Exterior:Brilliant Black Crystal Pearlcoat
When it debuted as a 2005 model, the Chrysler 300 revived the long-dormant tradition of the full-size, high-style American performance car. While a 2.7-liter V6 was standard, and a 3.5-liter V6 optional, the engine that grabbed the headlines was the top-tier 5.7-liter Hemi V8 developing 340 horsepower.
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 300C brings the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 mated to the five-speed automatic with AutoStick, in both rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions. Also standard are 18-inch chrome wheels, dual exhaust, projector low-beam headlamps, a premium leather interior and, new for 2006, power adjustable pedals. It gets 17/25 mpg on 89 octane recommended (87 acceptable). It also has bigger and more powerful front brakes, because the engine is some 300 pounds heavier than the V6, and the car is considerably faster. The Hemi engine was brutally tested by Chrysler engineers.
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