5.16.2009

Chrysler 300C SRT8 Review




When the bad times subside (and they will) and we're looking back at the cars from before it all went sideways, this is one we'll look back fondly upon.

It's hard to remember right now, with the streets clogged with V6 versions owned by rental car companies, but the Chrysler 300C was a game-changer, an earth-shaking revelation of an automobile just five years ago...a sign that, after years of focusing on trucks and SUVs, the great American performance sedan was back.

The 300C SRT8 is the ultimate expression of that concept. A big, brawny, well-sculpted sedan (the SRT8 has enough unique styling cues that it almost doesn't need the refresh that the rest of the line is overdue for) with a magnificent 425 horsepower 6.1 liter HEMI, rolling on 20-inch wheels.


$43,860 is the price of admission...and our recent tester added SRT Option Group I (supplemental side curtain front and rear air bags, seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain ari bags and an instrument cluster with performance display screen) for $640; SRT Option Group II (uconnect gps, Multimedia Navigation System with GPS, Sirius Traffic, uconnect phone, auto-dimming rear view mirror with microphone and an iPod interface) for $900; an upgraded audios system for $685 and Sirius Backseat TV (three channels...Disney, Nick and Cartoon Network) for $1,460.

Add $700 for the destination charge and you're at $48,245, which includes a $1,700 gas guzzler tax (because the EPA says 13 city/19 highway).

But you know what?

It's fun.

If you want one and can afford one, buy it. Drive it a little now, keep it nice...in 20 years, you'll be in possession of a true classic. This isn't the direction cars are going anymore...but that doesn't mean it wasn't worth doing or having.

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