Six years after the Chrysler 300 made its debut, the “gangsta style” chrome laden full sized sedan is one of the most recognisable American car shapes around. So it made sense that when coming up with the new 2011 model, Chrysler stuck to the same formula, although it’s sleeker and more current looking now.
The most obvious departure is the previous car’s trademark “Heritage” egg crate grille (still available as an option), replaced by one with seven chrome blades. Flanking this new nose are fancy headlights that incorporate C-shaped LED daytime running lamps.
Seen from the side, the 300 retains the distinctive proportions of its predecessor “with added design refinement for a more tailored appearance”, Chrysler says. The windshield has been raked back by three inches, while thinner pillars improve outward visibility by 15%.
Like before, there aren’t many elements in the rear design, which now features an integrated deck-lid lip spoiler with the new Chrysler wing emblem sitting below. The lamps are LEDs, with a chrome splitter in the middle. There are big pipes, one on each side.
Two engines are available – a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine with 292 hp/353 Nm and a 363 hp 5.7-litre HEMI V8 with Fuel Saver Technology. FST allows the V8 to run on four cylinders on light loads, saving up to 20% fuel in the process. When it’s not in fuel saver mode, the HEMI is capable of hauling the 300 from 0-60 mph (0-92 km/h) in less than 6 seconds.
There’s an AWD model that features a segment-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle disconnect system to improve economy by up to 5%, meaning it’s on demand and is rear-driven by default.
Like the Buick Verano we showed you earlier, the new 300 is claimed to be a silent master. The material and structural design improvements include two premium-composite underbody panels that provide more than eight feet of acoustic insulation, dual-pane acoustic windshield and front-door side glass, body-cavity silencing foam, under-flush rolled-framed doors with triple seals and acoustic wheel-well liners.
The all new cabin gets Nappa leather seats and real wood trim, but all eyes will first look to the prominent centre stack, which houses Uconnect Touch 8.4. One can access integrated Garmin navigation, SIRIUS Travel Link with real-time fuel prices, movie listings, sports updates and weather via the 8.4-inch touchscreen display. Not all will like the cabin’s Sapphire Blue ambient interior lighting though.
Gallery after the jump.
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