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Cut-price Chrysler 300 SRT8 arrives

Hard Core: Getting into a Chrysler 300 SRT8 just got a little easier with the introduction of the $56,000 Core model.

Chrysler strips the fearsome 300 SRT8 to the Core with cut-price version just for Oz

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31 May 2013

CHRYSLER has launched a stripped-out version of its 300 SRT8 hot rod made just for Australia, and in so doing has cut $10k from the price of entry.

The special edition V8 sedan is called the SRT8 Core, and arrives less than 24 hours after arch-rival HSV announced new sharper pricing for its Gen-F range of muscle cars.

On sale now, the Core retails from $56,000 plus on-roads, a huge cut from the now top-spec SRT8 that went on sale in Australia in July last year from $66,000. At this price, it undercuts the all-new HSV ClubSport, which retails for $60,990.

Chrysler says that the Core will be a permanent model in the 300 line-up and is for “enthusiast customers who crave power, handling and capability above all else.” To lower the entry price of the big American powerhouse, Chrysler has removed a number of luxury items that remain in the more expensive SRT8 flagship including heated and ventilated front seats, heated second row seats, illuminated cup holders, and the Nappa sport leather trim is replaced with premium cloth trim.

A reversing camera is only available as a dealer fitted option, but the Core does have front and rear parking sensors as standard. The Core also drops active safety features such as adaptive cruise-control, blind spot warning and forward collision warning.

However, Chrysler has left the mechanicals of the SRT8 alone for the Core, so the hulking American loses none of its bruising performance.

The 6.4-litre Hemi V8 still pumps out 347kW of power and 631Nm of torque. Weirdly, despite having lost some luxury and safety features, the Core maintains the same weight and the same official fuel use of 13.0 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

While Chrysler has removed some gear from the SRT8 to bring the price down, the Core gains unique touches including a new twin five-spoke design on the 20-inch alloy wheels plus Core and HEMI 6.4L badging on the boot-lid and front guards respectively.

Interior flourishes include matte carbon inserts on the instrument panel and console, and the aforementioned cloth trim replacing leather.

The Core retains the SRT8’s 8.4-inch Uconnect multimedia touch screen that displays SRT performance data, but the sat-nav system is now an option, along with a sunroof.

The arrival of the 300 SRT8 Core model could open the door for a similar entry-level variant of the other SRT in the Chrysler Group’s stable – the Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Fiat Chrysler Group Australia director of corporate affairs Karla Leach said that there was nothing like that on the horizon, but it was not out of the question.

“There are no plans at this stage, but obviously we love the performance that the SRT brand brings to our models in Australia so I would say as opportunities arise with future product development, we would definitely assess their viability in Australia.” The SRT8 makes up around 20 per cent of all current-generation 300 sales in Australia and Ms Leach said she expects this to grow with the arrival of the Core.

“We are very confident that the Core will increase the percentage but also increase the overall volume of the Chrysler 300.

“We think that it’s a really exciting way for people to be able to taste and experience the SRT performance everyday. And we think that it will probably start to attract a more performance-focused buyer to this brand, obviously at a lower entry price point,” she said.

2013 Chrysler 300 SRT8 pricing*
SRT8 Core $56,000
SRT8 $66,000
*Plus on-road costs

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