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First Drive: 2015 Chrysler 300

Value and performance in the same package.

by on Dec.23, 2014

The 2015 Chrysler 300 can be had with full-speed forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning with lane keep assist.

The Chrysler 300 isn’t exactly a new car.

It’s been around since the middle of the last decade, but the enduring appeal of its exterior design plus the almost constant attention from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles engineers and product planners has turned the 300 into full-sized sedan that can hold its own against more expensive rivals.

What's in a Name!

For one thing, the inside of the 300, initially a wasteland of gray or tan plastic, has been completely rebuilt so the spacious interior with soft-touch materials are presented with artfully selected accents and a variety of textures that serve to create a comfortable ambience throughout the cabin. (more…)

First Look: 2015 Chrysler 300

LA debut for maker's "gold standard."

by on Nov.19, 2014

In your face, the 2015 Chrysler 300 grille is 30% larger than the outgoing model's.

It’s big, bold and in your face. And to fans, that’s the best part of the Chrysler 300 sedan. If anything, the maker may have backed off a bit too much when the full-size model was redesigned several years ago, says Chrysler’s top stylist. It isn’t making that mistake again as it rolls out an updated 2015 Chrysler 300 family at this year’s L.A. Auto Show.

The mid-cycle update picks up on the most critical cues of the 2005 sedan, as well as the original 1955 Chrysler 300, according to design director Ralph Gilles, who says the goal was to give the 2015 Chrysler 300 “the presence and attitude it deserves.”

We're Your Gold Standard!

It also gets a new model in the mix, the 300C Platinum, which gives the sedan a much more upscale appearance and feel.

“That’s what this car has to go back to,” adds Chrysler President Al Gardner, who concedes the last update was a little too bland to remain the brand’s “gold standard.”


First Look: MOPAR 12 300

Chrysler parts division also reveals three other special editions.

by on Jan.31, 2012

"Big Daddy" Don Garlits stands alongside the new MOPAR 12 300.

It started out selling antifreeze but, 75 years later, MOPAR has become a key part of Chrysler’s global growth strategy – and a brand in its own right, with its third specially badged model in three years soon to roll into showrooms.

The new MOPAR 12 300 is a muscled-up version of the new 2012 Chrysler 300S that promises to cut nearly a full second off the stock sedan’s 0 to 60 times, while also improving braking performance.

Meanwhile, the Chrysler parts and service unit marked the start of its 75th anniversary by unveiling three other special kit models. Including a ruggedized version of the Jeep Compass, performance and appearance enhancements for the Fiat 500 and a bulked-up version of the all-new Dodge Dart sedan.

News You Can Use!

Originally created in 1937 to market a line of antifreeze for Chrysler products, MOPAR has long served as the Detroit maker’s replacement parts and performance upgrade brand. But it has a much bigger role in store as part of the alliance between Chrysler and its Italian partner, Fiat, noted the brand’s president, Pietro Gorlier, during a media presentation.


First Drive: 2011 Chrysler 300

Rolling sculpture, Part II.

by on Feb.02, 2011

The look of the new Chrysler 300 is more refined, if a little less in-your-face.

Sure, safety sells, and fuel economy has certainly become a critical consideration for many American buyers.  Performance matters, and there are plenty of folks influenced by the latest high-tech gadgets.  But few things draw your attention as effectively as a good design.

And few cars in recent memory have been more effective at turning heads than the Chrysler 300, which made its show-stopping debut at the 2003 New York Auto Show – reaching production barely a year later.  Starting from the bold, upright grille, the big sedan had an almost comic book presence that underscored Chrysler’s history of rolling out in-your-face designs.

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Even today, the Chrysler 300 catches your eye.  The exterior design, anyway.  Unfortunately, the interior never matched that bold vision, with its jumble of cheap plastic bits and pieces.  The 300 delivered an acceptable, if uninspiring, drive, and quality was a distinct problem, according to the likes of J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports.

So, imagine the challenges faced by the Chrysler product development team assigned the task of redesigning this icon.  They not only had to maintain its benchmark bravado but match that inside and out.  They had to enhance the 300’s driving dynamics, improve fuel economy, enhance performance, fix endemic quality problems – and, oh, did we mention they had to do it all while Chrysler was in the midst of a financial collapse?