2011-2013 Chrysler 300C cars (and Lancia Thema) with Luxury Series
For 2013, buyers can get a Chrysler 300C with a V6, and the 300S V6 has a boost to 300 horsepower. The Hemi is now optional on 300S and 300C, while AWD is available on the 300. The Light Group (HID headlamps) is now separate from SafetyTec, which now has rain-sensitive wipers.
A black painted roof will be optional on SRT8 and S. Every model, including the base 300, has standard leather; Limited appears to have been dropped. The Beats sound system is optional on all trims, standard on 300S. A new Chrysler 300 Glacier combines AWD with various appearance features, and the 300 horsepower setup from the 300S. New colors include Granite Crystal, Billet Silver, Jazz Blue and Phantom Black Tri-Coat.
The 2012 Chrysler 300 features an optional eight-speed automatic with the V6, which will later be phased in for Hemi models. The 2012 300 SRT8 packs 465 horsepower; and 2012 also brings the Beat-equipped 300 S and high-end Chrysler 300C Luxury Series (née Executive).
The Chrysler 300C’s distinctive headlights sit next to LED daytime running lamps, which together form a “C” shape. For better aerodynamics and visibility, the windshield has been raked back 3 inches, while rolled-framed doors with thinner pillars improve outward visibility by 15%. A new dual-pane panoramic sunroof lets in more daylight; the 300 also has chrome daylight openings, chrome front and rear fascia accents, and optional 20-inch polished-aluminum wheels. The Lancia Thema version is extremely similar, but has a slightly different grille and interior.
Allpar member “Phedra” wrote that the 300C has a gas cap built into the filler door, and illuminated, cooled, and heated cup holders.
The base engine on Chrysler 300 is a V6 pushing out 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, with better highway mileage than the 2010 V6 and gas mileage rated at 21 city, 31 highway (on AWD models, due to extra demand on the driveline, weight, aerodynamics, and higher-resistance tires, that drops to 18/27). The 300S model has a 300 horsepower version of the V6 engine and a “sport mode.”
The eight-speed automatic dropped V6 0-60 times to 6.6 seconds, while raising gas mileage by around 3-4 mpg. The five-speed automatic, still used on Hemi cars, maintains the same gear ratios, with revised axle ratios. The 5.7 liter Hemi went up slightly to 363 horsepower, but gas mileage increased; 0-60 times are quoted at under 6 seconds.
Europeans also get a 188 hp or 236 hp (their choice) VM diesel, with better gas mileage, more power, quieter operation, and reportedly better durability than the Mercedes diesel used in 2010.
Standard on the 300C for Canada are ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, wood/leather-wrapped, heated, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, driver memory: seat, steering wheel, radio and mirrors, power backlight sunshade, SmartBeam HID headlamps with auto-leveling, heated/cooled cup holders, Uconnect Touch 8.4 Media Center with 8.4-inch screen, auto-dimming exterior mirror with auto adjust in reverse, and driver and passenger lower LED lighting.
There are four models (and an SRT8 for the 2012 model year): Touring (with V6), Limited (with V6, leather, heated front seats, fog lamps, backup camera, 18-inch chrome wheels, bright door handles, and more), 300C (standard V8), and 300C AWD.
|V6 (AWD)||V6-8spd||Hemi||SRT8||Diesel 1||Diesel 2|
|Horsepower||292 @ 6,350||363 @ 5,200||470||188 @ 4,000||236 @ 4,000|
|Torque||260 @ 4,800||394 @ 4,200||470||324 @ 1,600||406 @ 1,800|
|EPA gas mileage||18/27||21/31||16/25 (RWD)||14/23|
|0-60 time (US)||6.6||< 6 sec||~ 5|
|0-60 mph (Euro)||7.3||9.2||7.4|
The deck lid has a lip spoiler, with the new Chrysler wing badge centered below. Rear taillamps have harmonious LED illumination, while signature “light pipes” illuminate. Straddling the vertical lamps, Chrysler 300’s rear fascia integrates a chrome appliqué that seamlessly connects the taillamp elements. Fascia-mounted 3.5-inch oval dual exhaust tips are standard.
