The 300’s namesake and inspiration, the original Chrysler C-300 of 1955, was one of the defining members of the big-muscle breed, powered by the original edition of Chrysler’s famous hemispherical-head V8 known as the Hemi. With 300 horsepower from dual four-barrel carburetors and a solid-lifter cam, the C-300 achieved early fame as one of the most powerful automobiles built by Detroit. It won the NASCAR championship in its first year out, and set top speed records on the beach at Daytona.
With the 300C, it’s all about the growl, the sweet-sounding exhaust note coming from subtle pipes under the rear bumper. The 340-hp Hemi has to carry 4046 pounds, so it won’t run with a Corvette, but it is plenty fast, with a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds, according to Chrysler. At the same time, the ride is smooth, solid and comfortable and the cabin is very quiet.
The Chrysler 300 stands out with bold styling harkening back to its glory days in the 1950s. Like its ancestors, the 300 uses rear-wheel drive, better for power and handling. With traction control, antilock brakes and stability control, it’s effective on snowy and icy roads. Most versions are available with all-wheel drive. The 300 is exceptionally quiet and offers a wonderfully smooth and solid ride with tight handling. It’s very roomy inside with an intelligent instrument panel and controls, and is also easy to climb in and out of.
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