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AutoGuide.com Five-Point Inspection, Done a little differently
Up for inspection this week is the Chrysler 300C with all-wheel drive, or maybe we should say “300Cs.” The vehicle gods have smiled upon the humble editors of AutoGuide; stars aligned, a comet passed and the tarot cards gave a thumbs up because two of us have been graced with essentially the same car.
However, due to a fall in demand, this model was axed in the North American line-up. But in Europe, the wagon lived on, albeit with a different nose and badge. It was called the Chrysler 300C estate, which was basically a Magnum body with a 300C nose.
According to Chrysler-Lancia CEO Saad Chehab “sales in the US for estates are too slow to justify the development costs.” Since we didn’t get an estate version of the 300C, neither will any other market.
What the Europeans will still get that we don’t are diesel versions of the 300C. And while they will start getting all-wheel drive variants and petrol engined models, there is no official word if they will get the SRT-8 hot rod version.
The new 300C will arrive in Europe next year.
While Alfa Romeo has delayed its return to the U.S. market, company engineers have been hard at work developing a range topping rear wheel drive sedan by 2014.
Initial rumors claimed an Alfa Romeo variant of the Maserati Quattroporte were in the works but new documents confirm a sedan using Chrysler 300C architecture instead. Possibly named Alfa Romeo 6C, the sedan will likely be built alongside the 300C at the Brampton Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, igniting suggestions of Alfa Romeo’s return to North America once again.
Moreover, Alfa Romeo ambitiously set sales goals to 400,000 units annually by 2014. As the company is struggling to meet 155,999 units for this year, the giant leap all but confirms Alfa’s imminent return to our shores.
As for other upcoming Alfa Romeo products, company executives promise significant revamping to achieve strong reliability, lower service costs, reduced fuel consumption, and improved residual value. According to a recent press release, Alfa Romeo aims to be recognized as “An Italian brand with a strong commitment to advanced technology, performance and style that will become a global competitor in near-premium segments within three years.”
Chrysler has released pricing for the high performance 300 SRT8, with the new model starting from $47,995. The 2012 model sits half an inch lower than non-SRT models, has a new front fascia and grill, along with body-colored side cladding, four-inch exhaust tips and a new rear fascia. You already know it will come with aggressive 20-inch rims and the available Black Chrome Package adds black chrome rims, black upper and lower grille surrounds and a rear valance strip.
This beastly 300 packs a 6.4-liter HEMI cranking out 470-hp and 470 lb-ft of torque mated to the previous generation’s five-speed automatic transmission. It will rip of a 0-62 mph time in the high fours and has a top speed of 175 mph.