Chrysler’s full-size 300 sedan is back with minor updates inside and out; “C” and “S” models available with both base V6 and “Hemi” V8; SRT8 hotrod is back, but not with the Charger’s Hellcat underhood.
The 292-horsepower V6 (300 in the 300 S) and 370-horse “Hemi” V8 are back, as is the SRT8’s 470-horse monster motor; sorry, no Hellcat option for the 300; all engines come with the eight-speed automatic transmission; AWD available for all but the SRT.
Given they are essentially the same vehicle under the skin, almost anything done to the Dodge Charger will eventually be applied to the Chrysler 300. Well, almost anything. While the insane Charger SRT8 Hellcat uses a 700-plus horsepower supercharged V8, the equivalent 300 version will still carry over its 6.4-liter V8 with “only” 470 horses. But, the SRT8, like all other 300 models, gets the eight-speed automatic that has spread throughout the rest of the line. The SRT8 rides on 20-inch wheels, tops out at 175 mph and burns to 60 mph in less than five seconds, helped with new “launch control” for 2015. Even fitted with a system that allows the four-cylinder mode to engage over a wider rev range, you can at best expect no better than 14 mpg in the city and 23 highway. As a treat to the ears, the exhaust system opens up under higher loads. The remaining engines include a 292-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that’s bumped to a flat 300 in the stylish “S”. And for extra thrust, the optional 370-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 returns to save gas by running on only four of its eight cylinders under light load conditions. Models using the V6 or 5.7 V8 can be ordered with available all-wheel-drive that uncouples the front axle when it’s not needed, reducing drag on the engine. Not counting the SRT8, the lineup for 2015 is comprised of the base 300 and 300 S, as well as the 300 C. Other than the base model, every trim level can be had with either the V6 or optionally the 5.7 V8.