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Brand New Chrysler 300

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Mike Stevens | Jul 11, 2012

Chrysler's all-new 300 sedan has at last hit Australian showrooms, marking the retirement of the seven year-old 300C and the local debut of Chrysler's sleek new branding.

For 2012, the stately Chrysler comes in four models: the 300 Limited, 300C, 300C Luxury and SRT8.

Launching with a trio of petrol and diesel options, the new 300 line-up is headlined by the 6.4 litre V8-powered SRT8 flagship.

As an evolution of the popular first-gen model, the styling of the new 300 maintains its predecessor's American saloon image but with a smoother and more refined style.

Up front, there are new sleekly-styled LED-endowed headlights, while the redesigned Chrysler badge sits in a new shutter-shade grille.

The evolution-over-revolution story remains the same along the new 300's profile. Almost identical to its predecessor, the new car can be picked by the slight arch of the belt line and the smoother curve of the roof.

At the rear, the 2012 300's vertical tail-lights are slimmer than before, with an LED indicator strip running vertically down the centre of each light.

The back-end is rounded out by a subtle lip-spoiler worked into the design of the boot lid.

On the inside, the new 300 represents a leap forward from the spartan interior of the outgoing 300C, offering a more modern and luxurious environment.

As with most offerings in the large luxury segment, there are lashings of leather, along with aluminium and carbon-fibre highlights, and an abundance of wood panelling.

A large 8.4-inch touch-screen dominates the centre stack, offering Chrysler's UConnect media-centre functions and, in all but the entry 300 variant, satellite navigation and a reversing camera display as standard.

MORE: TMR's reviews of the new 300 range

 

Mechanical Package

Three engines are offered with the rear-wheel-drive 300 range: Chrysler's new 3.6 litre Pentastar V6, a 3.0 litre CRD turbodiesel, and the range-topping 6.4 litre V8 petrol engine.

Entry-level models are powered by the Pentastar petrol engine, producing 210kW at 6350rpm and 340Nm of torque at 4650rpm.

Matched with an eight-speed automatic, Chrysler lists a fuel consumption figure of 9.4 l/100km. The 0-100km/h time is listed at 7.0 seconds.

When driven by the 3.0 litre CRD turbodiesel - supplied by the Fiat and GM-owned VM Motori - the 300 offers 176kW at 4000rpm and 550Nm between 1800 and 2800rpm.

Paired with a five-speed automatic, the diesel V6 lists fuel figures of 7.1 l/100km and a 0-100km/h time of 7.8 seconds.

At the top end of the trio is Chrysler's upgraded 6.4 litre V8, endowing the SRT model with 347kW at 6100rpm and 631Nm at 4150rpm.

The V8's various efficiency-focused upgrades see its fuel consumption figures cut from 14.2 to 13.0 l/100km. Chrysler says the SRT8 will hit 100km/h in a rapid 4.8 seconds (US acceleration figures. Aus figures TBA).

Brakes in the SRT8 are upgraded to 360x32mm ventilated discs and 44mm four-piston Brembo calipers at the front, and 350x28mm and 32mm calipers at the rear.

2012 chrysler 300 australia 02 300c 03
The new 300 benefits from new and redeveloped suspension components, with redesigned front and rear multi-link suspension geometries, bushings and rear stabiliser bar.

There's also a new electro-hydraulic power-steering system for the 300 Limited, 300C and 300C Luxury, while the SRT8 retains a hydraulic steering system.

The 2012 300 also features a stiffer and stronger platform, with 67 percent of the lower structure and 53 percent of the upper structure made from high-strength steels.

Chrysler says buyers can expect a solid and upmarket sedan feel, with extremely low noise, vibration and harshness characteristics.

 

Features

300 Limited

The entry-level 300 Limited features 'premium' cloth seat trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, powered seats up front, power windows, adaptive bi-xenon auto-levelling headlights, LED daytime running lights, and heated power-folding side mirrors with integrated indicators.

There is also a tyre-pressure monitoring display, ParkView, Rear Back-up ParkSense, and Park Assist System Camera.

Remote proximity keyless entry, keyless go, premium security alarm, remote fuel door release, power trunk lid and speed sensitive power door locks are also standard.

There are steering-mounted audio controls, along with a 276W amplifier and six speakers. Chrysler's 8.4N Uconnect Touch system with voice command is optional, adding Garmin satellite navigation, CD/DVD/MP3 compatibility, USB, Bluetooth and aux connectivity.

Externally, there are chrome headlamp bezels and mirror caps, dual exhaust tips and 18x7.5 aluminium wheels.

300C

The second-tier 300C adds heated and ventilated leather seats front and rear, automatic wipers, powered rear sunshade, memory function for the radio, driver's seat and mirrors, auto-adjusting external mirrors for reversing, smartbeam headlights, a heated wood and leather trim steering wheel, and heated/cooled front cup holders.

The UConnect system is standard, while upgrading to nine speakers, a subwoofer and a 506W amplifier.

Options for the 300C include the Safety Tec pack, which adds Forward Collision Warning, power-folding multi-function mirrors and Adaptive Speed Control.

Also available is a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and 20x8.0-inch aluminium wheels wrapped in 245/45 rubber.

300C Luxury

2012 chrysler 300 australia 01 300 limited 05
Stepping up to the 300C Luxury adds 20-inch polished-face aluminium wheels, along with a platinum chrome treatment to the exterior mirrors grille and bars, door handles and mirrors.

Inside, there's eight-way powered driver and passenger front seats, featuring large bolstering and a premium leather trim. There's also satin chrome highlights, real-wood mocha accents.

The leather and chrome-accented steering wheel also gets shift controls, activating the transmission's Sport Mode 2 manual shifting.

In the Luxury, the UConnect system is upgrded to include 10 speakers, and a premium 19-speaker and 900W amplifier option is also available.

300 SRT8

Adding a performance-focused styling and aero kit, the 300 SRT8 flagship's exterior tweaks include a unique grille and bumper, skirts, a rear spoiler, and big 20x9.0-inch forged-alloy wheels wrapped in 245/45 tyres.

There's also a SRT8-specific instrument cluster, with a 300km/h speedometer and dedicated performance information in the multi-function display, allowing drivers to track 0-100km/h and 400-metre times, braking response and lateral g-force.

Keen drivers will be pleased to find steering-mounted shift paddles, a driver-selectable three-model ESC system, and bolstered sports seats.

A heated leather steering wheel is also featured, along with polished alloy surfaces, real carbon-fibre and gloss black highlights.

Napa and Poltrona Frau Foligno premium-leather covers the doors, armrests, centre console, cluster brow and instrument panel.

A Harmon Kardon 19-speaker audio system is standard, and the SRT8 also gets the Driver Confidence package (Forward Collision Warning and Adaptive Speed Control), Leather Interior pack, and the Navigation and Sound pack.

 

Pricing

  • 300 Limited - 3.6 petrol - $43,000
  • 300 Limited - 3.0 diesel - $48,000
  • 300C - 3.6 petrol - $46,500
  • 300C - 3.0 diesel - $51,500
  • 300C Luxury - 3.6 petrol - $51,000
  • 300C Luxury - 3.0 diesel - $56,000
  • 300 SRT8 - 6.4 petrol - $66,000

Note: prices exclude on-road costs.

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