Interior upgrades on the Chrysler 300 include soft touch materials, optional heated and ventilated Nappa (a full-grain, unsplit leather) seats, and real wood appliques on the instrument panel, doors, center console and steering wheel, as well as a new sapphire blue LED-illuminated ambient interior lighting. (Nappa leather is a full-grain, unsplit leather which normally has a specific tanning process that increases softness without sacrificing durability.)
Standard on the base 300 are side-curtain and seat-mounted side-thorax air bags, knee bag, rear head restraints, stability control, hill start assist, rain brake support, ready alert braking, touch-control audio screen with aux jack and USB input, wheel-mounted audio control, dual-zone automatic climate control with humidity sensor, front and rear climate control outlets, air filter, acoustic windshield and front door glass, black elm trim, 12-way driver seat, cruise, express up/down windows, auto-dim rear-view mirror, leather wrapped tilt/telescope steering wheel, floor mats, vehicle information center, LED interior lights, 17-inch painted aluminum wheels with P215/65 tires, automatic headlights, LED tail-lamps, dual chromed exhaust tips, power release gas door (with cap-free system), 17-inch compact spare, and chromed badge. That all comes for $27,995 including destination (US).
For 2013, leather became standard on every 300, along with a moderate price boost.
In 2011-12, buyers could pay another $4,000 for the Limited, which added leather, heated front seats, voice control with cell phone capability, rear backup camera, alarm, Alpine six-speaker, 276-watt audio, LED illuminated rear cupholders, 18 inch chrome clad wheels with P225/60 tires (19-inch on AWD for Canada), chromed exterior mirrors and door handles, power folding and heated mirrors, and front fog lights.
The Chrysler 300C started at $38,995 in 2011, with numerous standard features and an upgraded interior. The 300C with AWD uses a segment-exclusive active transfer case that raises gas mileage, and a tighter tire-to-fender fitment, 4 mm lowered overall ride height, 19 inch wheels with P235/55 tires, and badging; it starts at $41,145 with destination. (The AWD system uses a clutch, and in cold weather automatically starts out in all wheel drive until it detects the absence of wheel slip.)
Buyers of Limited, 300C, and 300C AWD can get the SafetyTec group, with adaptive forward lighting, high intensity discharge headlamps (high and low beams) with automatic levelling, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear cross path detection, front and rear park assist, LED illuminated rear fog lamps, and mirrors with turn signals and approach lamp. The Limited also adds garage door opener, rain sensing wipers, and SmartBeam headlamps. The Chrysler 300C Executive adds real wood (with a low-gloss finish) and high-end leather. (For 2013, the lighting group was split from SafetyTec.)
The 300C SRT8 was also available with the 2012 model year, boasting a 391 cid Hemi engine and five-speed automatic.
The Lancia Thema, Europe’s version of the Chrysler 300, started at around $44,200 in Germany (plus 19% VAT) for the Gold version, with 3 liter diesel pushing out 188 horsepower or 236 hp through a five-speed automatic (see table above); the more powerful engine is available only in Platinum and Executive trim, with Platinum starting at around $51,000 before tax. An alternative, at the same price, to the higher end diesel is the V6 gasoline engine, coupled only with the eight-speed ZF automatic.
Lancia provided horsepower and kW figures. Converting from kW to horsepower yielded 188 and 236 horsepower for the diesels, but Lancia’s figures for horsepower were 190 and 239. Prices listed for Lancia are estimates based on Sept. 16, 2011 exchange rates and German prices as of the same date.
Quality and testing
Beginning with the 2011 model year, Chrysler increased testing miles by 50%; the 300 series sedans were tested for more than 7 million miles in the company’s scientific labs, at the proving grounds, and on public roads in environmental extremes.
Testing included regimented durability testing at Chrysler's extensive proving grounds where speed, road surface and times are closely controlled and monitored; public road testing with consistent routes and variable traffic and road conditions; and randomized testing where Chrysler employees evaluate pilot vehicles during every day driving conditions at home and work. The goal is to find and fix any potential issue before the customer does.
The Chrysler 300 has a new roof laser braze process, allowing a seamless transition from the roof to the door opening; the system was already used by Fiat, and cost nearly $12 million to install. The laser braze process uses an intense laser beam to melt a piece of silicon wire, applied by four robots, between the aperture and roof panel. This fully automated technology will give the new 300 the sculptural appearance of many luxury vehicles, while improving quality and cutting the cost of the process.
