AW Autotest File - 2005 Chrysler 300 SRT-8

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    GR8SRT8: There’s nothing vain about Chrysler’s throwback hot rod

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    AUTOWEEK
    Published Date: 11/7/05

    For those who need to be noticed, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 ain’t the car for you. Better stick with something flashier, like a Lamborghini, or inyerface, like the car-crushing Gravedigger. Most SRT8 owners have noted the car’s sleeper qualities only add to the modern-day hot rod’s appeal.

    And what a hot rod. At the track the 300C SRT8 proves not only fast, but also much nimbler than its 4160-pound, slab-sided figure might suggest.

    In a straight line its monster 6.1-liter 425-horse Hemi V8 throws down so much power that, absent a judicious use of the right pedal, the tires are apt to disintegrate in a cloud of sublimated rubber. Estab-lishing the quickest times requires nothing more than stepping off the brake and mashing the gas; no revving before launch is necessary and in fact, only exacerbates the wheel spin.

    We managed our fastest 0-to-60-mph time of 5.24 seconds early on, with subsequent runs dropping off as the engine heated up. Cool-down laps would bring the speeds back up and the times back down.

    But with so much tire spin off the line, the SRT8 only achieves its fastest form in the quarter-mile, where it screams by the timing lights in 13.66 seconds at 105.4 mph. That is only slightly off the Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG we tested (Nov. 8, 2004), at 13.54 seconds at 105.9 mph, and quicker than the Cadillac CTS-V’s 13.76 seconds at 105.5 mph (May 10, 2004). The SRT8 beats its plebeian stablemate, the Hemi-powered 300C (Oct. 4, 2004), by 0.85 second and 7.4 mph.

    Lest the 300C SRT8 makes you think it likes nothing better than the drag strip, it takes to the slalom like few in its class. For one, it possesses superb body roll control; the car slaloms almost flat. And handling is spot-on. “You can really toss it around and easily recover it,” comments one tester. The SRT8 produces a tremendous amount of grip and displays crisp, predictable steering, the combination of which results in little lag between steering input and tire response.

    To compare, the Chrysler’s 44.6-mph slalom speed soundly bests the C55 and its 44.1-mph run; the Infiniti M45 gets a bit closer at 44.5 mph (Aug. 15). The CTS-V, however, creams the field with its Nordschleife-bred chops and 46.2-mph slalom.

    On the skidpad the 300C SRT8 exhibits a mild amount of understeer, allowing the driver to hold the steering wheel steady and adjust the direction of its nose with just a slight modulation of the throttle. And the tires hardly grind at all. The result: a more than respectable 0.85 g of lateral grip, the same as the C55’s.

    Yet the SRT8’s track muscle does not detract from its more mundane, everyday performance. “Driving around town, the automatic is one that I could live with,” says one test-er. “Kickdowns are fast and smooth.” There is some tire thumping over expansion joints, and the body does pitch and bob a bit on the worst freeway hop, but otherwise the car feels as good on the road as it does at the track.

    Owners almost unanimously find the car exceeds their expectations in performance, quality and value. Nothing else “represents what I perceive to be the kind of value for the money that I found in the Chrysler,” says one owner. Another echoes that sentiment, saying, “The 300C SRT8 is one of the most incredible values on the market for a high-performance luxury sedan.”

    Most owners praise Chrysler for the car’s overall build quality, with decent panel fits and high-quality materials used throughout. To this point, one owner sums it up: “Inside, the overall tactile quality and layout is without peer for this car’s price range.”

    Even the tallest drivers find the cabin spacious and comfortable, with legroom and headroom aplenty and seats that feel soft but offer ample support.

    And while most could do without the copious amount of brake dust produced by the car’s big Brembo brake pads, the biggest endorsement comes from one owner with the temerity to say, “I have as much fun driving this car as my Ferrari 360 Spider.”

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    LIKES
    Sleeper looks
    Bang-for-buck
    Mondo performance

    DISLIKES
    Beaucoup brake dust
    Ride a mite too stiff
    Long waiting list

    OTHERS CONSIDERED
    Cadillac CTS-V
    Infiniti M45
    Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG


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    OWNERS SAY

    This car exceeds my expectations. The combination of AMG-type performance and 300C looks on a Chrysler budget makes it an attractive buy. The SRT8 stops and goes with big-league performance, though atthe expense of fuel economyand excessive brake dust. If it’s raining, it looks like you have mud on the rims. Inside, the overalltactile quality and layout is without peer for this car’s price range. -Kevin Alexander, Whitehouse, Ohio

    This machine is everything Chrysler said it would be and more. As the owner of two Vipers, who drove a Mercedes daily, my expectations were high. The ride and handling of the SRT8 exceed them, and the seemingly limitless power is totally unexpected. The brakes are awesome and theinterior is gorgeous, all for $15,000 to $20,000 less than what a new Mercedes E-Class would cost. It is a technological dream with the availability of GPS, satellite radio and Bluetooth. -Thomas R. Householder, Mokena, Ill.

