Chrysler 300C Pre-Production Concept Car
Drivetrain and suspension: Hemi power, Mercedes suspension and rear-drive transmission
In the concept 300C, the Hemi has around 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque - or thereabouts. It uses a Mercedes five-speed automatic, as well as a Mercedes steering system, seat structures, and electronics architecture. The concept is based roughly on the Mercedes E-class.
Shared components and technologies that appeared on the production Chrysler 300C included the transmission, some suspension components, the steering system, the seat structures, the engine, and the electronics architecture.
The Chrysler 300C returns to the long hood, prominent grille, and low roofline of classic years. Eric Ridenour, Executive Vice President of Product Development, said, “While the Chrysler 300C pays homage to the very first Chrysler C-300 and other letter series cars that followed, it does so in a thoroughly modern way.”
The raised belt-line and low glass-to-body ratio were designed to provide a sense of stability and protection. Surprisingly, visibility is not especially impaired, except in the rear corners. Chromed details, such as the body side moldings, door handles and window surrounds, add a touch of elegance. There are also more detail elements in the taillights and headlights.
Large tires are on 20-inch wheels, with the rear wheels wider than the front ones. The 10-spoke rims leave room for large brakes, while chromed dual exhaust pipes announce the long-awaited return to Hemi® V-8 power.
The Chrysler 300C's interior uses a distinctive tortoise shell pattern on the steering wheel rim, shifter knob, and inside door pulls, while door handles and other accents are chrome, inspired by the 1998 Chrysler Chronos show car.
Evolving the design seen on the current Chrysler 300M, a four-gauge instrument cluster with chrome rims and a precision appearance are used in the 300C. The center of the instrument panel contains an analog clock, navigation system, and heated seat switches.
Designer Ralph Gilles said that he had as much liberty as he needed in styling the 300C, asserting that it was as different from the Magnum as it needed to be. He noted that the most important part of the vehicle is the face, which is very different. The rear is, in person, somewhat reminiscent of past Chryslers, most recently the New Yorker (LH version), but before that the Dodge Dynasty and even circa-1970 A-bodies.
Mr. Gilles, in an informal conversation, said that the platform imposed styling restrictions, but that he felt it was very successful and distinctive. He noted that with a more functional look, the styling can be challenging. “Imperfection is not an option,” though, in his words.
The spaciousness of the Chrysler 300C was enhanced by the more upright windshield pillars, resulting in a seating position that is two-and-a-half inches higher than the current 300M, for visibility and easier ingress/egress.
Chrysler 300C show car specifications
Wheelbase: 120.0 inches (3,048 mm)
Overall length: 196.8 inches (4,999 mm)
Overall width: 74.0 inches (1,880 mm)
Overall height: 58.4 inches (1,483 mm)
Front overhang: 34.3 inches (871 mm)
Rear overhang: 42.5 inches (1,080 mm)
Front track: 63.0 inches (1,600 mm)
Rear track 63.0 inches (1,600 mm)
Estimated weight: 4,000 lbs. (1,808 kg)
Front suspension: Short- and long-arm
Rear suspension: Independent five-bar multi-link
Front tire/wheel: 245/45R20, 20 x 8 inches
Rear tire/wheel: 275/40R20, 20 x 9 inches