Another major change in the manufacturing process occured on the trim line, where employees analyzed all the parts used and segregated them into unique kits, delivered as such to the operator; this allowed operators to have more time for their work (instead of getting parts) and cut the chances of using the wrong part. The expected result is a 20% improvement in overall first-time build quality. The long term plan is to dramatically cut the number of forklifts, instead delivering materials by train-like tuggers, in smaller containers, improving efficiency and safety while preventing errors.
Suspension and braking
Switching to electro-hydraulic power steering increased efficiency; in addition, the 300 has new wheel hubs with low-resistance, high roll-back brake calipers with spreader springs, low-resistance tires and extensive use of LEDs for illumination.
Redesigned front- and multi-link rear-suspension geometries improve handling, while new suspension hardware delivers higher refinement. At the heart of Chrysler 300’s new suspension are isolated, lightweight front- and rear-suspension cradles that deliver an ultra-rigid assembly needed for precision and performance.
New monotube front-shock absorbers, springs, and a repositioned lower-front shock-to-suspension-link bushing improve control, ride, and comfort; these components increase durability, while reducing harshness. New front-suspension hydrobushings reduce ride harshness and prolong smooth braking characteristics.
At the rear, the 2011 Chrysler 300 sedan’s five-link rear-suspension design continues, with new roll-steer geometry, allowing independent control of camber and toe suspension movement. New monotube shock-absorbers and springs improve ride, handling, and dynamics; premium urethane jounce bumpers and suspension links with rubber shock absorber bushings help quiet the cabin. New upper and lower spring-seat isolators provide additional dampening for increased passenger comfort over bumps.
The 2011 Chrysler 300C AWD has a 0.5 inch (13 mm) tighter tire-to-fender fitment, a 0.15 inch (4 mm) lowered overall ride height and larger 19-inch wheels with wider P235/55R19 all-season performance tires. Chrysler 300C AWD has improved handling with new upper- and lower-control arms and shock-absorber bushings, as well as redesigned half shafts that have sealed high-precision bearing units for added durability.
The 2011 Chrysler 300’s road-holding is better, with new front- and rear-camber geometries. Set at -1.0 degrees in the front and -1.75 degrees in the rear, cornering is better, with its tires leaning inboard at the top relative to the body. New larger diameter front- and rear-stabilizer bars keep the chassis nimble during cornering and reduce body lean.
There are three suspension tunings on 300 and 300C. Comfort-tuned cars are the standard 300 Touring, Limimted, and 300C, with 17 or 18 inch wheels. The Touring tuned AWD model is standard on AWD with 19-inch wheels. Touring-tuned suspensions are available on 300 Limited and 300C with 20 inch wheels.
Electro-hydraulic power steering (EHPS) applies variable steering effort to different driving conditions, analyzing steering angle, vehicle speed, engine rpm and chassis control systems 13 times per second. When the Chrysler 300 is stationary or moving at low speeds, the hydraulic pump increases power assistance; it reduces steering assistance at highway speeds, delivering a fuel savings of up to 1.5% by consuming less energy than a belt-driven pump. The touring-tuned suspension has 25% quicker steering, with 20% heavier on-center feel.
Braking systems have been improved both electronically and mechanically. The brake linings have been revised, the brake booster replaced, and pedal travel and force adjusted. Performance linings on 300C (RWD) increase fade resistance and improve pedal feel. Parasitic-friction-reducing calipers with spreader springs are more efficient.
Meanwhile, in the electronic realm, hydraulic-boost compensation automatically senses any failure in the vacuum, brake booster, or brake lines, and will run the ABS pump full time so brakes will perform as normal until the system is serviced. “Ready Alert Braking” is a segment-exclusive technology that senses when the driver lifts their foot off the accelerator and applies a slight amount of brake pressure (not enough to slow the vehicle) to make sure brake pads and discs are correctly lined up in anticipation of a panic stop. Finally, Rain Brake Support applies brake pressure (not enough to slow the vehicle) to remove water film from brake pads when the windshield wipers are used.
New versions of the 2011 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, and 2011 Dodge Charger will be made in Brampton, including models for sale in Europe. The revised Challenger may or may not lag the others. There has been no hint of a luxury version yet, but (speculation) it is possible that the 300 will be on a longer wheelbase than the Charger.
Rumors: Were our sources accurate?
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