    The temptation of the awesome Hemi caused me to trade my Mercedes S430. Power is amazing and there when you want it. There is plenty of legroom for my six-foot frame and the seats are comfortable. The 20-inch wheels give the car an aggressive look, but ride quality is a little too stiff. The navigation system works fine after the driver pushes the“accept” button each time theengine is started, which is a pain. It would be nice to have a broader choice of exterior colors, too. -Les Sidweber, Voorhees, N.J.

    This four-door muscle sedan is the most fun car at this price. Handling, braking, acceleration and ride are incredible. The car exudes class, luxury, style and muscle in one package. Best of all, its sleeper value is worth amillion dollars. An annoyance is brake dust forming on the wheels due to the hard Brembo brake pads. A more street-friendly pad would be better. I also wish I could fully disable ESP and torque management for shifts. Thank you, Chrysler and SRT. You’ve hit a grand slam with this one. -John Garbach, Rochester, N.Y.

    VEHICLE SPECS AND ROAD-TEST DATA

    MANUFACTURER INFO
    DaimlerChrysler Corp.
    1000 Chrysler Drive
    Auburn Hills MI 48326-2776
    Customer assistance: (800) 992-1997
    Internet address: chrysler.com
    Country of origin: Canada
    Number of dealers: 2900 (est.)

    STICKER
    Base (includes $625 delivery):$39,995
    As tested:$43,350
    Owners paid; average:$43,000 to $47,100; $45,723


    OPTIONS AS TESTED
    SRT option group II, with Sirius satellite radio and one-year service, navigation, six-disc CD changer, MP3 player, UConnect hands-free communication ($1,965); moonroof ($950); SRT option group I, with supplemental side-curtain airbags, cabin air filtering system ($440)

    OTHER MAJOR OPTIONS
    Rear-seat entertainment video system, with seven-inch LCD screen, six-disc in-dash CD/DVD player, auxiliary inputs, remote control, two wireless headphones ($1,150); 13 Kicker SRT high-performance speakers ($695)

    CHASSIS
    Unibody four-door sedan

    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase (in):120.0
    Track (in):63.0 front, 63.1 rear
    Length/width/height (in):196.8/74.1/57.9
    Curb weight/GVWR (lbs):4160/5066

    CAPACITIES
    Fuel (gal):19.0
    Cargo (cu-ft):15.6

    ENGINE
    Front-longitudinal 6.1-liter/370-cid ohv V8
    Horsepower:425 @ 6200 rpm
    Torque (lb-ft):420 @ 4800 rpm

    Compression ratio:10.3:1
    Fuel requirement: 91 octane

    DRIVETRAIN
    Rear-wheel drive
    Transmission: Five-speed automatic
    Final drive ratio: 3.06:1


    SUSPENSION
    Front: Short/long-arm with lateral and diagonal lower links, coil springs, gas-charged shock absorbers, antiroll bar
    Rear: Five-link with isolated suspension cradle, coil springs, gas-charged shock absorbers, antiroll bar

    BRAKES/WHEELS/TIRES
    Discs front and rear, ABS; aluminum 245/45ZR-20 front, 255/45ZR-20 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar

    STANDING-START ACCELERATION
    0-60 mph:5.24 sec
    0-100 km/h (62.1 mph):5.50 sec
    0-quarter-mile:13.66 sec @ 105.4 mph


    ROLLING ACCELERATION
    20-40 mph (first gear):1.8 sec
    40-60 mph (second gear):2.8 sec
    60-80 mph (second and third gear):3.4 sec

    BRAKING
    60 mph-0: 118 ft

    HANDLING
    490-foot slalom:44.6 mph
    Lateral acceleration (200-foot skidpad):0.85 g


    INTERIOR NOISE (dBA)
    Idle:46
    Full throttle:79
    Steady 60 mph:62

    FUEL MILEAGE
    EPA combined: 15.88 mpg
    AW overall: 16.25 mpg

    True Cost to OwnSM
    Total: $62,578
    Average cost per mile: $0.83

    DEPRECIATION
    After one year: $12,708
    Five-year total: $24,597

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  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Oh and here's a dyno video (right click, save as please).

    Enjoy today's HEMI thread.
     
  3. JohnnyBeagle

    JohnnyBeagle OT Supporter

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    Nice. I need new pants now.
     
  4. red97gst

    red97gst New Member

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    pretty ridiculous
     
  5. Spartus

    Spartus New Member

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    Very Nice Product from Chrysler.
     
  6. Spartus

    Spartus New Member

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    Very Nice Product from Chrysler. I wonder if they stepped up on their reliability?
     
  7. Spartus

    Spartus New Member

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    opps hit enter twice by accident..my bad
     
  8. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    They're going to export some to Australia and New Zealand within the year. No idea about Europe.
     

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