Chrysler's viability plan reveals first glimpse of new 300C
18 February 2009

This is the next-generation Chrysler 300C, which is expected to be launched within 18 months.

This official computer rendering of the new car featured in the ‘viability plan’, which Chrysler submitted to US Treasury as part of its application for $5bn of government loans.

Chrysler has also hinted that Alfa Romeo could use the new rear-drive 300C platform and its all-new Phoenix V6 family of engines as part of its planned ‘global alliance’ with Fiat Auto.

The chassis would underpin a replacement for Alfa’s defunct 166 flagship.

Although the exterior is recognisably based on the current 300C, it does get completely new front and rear styling, showing hints of the recent 200C concept car.

Inside, the interior has been completely redesigned with a softer, more upmarket look. The option of wood, leather and chrome trimming will push the 300C towards more a conventional interpretation of luxury, rather than the stark, Germanic interior of the current model.

Chrysler engineers say they have made significant changes to the platform, which was originally based on the 1996 Mercedes E-class, including much beefed-up safety. Blind spot monitoring systems will be an option.

Under the bonnet is the company’s all-new ‘Phoenix’ V6 engine, described by sources as ‘a generation ahead of any rival engine’, offering a combination of power, economy and exceptional refinement.

A ground-up new design, the Phoenix will come in 3.0, 3.3, 3.6 and 4.0-litre guises and most versions will get direct injection and variable valve timing. Other versions of the Phoenix unit will be able to run on just three cylinders to save fuel.

Eventually the Phoenix will be produced as a 4.7-litre V8, replacing the current HEMI engine.

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