Chrysler's facelifted 300C, which has made its public debut at the Detroit motor show today, is set to heavily influence the future styling of its future models as part of a serious "comeback onto the automotive stage".
Chrysler and Lancia boss Olivier Francois is keen for the US brand to thrive under Fiat ownership and the 300C would play a central role in this.
The chunky four-door gets a mild restyle that includes a liberal dab of chrome around its front end - including the tops of the side mirrors, unusually - and LED daytime running lights. Chrysler's senior vice president of design Ralph Gilles told Autocar the 300C's grille will form the basis of the firm's new corporate look.
The car's overall profile does change slightly, though; its A-pillars are more rakish and thinner, improving visibility. There's also a double-length sunroof, designed to make the cabin feel more airy.
Chrysler is also promising refinements to the interior, including a larger touchscreen (8.4in), a finer grade of leather seats, soft-touch dashboard materials and a revised infotainment package.
The company will introduce its latest 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine to the model, which developes 288bhp and 260lbft of torque. Also available will be the 5.7-litre, V8 HEMI unit with 358bhp and a 0-60mph time of under six seconds.
The 300C will be one of the Chrysler models to remain in Fiat Group's revised UK line-up for the brand - although the British spec of the car is likely to do without some of the chrome flourishes and stick to diesel power instead of adopting the US car's V6 and V8 petrol powerplants.
Chrysler confirmed late last week that the 300C will be joined by the Grand Voyager and rebadged Lancia Deltas and Ypsilons in 2011. The 300C will also be sold in continental Europe, as a Lancia.