18 August 2004

Chrysler has given its blunt-nosed 300C exec an M5-chasing makeover. The 300C SRT-8 arrives in the States early next year with the most powerful Hemi engine, a 425bhp 6.1-litre V8, under the bonnet.

UK deliveries will be between a year and 18 months behind, which puts a launch at mid-2006. However, right-hand-drive production has not yet been given the green light.

The SRT-8 is the second Chrysler product to wear the SRT badge, with the Dodge SRT-10 – known as the Viper in the US – due for UK launch early next year. The increase in capacity over the regular 5.7-litre V8 300C accounts for the extra 85bhp and 45lb ft. Peak torque now stands at 420lb ft, giving the SRT-8 a claimed 0-60mph time in the low five-second range. It will be limited to 155mph.

Exterior changes are minor but purposeful, with the rear spoiler claimed to improve downforce by 39 per cent without increasing drag, while tweaks to the front end are designed to help air flow, particularly to the brake cooling ducts.

The standard 300C arrives in the UK next October with a choice of 3.5- and 5.7-litre petrol engines, and an as-yet-unspecified diesel option.

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