Back in 2004, Chrysler, on its tour of Europe, surprised us with a model that, based on the Mercedes E-Class platform, offered a concept car that was very exotic on our roads: the Chrysler 300C. The Yankee firm, it must be admitted, was working very well during those years, to gain a foothold in Europe, although moving from the Chrysler 300M to the 300C was notable and also, for good, it was not so successful, for example, putting into circulation the Chrysler Sebring 200C (as much as it mounted Volkswagen’s 2.0 TDI diesel).
Among the most interesting versions of the 300C, there were those equipped with diesel engines, which in this case were the 3.0 with 218 hp from Mercedes, but above all, the Chrysler 300C SRT, equipped with a characteristic Yankee V8 with more 400 hp pure Muscle Car sound. However, it was not as successful as it should have been and Chrysler eventually left Europe, although it did not take long to return to the market under the Lancia logo (the latest generation of the Lancia Thema), to be, as they say, four days on sale and disappear along with the brand.
But the most curious thing is that, against all odds, the Chrysler 300C is still alive and kicking in the United States, it is still for sale and, in addition, it has received an update to last even longer in the market. As expected, the changes are not important and hardly anything changes, but it is super curious that they still maintain a car whose base dates back so many years (the last evolution dates from 2011). It is also striking that it is still for sale, taking into account the evolution in sales, or rather, the involution. Only 17,000 units were sold in 2021, a stark contrast to the 145,000 units sold in its best year, 2005. It’s also a stark contrast to the sales of its main rival, the Dodge Charger, which sold 78,000 units in 2021.
The most interesting thing about the Chrysler 300 (now it does not have the letter “C” in the name), is focused on the adoption of more safety, assistance, and comfort systems, included in the SafetyTec Plus package (rain sensor, gear change warning). lane, parking assistance, automatic lights, forward collision warning with active braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go…). The range will be made up of the V6 Pentastar as a “series” option and the V8 5.7 HEMI as “optional”. As a climax, there will be the Chrysler 300C, equipped with the 6.4-liter V8 block and 485 hp, which is postulated as the farewell version of the model, which ceases to be manufactured in 2023.
However, although the base of the Chrysler 300 is old, they have managed to sell the 2,200 units that are planned to be manufactured in the most performance version, equipped with the 6.4-liter V8. And besides, they only needed 12 hours to get it. Chrysler CEO Chris Feuell told Motor Trend that of those 2,200 units, 2,000 will go to the US market and 200 to Canada. In any case, there are not a few who have criticized Chrysler for not offering the 300C with the Hellcat block, but according to a spokesman for the brand in statements to The Drive, there are not enough Hellcat engines to power the 2,200 units of the special version…
At the moment, it is not known which model will replace the Chrysler 300, but no one is unaware that it will be the last authentically Yankee sedan, equipped with a large-displacement naturally aspirated V8. Reportedly, one of the options will be a sedan with an electric motor, shared with Dodge, with 800-volt architecture and just over 440 hp. It is also expected to have some design cues seen on the Chrysler Airflow.