1 Nov 2005
CHRYSLER hadn’t fielded an upmarket challenger to the Ford Fairmont/Fairlane and Holden Statesman since the demise of the CM Valiant Regal SE in 1981.
In the 300C there is plenty of quality Mercedes-Benz E-class engineering to keep it competitive – even if it dates back to the 1995-2002 W210 edition.
So we’re talking rear-wheel drive, recirculating ball steering and a sophisticated multi-link rear suspension. But Chrysler’s powerplants are its own.
The 183kW/340Nm 3.5-litre SOHC V6 is the entry-level version, claiming 11.0L/100km.
However, with 250kW available at 5000rpm and a stump-extracting 525Nm of torque on tap from 4000rpm, the HEMI V8 makes a far more compelling argument.
For starters, it delivers more power and torque, and uses Chrysler’s trick Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which shuts down up to four cylinders when not required. This helps the 5.7-litre HEMI to return 20 per cent lower, V6-like fuel consumption of just 12.1L/100km.
The only gearbox available is a five-speed automatic.
In April 2006 the high-performance SRT-8 model was released, chasing Ford’s FPV and Holden’s HSV models with a seriously powerful 6.1-litre V8 (without engine-displacement technology) boasting 317kW and 569Nm, and also using the five-speed automatic gearbox.
Meanwhile the diesel 300C CRD lobbed in from early July.
With 160kW at 3800rpm and 510Nm from 1600rpm, the CRD accelerates from 0-100km/h in 8.6 seconds and on to a top speed, where permitted, of 230km/h. These are impressive figures given the vehicle tips the scales at a porky 1901kg.
Like all modern-day diesel engines, fuel economy is a strong point. The CRD has a combined fuel consumption figure of 8.2L/100km but a constant highway cruising figure will lift economy further.
Wagon versions of each 300C model also arrived at the same time.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
1st of December 2006
Chrysler 2006 300C SRT-8 Touring
So you think the 300C is a waste of space. Meet the 300C Touring - and think again
21st of April 2006
Chrysler 2006 300C SRT-8 sedan
Chrysler injects some 1970s muscle-car performance enhancers into its 300C sedan
10th of February 2006
Chrysler 2005 300C V8 HEMI
Have Statesman and Fairlane had their time in the sun now that Chrysler 300C HEMI is here?
When it was new
29th of December 2006
Chrysler caps 2006 with wild 300C SRT8 Touring
Just when the 2006 new model year looked complete, along comes the 300C Touring SRT8
22nd of June 2006
Wagons-ho for Chrysler’s 300C Touring
Chrysler Oz goes touring with its 300C wagon, complete with V6, diesel and V8 power
16th of June 2006
First drive: Chrysler's 300C CRD torques tough!
Another diesel emerges from DaimlerChrysler, this time in the shape of the 300C CRD
21st of April 2006
First drive: SRT-8 spells hammertime for 300C!
Chrysler breaks out the steroids and stripes with a ballistic new 300C SRT-8 mega-V8