Although this cat already escaped the bag a few weeks ago when our spy photographers nabbed some clear pictures of an unmasked 2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8, we still felt giddy as we sorted through the official details. Indeed, the particulars have us looking forward to overwriting fond memories of the last-gen car—an office favorite for its antics-inspiring 425-hp, 6.1-liter Hemi V-8—with ones created behind the wheel of the even burlier new model.
We’ll cut right to the meat and potatoes. As expected, the new SRT8 is packing a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine, producing an “estimated 465 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque.” If those numbers hold up, they represent increases of 40 hp and 45 lb-ft over the outgoing model. The same five-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox, but as in the 2012 Charger STR8, paddle shifters will live behind the flat-bottomed steering wheel. The wheel, Chrysler says, manipulates a livelier rack than before. The company expects 60 mph to arrive in the high four-second range and the quarter-mile to take just under 13 seconds. Although the new version will be heavier, we don’t see those times being difficult to achieve, as the last car hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and the quarter in 13.2 in our testing. A screen in the IP includes a function to keep tabs on your personal 0-to-60-mph times, maximum lateral acceleration, and quarter-mile times, among other numerical bragging points.
Along with, highway fuel economy is also projected to increase—this by an estimated 25 percent. To that end, the 6.4-liter carries over the 6.1’s cylinder deactivation, but a new active exhaust system allows cylinder deactivation to occur over a wider rpm range. The engine and exhaust also are said to have a throatier voice, which is most excellent: SRT had a virtuoso as a base point of comparison (listen to the old SRT8 here).
A bit stiff riding at times, the old model should be trumped by the 2012 and its Adaptive Damping Suspension (ADS). Using variables that include vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, throttle position, and lateral force, the suspension automatically adjusts to road conditions and driving style. It offers a choice between Auto and Sport modes, with the latter giving the driver full control of shifting duties. The braking system carries over but cooling is likely to improve from a new belly pan with integrated brake ducting. New motor mounts will attempt to do away with the fun but admittedly un-luxurious muscle-car shake at idle.
Thanks to: Car and Driver