What is it?
This is the ‘all new’ Chrysler 300C, which goes on sale in the UK on 14 June. The company says the 300C has been rethought from the ground up. The structure is new (it is longer, wider and lower than the outgoing version) and 67 per cent of the underbody and 53 per cent of the upper body is made from super-strong types of steel.
This is reflected in last year’s EuroNCAP crash test results which saw the 300C’s Lancia Thema sister car awarded five stars. It rides on a five-link rear suspension system and uses sophisticated wishbone-type suspension at the front. The suspension geometry is new, better-quality suspension bushes are used front and rear and the steering is a neat hybrid system that uses an electric pump to drive the hydraulic assistance.
The styling has not strayed far from the original 300C, with deep sides, small windows and a large grille. The wheel arches are more pronounced on the new model and the headlamps and large grille are subtler. Chrysler says the extra-stiff structure is part of the reason why this is one of the quietest cars in this class. The company also says it went to town on acoustic insulation, sound-deadening glass and wheel well liners.
The UK line-up of the new 300C is very straightforward. There’s just one engine – a 236bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel – hooked up to a five-speed automatic gearbox with optional paddle shifters. The engine is made by VM Motori but has been developed by Fiat Powertrain and fitted with the company’s new Multijet 2 direct injection system.
There are two trim levels: Limited (£35,995) and Executive (£39,995). The Limited spec includes everything from full leather and sat-nav to heated and cooled seats. The Executive adds 20in alloys, blind spot monitoring, active cruise control, collision warning, leather wrapping on the dash, a double-size glass sunroof and paddle shifters.
Options are limited to pearl-effect paint and a Harmon Kardon hi-fi. There will be no estate version this time, however, and there are no plans for a four-cylinder CO2 special.