Immediately into the restructuring of the Chrysler Group, it appeared the niche performance vehicles known for adding style dazzle in the automobile’s line-up were going to be casualties to financial restraint. Not having enough time or money to redesign the aging but still potent Dodge Viper, the supercar’s production is idled (strong likelihood for a restart of the Viper is slated for around 2014). Bringing some comfort to the Mopar performance fans, Dodge introduced the 470-horsepower Challenger SRT8 392 in time for a high-output pony car revival in the 21st century. Demonstrating Chrysler’s search for a new roots in the American auto industry does not include bidding goodbye to past performance greatness, the company’s latest target to exert strength on the road has turned to their full-sized LX platform sedans. The 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 was revealed first rapidly claiming the brand’s road warrior image. Already gaining traction from the bold “Imported from Detroit” campaign rolling since February Super Bowl commercial, the Chrysler 300C gains moxie with its own new SRT8 version.
The 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is the first vehicle released since the Pentastar company announced a dedicated high performance division. Though the SRT initials were worn on a variety of vehicles since 2003, Chrysler Group is now respecting the development and design work for future SRT models in much the same way as Mercedes-Benz does with AMG.
Conducting few changes to the chic, metropolitan restyle of the Chrysler 300C, the 2012 300 SRT8 receives subtle trimming adjustments to the exterior. Wearing a lower fascia on the front, the SRT8 version of the Chrysler 300 sedan features large 4-inch diameter dual exhaust tips. Exclusive SRT colour-matching body cladding subtracting the extension of chrome Chrysler added to their full-sized sedan. However, for those desiring a special shine, the Chrysler 300 SRT8 will be available with the new Black Chrome Package retouching exterior areas including the front grille slots. Standard motion of all Chrysler 300 SRT8 sedans is supplied through the spinning of seven-spoke, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels. The 2012 300 SRT8 wheels can be matched with either all-season Goodyear tires or summer and winter radials.
Lowered by half an inch for a sportier overall profile, the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 center of gravity is also configured to improve weight distribution under extreme driving. Designed for better sport handling, the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 rides on a two-mode adaptive suspension system featuring an “Auto” and “Sport” setting. Under the Sport suspension setting, a higher damping rate is implanted into the riding characteristics of the sedan. Power steering on the Chrysler 300 SRT8 is adjusted by SRT for greater performance input and feedback. Part of the performance driving experiences with the SRT8 version of the Chrysler 300 is Brembo brakes treated with a silver finish. Wearing 14.2 inch brake discs on the front and 13.8 inch on the rear, the larger brakes as well as improved cooling insures the full-sized sedan will stop when required. Stopping from 60 miles per hour in the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 can be performed in an estimated distance of 120 feet. Electronic stability control is standard on the Chrysler 300 SRT8 for additional road-holding assurance also featuring Ready Alert Braking and Rain Brake Support programs.
Underneath the hood, the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is transplanted with the same 6.4 liter HEMI engine introduced in the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392. Giving phenomenal performance to overcome the full-sized pomp, 470 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque feeds the rear wheel drive system of this new sport sedan. A 45 horsepower improvement over the 2010 Chrysler 300 SRT8, the 2012 model is said to provide better fuel efficiency. Claiming to produce up to 25 percent higher fuel mileage for highway driving, the 6.4 liter HEMI engine features Fuel Saver Technology (allowing for travel on four cylinders only) and a new active exhaust valve system. Estimating 0 to 60 mile per hour acceleration under 5 seconds, top speed of the full-sized sports sedan is rated at 175 miles per hour.
For best enjoyment of the 470 horsepower Chrysler sedan, the 300 SRT8 rewards driver and passengers with an upgraded premium interior. Authentic carbon fiber pieces are added to the interior trim is found on the doors and instrument panel. Standard 300 SRT8 leather front seats are ventilated with a heated mode with the driver placed over special racing style pedals. Also included on the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is Uconnect Touch 8.4N. Offering Garmin GPS navigation and Sirius Travel Link, the sound system of the 300 SRT8 can be upgraded to concert-like sound is pumped from 900-watt, 19-speaker Boston Acoustics audio equipment. With the SRT8 model of the 2012 Chrysler 300, a two-tone black and Radar Red cabin treatment is an option.
Prepared for release soon, the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 sports sedan shares American luxury and HEMI performance to the delight of V-8 lovers. As an added incentive to what is likely to be a near $50,000 starting price, each new owner of a 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 will receive a complimentary one-day driving experience at selected race tracks under the guide of Richard Petty Driving Experience professionals.
Information and photo source: Chrysler Group