Chrysler has officially announced that the company's 2012 300S model will be the first of its products to carry a new eight-speed ZF transmission. We've been waiting to see the gearbox show up in a production vehicle since the smallest of the Big Three first made news about the transmission's development last year, and it looks like the wait is finally over.
At first, the eight-speed will only be found in the new 300S with the company's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. Check the boxes for all-wheel drive or the more impressive 5.7-liter V8 and it'll be all five-speed, all the time for you.
Chrysler is currently in the midst of retooling its transmission facility in Kokomo, Indiana to build the new gearbox here in the States. Until that happens, each of the new cog-swappers will be purchased directly from ZF in Germany. Hence the limited availability.
In addition to the new transmission, the 300S packs a Beats by Dr. Dre ten-speaker stereo system and unique piano-black interior accents along with the standard goodies found in the Luxury Package. That means Nappa leather, a rear-view camera, rain-sensing wipers and a power tilt and telescoping steering column are all part of the deal. Hit the jump for the full press blast.
Live photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL
- 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
April 20, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - 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