1 Jul 2012
The all-new 300 took a little longer than Chrysler had hoped to get to market because of that pesky global financial crisis that sent the company into chapter 11 bankruptcy.
But when it eventually arrived in July 2012, it was clear that the now Fiat-owned American brand didn’t stray too far from its familiar predecessor.
Chrysler Australia dropped the C from the previous model’s 300C moniker, and also dropped the prices across the range for its rear-drive Commodore-fighter.
Arriving in four specifications, the 300 was available with either a 210kW petrol V6, a 176kW diesel V6 or the fire-breathing 347kW 6.4-litre Hemi V8 that powers the top-spec SRT8.
Retro styling with art deco touches set the 2012 300 apart from the previous model as well as some of its competitors.
Improvements over the 300C included enhanced suspension, new electric steering, a stiffened version of the existing Mercedes platform and – on the petrol V6 – the addition of an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The petrol V6 was capable of reaching 100km/h in 7.0 seconds and using 9.4 litres per 100km on the combined fuel cycle, while the diesel was rated at 7.1L/100km.
Unsurprisingly, the Hemi V8 consumed the most fuel at 13.0L/100km, but that figure would likely not bother enthusiasts.
The big American was well specified with heated seats, bi-Xenon automatic headlights, proximity key with keyless start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a large 8.4-inch touchscreen and USB/Bluetooth connectivity standard on all models.
Mid-spec 300C models added heated and cooled cupholders, Nappa leather seats with memory and voice recognition, while the range-topping SRT8 gained high-performance Brembo brakes, a rear spoiler, mesh grille, adaptive dampers, transmission Sport mode with paddle shifters, and carbon-fibre cabin accents.