Figuring 340 horses from the 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI wasn’t enough, Chrysler turned the 300C over to its Street and Racing Technology unit. Its first step: boring out the cylinders to provide 6.1 liters of displacement, a 6400 rpm redline and 420 pound-feet of torque at 4800 rpm. Oh, and another 85 horses. That brings the total to a whopping 425 hp.
Even more remarkable: The 300C SRT8 has a base price just south of $40,000 and should be in showrooms this spring.
The SRT8 gets a number of exterior design changes to set it apart from the rest of the clan. Most obvious are the body-colored bumpers, door handles and mirrors, as well as special SRT badging. A more practical change comes in the form of redesigned front and rear fascia to provide air ducting for brake cooling.
Whoever said you shouldn’t mess with success didn’t work for SRT. The gang at Chrysler’s tuner division changed virtually everything about the already great V-8 HEMI that powers the 300C. From the block to the intake to the exhaust, everything gets reworked. All of these improvements get an anticipated 0-to-60 time under 5 seconds and a quarter mile in under 14 seconds, according to Chrysler. In a nice tip of the cap to the original HEMIs of the ’60s and ’70s, the engine gets an orange-painted cylinder block and black valve covers. The only transmission offered is a five-speed AutoStick providing fully automatic or manual shifting.
Suspension, Tires & Brakes
Lots of Mercedes-Benz technology went into the 300 from the outset. But all that extra power prompted some changes. The SRT team used larger anti-sway bars, Bilstein dampers and Brembo four-piston disc brakes fore and aft. The 20-inch forged aluminum wheels are shod with Goodyear F1 three-season tires. The overall ride height has been lowered as well.
For the price, the 300C already comes with a nicely appointed interior. It’s not exactly Mercedes quality, but Chrysler clearly is spending a few more bucks to upgrade interiors, something Detroit’s other two automakers could learn from. Upgrades for the SRT8 include suede seat inserts, an adjustable pedal cluster and textured leather trim on the steering wheel, shifter and door pulls. And a speedometer that reaches 180 mph.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.chrysler.com