When Things Have Changed
Chrysler had introduced the revamped Chrysler 300S for the 2012 model year during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2011.
Similar to Cadillac of GM or Lincoln of Ford, Chrysler’s position within the FCA (FIAT-Chrysler Automobiles) is crucial as the luxury flagship brand. After the American-Italian marriage connecting both sides of the Atlantic, Chrysler is expected also to inject fresh blood to Lancia, the Italians’ noble brand in the form of rebadged Chrysler models. This model is already on sale as Lancia Thema in Europe.
The competition in the North American luxury sedan segment is very tough and largely dominated by the Germans, even if not as strongly as in Europe. During my one-week test drive with Chrysler 300S I searched the answers about how good is the sedan from Detroit in comparison with other established names like: Mercedes E Class, BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Lincoln MKS, Cadillac XTS, Lexus GS, Infiniti M and Acura TL.
Olivier Francois, Chrysler’s brand director (by then) defined the Chrysler 300S as “affordable luxury” during its launch in Detroit in January 2011. Since then, the Chrysler 300S proved its success with a brilliant sales performance.
In the USA and Canada the “Big Chrysler” is offered with three different engines:
- 300 (C) V6 Pentastar with 3.6 lt. (292 HP),
- 300 (S) V8 Hemi with 5.7 lt. (363 HP) and
- 300 (SRT) V8 with 6.4 lt. (470 HP).
Hitting The Road
My test car was a Chrysler 300S, the middle version with the 5.7 liter hemi engine. The name “hemi” originates from hemispherical combustion chamber and dates back as early as 1940’s to generate maximum power especially in drag races.
I drove the Chrysler flagship sedan for about 500 kilometers across the GTA and the Southern Ontario.
The powerful V8 delivers a maximum torque of 534 Nm. This is impressive and felt during acceleration, lane changing and passing on the highway, as well as on country roads. The bold American accelerates from zero to 100 in slightly less than 6 seconds. This performance level provokes you to take the Chrysler 300S to Germany where outdated North American speed limits are not a problem (well, most of the time, if not always). The average consumption of around 11.5 liters in the mixed mode is very reasonable for a car weighing 1962 kg. That’s not all about it: The technology, called MDS (FuelSaver Multi-Displacement System) allows the engine to seamlessly switch from eight cylinders to four during cruising.
The multilink suspension system in front and rear are adjustable. The chassis provides a level of comfort so good and mature, that I was not afraid to compare the Chrysler 300S to the BMW 5 Series. It is worth remembering that the 300 Series shares some platform components and development history with the E-Class of Mercedes. An asset inherited from the days of the Daimler-Chrysler Era.
From a design point of view, the Chrysler 300S has a high beltline and a very masculine look. I found it even a bit claustrophobic. However, once you sit behind the steering wheel (or on the passenger side) the feeling of claustrophobia quickly vanishes. Front seats are adjustable in every possible direction to deliver the maximum comfort. Even the big power sunroof does not reduce the headroom.
Specifications and Pricing of Chrysler 300S
The test car provided by Chrysler Canada is fully loaded:
The standard and optional equipments include: 5-speed automatic transmission ( An 8-speed from the German ZF is also available), GPS navigation system with rear-view camera and front/rear park assist, four-wheel ABS, traction stability control, U-connect Bluetooth system, HVAC with dual zone automatic control, “Beats” 10-speaker sound system with 552 Watt Amplifier and subwoofer in the trunk, adjustable suspension, HID headlamps, 20” polished aluminium wheels with all-season performance tires, rain-sensing wipers, blind spot monitoring system, power sunroof, power-adjusted, cooled and heated front seats with memory function, heated side mirrors, dashboard with carbon-fibre treatment , heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and shift paddles, remote engine starter, adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning. And this nice and luxurious interior of the Chrysler 300S comes with seats in red nappy leather with silver-accent stitching. The MSRP including these options is nearly 55,000 Canadian dollars. This price tag is at least around 10K cheaper than a comparable German Sedan from Stuttgart, Munich or Ingolstadt.
Port Perry and Lake Scugog
As part of our test drive and with five people on board, we drove to Port Perry, a town on the Lake Scugog in the Kawartha Region. Port Perry, with a population of around 10,000 was founded by Reuben Crandell, a united loyalist in 1821. This beautiful town is one-hour drive from Downtown Toronto.
With a landmass of about one million square kilometers Ontario is 25 percent larger than Turkey. It is hardly believable that our province has nearly three million lakes. There are 3,900 lakes bigger than three square kilometers. No surprise that Canada has the largest freshwater reserves in the world. Scugog is a shallow, warm water lake and a popular destination for boating, fishing and swimming. It is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway. The lake is very rich in nutrients. This results in large populations of weeds. Nutrients enter the lake in a number of ways. One important source is the runoff from the lawns. Large grass lawns contain fertilizers and pesticides which contribute to weed growth in the lake.
The ecologically fragile lake attracts thousands of vacationers and weekenders particularly from the GTA particularly in the summer months.
If you need a large and powerful sedan “Made in America”, Chrysler 300S will positively surprise you. In the last couple, turbulent years with tears and blood, the “Bigs of Detroit” reinvented and revisited their glorious pasts. The consumers still profit from it.
If you are not convinced, book a test drive with a Chrysler 300S. You will understand what I mean.
For the most accurate and updated information on specifications and pricing, please visit:
All rights reserved. This article cannot be copied entirely or partially without the prior written consent of the author. Links to the website (autoandroad.com) are allowed.