2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 offers world-class power, handling and luxury

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 19, 2011

The 2011 Chrysler 300 was already a world-class machine blessed with dynamic power, comfortable luxury and elegant style. But even so, the Street and Racing Technology (SRT) performance engineering team saw it very fitting to build on the strengths of the MY2011 Chrysler 300 sedan and create Chrysler's most powerful and best handling model to date – the MY2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8.

The efforts of the SRT team resulted in the creation of a machine that is an amalgamation of world-class luxury, power and handling. MY2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is powered by the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, making it the first Chrysler vehicle to use such powertrain. The new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 returns up to an estimated 465 hp of output and 465 lb.-ft. of torque – which is around 40 hp and 45 lb.-ft. better than the 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 it replaces.

The new engine’s higher torque -- including an additional 80 lb.-ft. at 2,900 rpm – allows the MY2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 to accelerate from zero to 60mph at the high 4-second range and achieve a top speed of 175 mph. The vehicle is estimated to complete a quarter mile in the high 12 second range and go from zero-100-zero mph in less than 16 seconds. The 300 SRT8 also boasts of stopping power from 60-0 mph in 120 feet. With the estimated 465 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque at its disposal, the 300 SRT8 is made to appeal to customers who can’t live without the driving thrill and excitement and yet can’t live without comfort and innovative features.

Likewise, performance-tuned motor mounts resulted to better idle stability and ride control at any given speed. The engine boasts of an active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing that enables the driver to achieve maximum low-end torque while optimizing high-end power. Usually, higher power means higher fuel consumption. But that is not the case with the new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8. In fact, the engine achieves an estimated 25-percent surge in fuel economy (highway) thanks to an active valve exhaust system that enables the standard Fuel Saver technology (four-cylinder mode) to active on a wider rpm range.

Also, the active exhaust system allows for straight-through mid and rear mufflers for a throaty exhaust note under engine load. The MY2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 features standard steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters along with the standard Auto Stick -- both are mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Both the paddle shifter and the Auto Stick allows for manual transmission. In “Auto” mode, the transmission controller calibration prevents situations that might lead to over-revving the engine. In "Sport" mode, the transmission controller calibration allows the driver to have full control of the shifting schedule.

To make the powertrain more responsive yet less harsh, the 300 SRT8 features fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting. As part of the SRT Track Experience, owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle are privileged to receive one day of professional driving instruction from the Richard Petty Racing School. As part of the SRT Track Experience, drivers are trained how to maximize their driving knowledge and skills on the street or track. The Chrysler 300 SRT8 has been compared to the MY1955 Chrysler 300 – which is famous as one of the most high-performance production cars of its time.

The MY1955 Chrysler 300 featured a combination of simple yet strong lines, outstanding engineering and high levels of luxury, as well as exceptional performance. It was powered by the first modern American V-8 engine (300 hp).

The original Chrysler 300 (C-300) was designed by Virgil Exner, who was credited for restyling the Chrysler line and for creating the so-called "The Forward Look" in 1955. The Chrysler C-300 went on to win both the road course and the "flying mile" at Daytona in 1955. A year after, the Chrysler 300B model achieved the same feat. Also, the Chrysler 300s were known for their dominance of the NASCAR competition in 1955 and 1956, when the model took the overall championship in both years.

Press Release

Chrysler 300 SRT8

The 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 adds high-performance hardware to the elegant proportions and head turning design of the 2011 Chrysler 300 to provide the ultimate combination of world-class luxury, power and handling. With an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, the 300 SRT8 is targeted at customers that seek heart pounding, adrenaline filled excitement, but don't want to sacrifice comfort and innovative features to get it.

The Street and Racing Technology (SRT) performance engineering team builds upon the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 sedan already executed for a world-class luxury experience, to deliver Chrysler's most powerful and best handling model ever.

Projected performance numbers include 0-60 mph acceleration in the high 4-second range; quarter mile in high 12 second range; 0-100-0 mph in less than 16 seconds, top speed of 175 mph and stopping power from 60-0 mph in 120 feet.

Owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle receive one day of professional driving instruction from the Richard Petty Racing School as part of the SRT Track Experience, designed to maximize their driving knowledge and skills on the street or track. Sessions are held throughout the year at selected tracks.

The return of the Chrysler 300 SRT8 to the Chrysler lineup in 2012 evokes a strong comparison to the original high-performance production car of its time - the 1955 Chrysler 300. Known for simple, strong lines, excellent engineering, high levels of luxury and outstanding performance with the first modern American V-8 engine to produce 300 horsepower, the first Chrysler 300 (C-300) was styled by Virgil Exner, who radically redesigned the entire Chrysler line and created what they called "The Forward Look" in 1955. Without much chrome on the sides, his designs were simple, but strong. Exner is credited with creating the illusion of fast, forward movement.

The Chrysler C-300 won on both the road course and the "flying mile" at Daytona in 1955. In 1956, the Chrysler 300B model won both events again. In fact, the Chrysler 300s dominated NASCAR competition in 1955 and 1956, taking the overall championship in both years. A legendary and luxurious performance car was born. The "letter cars" quickly became the most desirable of the Chrysler lineup and became known as the "Beautiful Brutes."

Awe-inspiring powertrain

Under the hood of the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, the new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 makes its debut in the Chrysler brand product lineup delivering an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, up 40 horsepower and 45 lb.-ft. over the 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 it replaces.

The improved torque output - including an additional 80 lb.-ft. at 2,900 rpm - allows for inspired standing starts and improved straight-line performance while new, performance-tuned motor mounts improve idle stability and ride control at any speed. An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing provides maximum low-end torque while optimizing high-end power.

Even with the elevated power numbers, an estimated 25-percent fuel economy increase on the highway is achieved by use of a new for 2012 active valve exhaust system that allows the standard Fuel Saver technology (four-cylinder mode) to engage over a wider rpm range. The new active exhaust system also allows for straight-through mid and rear mufflers for a throaty exhaust note under engine load.

Specific fuel economy numbers will be announced closer to the vehicle introduction.

Standard steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters join the standard Auto Stick on the floor console. Both are mated to the proven five-speed automatic transmission, allowing a choice of spirited shifting on the road and the race track.

Both methods give the driver the ability to manually shift the transmission. The transmission controller calibration in "Auto" mode prevents situations that might over rev the engine; while in "Sport" mode, it allows the driver full control of the shifting schedule. Fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain more responsive while minimizing harshness.

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