side auto-dimming mirrors and auto-tilt in Reverse, heated/cooled cup holders, trunk mat, satin chrome lower door sills with "Chrysler" logo, and LED illuminated front-footwells and front and rear map pockets.
• Chrysler 300S V-8
Packed with a 363 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine including innovative Fuel Saver Technology, a five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Auto Stick, performance-tuned suspension and larger performance disc brakes, the 2012 Chrysler 300S V-8 delivers world-class power and refinement with enthusiast-tuned handling.
In addition to the features included on the Chrysler 300S V-6 with Luxury Group, the eight-cylinder 300S model adds 160-mph LED-illuminated instrument cluster, rain-sensing windshield wipers, Smartbeam headlamps, ParkView® rear back-up camera, and HomeLink universal transceiver.
• Chrysler 300S V-6 and V-8 AWD models
Providing additional all-season confidence, the Chrysler 300S V-6 and V-8 all-wheel-drive (AWD) models utilize 19-inch polished-face aluminum wheels with black painted pockets, P235/55R19 all-season performance tires and the most advanced AWD system in its class.
For inclement weather driving conditions and exceptional road manners, the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300S AWD models feature a segment-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle disconnect system. This exclusive AWD system also is designed to improve fuel economy by up to 5 percent over competitive full-time all AWD systems. No other major automotive manufacturer offers the combination of these two independent technologies. The Chrysler flagship sedan's innovative AWD system seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive (RWD) and AWD with no driver intervention. When AWD is not required, the system automatically disconnects the front axle to maximize fuel economy while still providing the outstanding performance and handling inherent in RWD vehicles.
The 2012 Chrysler 300S letter-series models arrive at Chrysler dealerships in the fall of 2011.
All-new 2012 Chrysler 300C Executive Series
Designed to be the most luxurious Chrysler flagship sedan ever, the all-new Chrysler 300C Executive Series combines ultra-premium leather – once limited to some of the most exotic Italian luxury cars – with world-class refinement and handling, state-of-the-art safety and connectivity features and the legendary 363 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology.
"For us, it's not only about making the all-new Chrysler 300C great for a segment, it's about tailoring it for an individual . . . the businessman . . . the outperformer . . . the trendsetter," added Francois. "The 2012 Chrysler 300C Executive Series makes a statement with all of its appointments and contrasts. With hand-sanded real wood accents, hand-stitched Italian leather dash, two-tone ultra-soft Nappa leather seats, uniquely polished 20-inch wheels and state-of-the-art Uconnect Touch – our flagship provides passengers with the sense of pure old-school craftsmanship combined with innovative technology."
Exclusive features found on the Chrysler 300C Executive Series interior include either Mochachino or Black Poltrona Frau "Foligno" leather-wrapped instrument panel, cluster brow, center console side panels and upper front- and rear-door panels. Premium Nappa leather covers the door armrest, bolster and center console armrest. Two-tone Mochachino or Black seats are wrapped exclusively in supple Nappa leather and include 12-way power-adjustable driver and front-passenger seats (including four-way power lumbar) with two-mode ventilation and two-mode heated seats for both front and rear passengers. Specially selected Natural Pore Mocha or Pore Gray real wood trim is finished in a low-gloss to enhance the beauty of the wood.
On the exterior, the Chrysler luxury flagship replaces chromed fascia, mirror and door handle accents with a unique platinum chrome finish for an even more upscale look. Topping off the unique exterior is a platinum-chrome finished grille surround with platinum-chrome sculpted grille blades for a truly distinctive appearance (late availability).
Premium interior amenities within the Chrysler 300C Executive Series model include the state-of-the-art Uconnect Touch 8.4N with Garmin® navigation, SIRIUS Traffic and SIRIUS Travel Link, 160-mph LED-illuminated instrument cluster with driver-selectable color EVIC, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering column with memory, power-adjustable pedals with memory, power backlight sunshade, premium 18-ounce berber floor mats with nubuck trim, satin chrome lower door sills with "Chrysler" logo, dual heated/cooled cup holders, ambient lit foot well lighting, LED illuminated interior door handles and front and rear map pockets, premium carpeted trunk mat, HomeLink universal transceiver and power-folding chromed exterior mirrors with memory, auto-dimming and auto-tilt in Reverse.
Available in rear-wheel drive or with the segment's most advance AWD system, the 2012 Chrysler 300C Executive Series models arrive at Chrysler dealerships in the fall of 2011.