NASREC, Johannesburg – Not long after the debut of the HEMI®-powered Chrysler C300 in 1955, it became known as the “banker’s hot rod.” The key characteristics of that car – a powerful HEMI V-8 engine, performance-tuned ride and handling, and premium amenities-are also key to the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8.
The Chrysler 300C SRT8 is the first Street and Racing Technology (SRT) vehicle to be powered by the 6,1 L HEMI V8, which offers 25 % more power (68 kW) than the 5,7 L HEMI. But SRT performance is more than just straight-line speed.
The Chrysler 300C SRT8 exemplifies the SRT formula of all-around performance at a very attractive price, with expressive yet functional design, stunning performance and near-luxury refinement. The Chrysler 300C SRT8 offers key SRT attributes in functional, performance-oriented styling; world-class ride and handling across a dynamic range; race-inspired interior appointments; benchmark braking; and an SRT-engineered engine.
The 2008 Chrysler 300C SRT8 features an all-new deck lid with an integrated spoiler and new taillamps for a freshened rear view. Other unique touches to the Chrysler 300C SRT8’s exterior include new bodyside moldings, body-color front and rear bumper inserts, body-color mirrors and door handles and unique SRT badging.
For 2008, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 envelopes the driver and passengers in an even richer interior with a dark slate gray palette, revised instrument panel, new center console and LED lighting in the cup holders and door-map pockets.
End-user technology figures prominently in the 2008 Chrysler 300C SRT8 with new features such as the SRT-exclusive Reconfigurable Display (RCD) in the cluster providing performance data, all-new Adaptive Cruise Control and Kicker premium surround- sound system.
Befitting its high-performance character, the 2008 Chrysler 300C SRT8 continues to provide power-adjustable front sport seats accented with performance suede inserts (matched in the rear seats), full instrumentation, automatic temperature-control system with dual-zone controls and infrared temperature sensing, and an electronic vehicle information centre with 128 customer-programmable features.
Two exterior colors are available: Bright Silver and Brilliant Black.
The Chrysler 300C SRT8’s 318 kW, normally aspirated 6,1 L HEMI has the highest output for its size of any naturally aspirated V8 engine ever offered by the Chrysler Group. Its 52 kW/L rating exceeds even that of the legendary 1966 “Street HEMI.” Torque is rated at 569 Nm.
Although the Chrysler HEMI was born in the 1950s and entered into legend in the 1960s and 1970s, today’s version took much of its inspiration from the original, particularly the namesake hemispherical combustion chambers that provide power and efficiency.
When SRT powertrain engineers set out to develop a more powerful HEMI for the Chrysler 300C SRT8, they were mindful of the engine’s heritage, which led to adopting traditional HEMI engine cues including an orange-painted cylinder block and black valve covers.
SRT engineers who developed the Chrysler 300C SRT8’s engine achieved more power by adding more cubic capacity, increasing the compression ratio, and redesigning the cylinder head, intake and exhaust systems for better flow and increased engine speed.
For more displacement, SRT engineers bored out the diameter of the cylinders in the HEMI by 3.5 mm each in order to increase the total displacement to 6,1 L from 5,7 L.
The Compression ratio was also increased to 10,3:1 from 9,6:1, increasing engine efficiency and power.
Engine breathing was increased with new higher-flow cylinder heads, a specially designed intake manifold, and exhaust headers with individual tubes encased in a stainless steel shell, all unique to the 6,1 L HEMI engine. Larger-diameter valves and reshaped ports in the heads allow for maximized air flow. The intake manifold was designed with larger-diameter and shorter runners for higher-speed tuning. Exhaust is routed through a large-diameter exhaust system with chrome tips.
To further increase power, performance-oriented camshaft profiles were developed to allow more air in and out of the cylinders, as well as manage a higher engine speed. SRT engineers increased the HEMI’s peak power output engine speed by nearly 20 % to 6 000 r/min from 5 000 r/min. Intake and exhaust valve stems are hollow, and the exhaust valve stems are filled with sodium to help dissipate heat more efficiently.
The high-performance SRT 6,1 L HEMI is strengthened with redesigned components, including a reinforced engine block, forged steel crankshaft, high-strength powdered-metal connecting rods, floating-pin pistons (cooled by oil squirters), and an oil pan modified to manage oil return to the pan sump at high engine speeds.
Power for the SRT 6,1 L HEMI is channeled through a five-speed automatic transmission with specially calibrated driver-selectable AutoStick®, which offers fully automatic or manual shifting selection. A heavy-duty four-flange prop shaft sends the torque from the transmission to an upgraded differential and axles.
Ride and handling
The Chrysler 300C SRT8 provides outstanding ride and handling across a dynamic range that customers are likely to experience.
Chassis setup for the Chrysler 300C SRT8 is aimed at all-around performance with a number of enhancements, including tuned dampers, specially tailored spring rates and suspension bushings and larger diameter anti-sway bars. New front and rear suspension knuckles contribute to a ride height 11 mm from the standard Chrysler 300C. In addition, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) has been tuned for the 2008 Chrysler 300C SRT8’s new standard Adaptive Cruise Control.
The Chrysler 300C SRT8 makes contact with the road via a new wheel and tyre assembly consisting of 20-inch forged aluminum wheels shod with high-performance tyres with a beefy 245/45/20 in the front and 255/45/20 in the rear.
Braking performance goes hand-in-hand with the Chrysler 300C SRT8’s outstanding acceleration and speed, and the braking system was specially designed to provide benchmark braking performance, setting a new standard for sedans in its class.
All four wheels feature performance calipers developed by Brembo, well-known in racing and high-performance circles, and equipped with four pistons for even clamping performance. Up front, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 has 360 x 32 mm vented discs, with 350 x 28 mm vented discs in the rear.
This braking system contributes to a 100-0 km/h performance in approximately 37 m, and a 0-160-0 km/h time in the mid-16-second range.
High performance pricing
The Chrysler 300C SRT 8 is available locally at R549 900.