2023 Chrysler 300C - A Bombastic Send-Off
Engine Power and Glorious V8 Sound
Tires Easily Overwhelmed
Wet Weather Performance
The Last of the Breed
V8 Soundtrack Never Relents
All good things come to an end and it’s time to bid adieu to the Chrysler 300. Storming onto the scene in 2004, the 2005 Chrysler 300 was unlike anything else on the road. It’s blocky, old-school proportions were as American as a bald eagle driving a sprint car on a dirt oval while sipping a Mountain Dew.
There’s no denying the success of the car either. The same platform origins has been around for nearly 20 years and Chrysler keeps updating it to keep the car relevant. But with the shift to EV production, there is no room for the 300 after this model year.
Rather than let the big sedan fade away from existence, the brand is sending it out with a bang. For 2023 the Chrysler 300C returns.
A Different Kind of 300C
When initially launched for the 2005 model year, the 300C designated the most powerful version of the car. Under the hood lay a 5.7-liter V8 making 340 hp. That was a good amount of power for the time.
It was superseded by the SRT-8 a few years later that used a 6.1-liter V8 making 425 hp. After a significant overhaul for the 2012 model year, that engine grew to 6.4-liters and unleashed 470 hp. But 2015 was the final year for the SRT and the last time we’d see that engine; until now.
The 2023 Chrysler 300C sees the return of the 6.4-liter along with a host of other upgrades. The brand plans to only build 2,000 examples for American buyers and 200 for Canadian customers.
More Power Never Hurts
The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 now makes 485 hp and 475 lb-ft. of torque. In today’s landscape of overpowered EVs, that may not seem like a lot. But it’s still plenty for this 4,000+ pound sedan, especially when wearing relatively narrow 245/45R20 tires.
Launch the car hard and the rear tires provide a surprising amount of initial bite. But the wall of torque overcomes them, and the rear tires break loose, wagging the tail. The amount of rear-end slip depends on which setting the 3-mode stability control is on. Put it on track mode if big sideways burnouts are desired.
In optimal conditions, the eight-speed automatic transmission and 3.09 rear gear ratio works to deliver rapid acceleration. The 300C can go from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds, covering the ¼ mile in 12.4 seconds. Top speed is a license-losing 160 mph.
Like all Stellantis cars equipped with the 6.4-liter V8, the 300C has an active exhaust. What’s active about it we don’t know as the car is always in one setting – LOUD. Lovers of a thundering V8 soundtrack will relish the 300C. It has the same, unrelenting, bellowing exhaust note as 6.4-liter Chargers and Challengers. Even if this is the more upscale member of the family, it still likes to be boisterous.
More than Just an Engine
Chrysler could have just installed the big Hemi into the 300S and called it a day. But the brand has upgraded other aspects of the chassis and drivetrain to handle the extra power. There are four-piston Brembo front calipers painted red. The 300C features three-stage adaptive dampers and performance steering. To get the car to behave when cornering, there’s an anti-spin rear differential.
These pieces all add to help keep the car in check. It’s not a precision handler, nor one ready to attack a switchback canyon. But it’s lively. Oh, is it lively, especially in the rain. The rear tires aren’t afraid to break traction and the rear is inclined to step out. When things get wet, the slightest throttle inputs has the rear tires give up completely. That stated, it’s wholly controllable and charming in a brutish sort of way.
Ride quality hasn’t overly been sacrificed with these upgrades. The suspension is a bit stiffer than a regular passenger sedan, but no worse than any other sports sedan.
They’ll See it Coming
The exterior of the 2023 Chrysler 300C gets visual enhancements other than just the red brake calipers. There is an extra-large 300C badge on the front grille, informing motorists ahead what’s lurking behind them.
Black chrome accents abound, surrounding the grille, lower fascia, headlamps, and tail lamps. The large, round exhaust tips also have a black finish. As far as exterior paint choices, there aren’t many. The sedan is only available in three colors, Black, Velvet Red, or White.
Inside, the 300C has a few differentiators from regular models, like the logo embroidered on the black Leather seats. There are also a lot of carbon fiber accents throughout the cabin.
Otherwise, the 300C has many of the top options, including the 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, an 8.4-inch infotainment system with navigation, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, rain sensing wipers, a power telescopic steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, heated/cooled front cup holders, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, and heated rear seats.
From a safety front it’s a similar story. The final send-off from Chrysler includes advanced brake assist, lane departure warning, collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic, and more.
Can We Call It a Bargain?
In the United States and Canada, the 2023 Chrysler 300C only comes in a singular configuration. Pricing for Americans is $56,595 (all prices include destination charges), while Canadians will be set back $75,790. In America, that puts the price about $3,700 higher than a Dodge Scat Pack with the 6.4-liter V8. In Canada, the gap is higher at $9,500.
But in both countries the fully loaded 300C is far better equipped. Take a 2023 Dodge Charger Scat Pack in either country, add all the equivalent options, and both wind up actually more expensive than the 300C.
The 300C was integral in the muscle car rejuvenation at Stellantis nearly 20 years ago. It’s fitting that the current 300 gets a suitable send off with a big honking V8 engine vaporizing tires and blasting ear drums.
For those that will miss this era, here’s a fine vehicle to keep the V8 spirit alive for years to come. Just better act quickly before they’re all gone.
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485 hp, 475 lb-ft
US Fuel Economy (mpg):
15 city, 24 highway
CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km):
15.9 city, 9.6 highway
As-Tested Price (USD):
$56,595 (incl dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD):
$75,790 (incl dest.)