AW Vehicle Review - 2005 Chrysler 300 SRT-8

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    C-Plus-Plus: Hotter Hardware Reprograms The Chrysler 300C SRT-8

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    KEVIN A. WILSON
    Published Date: 8/16/04

    When the first Chrysler 300 was built in the 1950s the appendage of a letter to its numeric name denoted the gentleman’s performance sedan, the one with the high-output engine and attendant upgrades. Today, too, the 300C is the 300 with the Hemi and the hefty 340-hp output. But it turns out the new C won’t be the 300 with the biggest mojo. That role is reserved for the 300 SRT-8, the big bruiser super-tuned by the boffins at the company’s in-house Street and Racing Technology Group. Chrysler is previewing the car at Pebble Beach during the annual weekend of automotive overkill, and must think it has something special on its hands to imagine it can punch through the four-wheeled saturation of the masses at Monterey, who will be inundated with—just for starters—an extensive celebration of Ferrari’s 50 years in America.

    The 300 SRT-8 should garner a little attention from the bedazzled patrons of the big show, if for no other reason than this: Under the hood breathes a beefed-up and bored-out Hemi V8 packing a 425-hp wallop from 6.1 liters. The thrust-making machine is even decked out with an orange-painted block and black cylinder heads, just like the legendary Hemis of old, some of which are frequent travelers to Laguna Seca and the Monterey Historics, under the hoods of not only Chryslers, but also cars like Cunninghams and Allards. Both were pretty good at challenging Ferraris back in the day.

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    Squeezing roughly 70 hp from every liter of displacement makes the SRT Hemi the highest specific-output naturally aspirated V8 ever offered by the Chrysler Group. Sure, 70 hp per liter is about what Toyota gets out of a 3.0-liter V6 in the Camry, but we’re talking about pushrod two-valve Detroit iron here, so Dan Knott, director of SRT, is right to brag on his achievement. The handful of engineers working in his shop, hidden away in an industrial park on the other side of the freeway from the Chrysler Technology Center and HQ in Auburn Hills, Michigan, includes a lot of hard-core black-cuticle enthusiasts who tune their own performance cars in their off-hours, of which they’ve had very few lately.

    "I’ve got engineers who road-race and slalom and set land-speed records," Knott points out as we walk around the shop, focused on an SRT-8 in progress. "They know how to make an engine work."

    Start with the basics: Bore it out by three millimeters to up displacement from 5.7 to 6.1 liters (6.059 actually), bump the compression ratio to 10.3:1 from the standard 9.6:1, install a high-performance camshaft. It goes deeper than driveway hot-rodding, though, and not only because Chrysler can make the electronics work in concert even while keeping it legal in the eyes of the feds. SRT improves the breathing with larger-diameter, hollow-stem valves and reshaped cylinder ports, fed by a new intake manifold (a thing of beauty under the hood that initially distracted us from the orange block) and steel-tube exhaust headers a quarter-inch larger in diameter than the exhaust manifold in the base Hemi. The SRT-8’s block is reinforced and boasts increased coolant flow, the crankshaft is forged steel, the connecting rods are stronger powdered-metal forgings, the pistons run on floating pins and are cooled by oil squirters, the exhaust valves are sodium-filled, and the oil pan is modified for reduced foaming. With the stronger parts, the SRT version of the Hemi spins nearly 15 percent faster than the base model, putting redline at a respectable 6200 rpm (the electronic cutoff is at 6400) vs. the regular edition’s 5400 rpm.

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    Torque rises to 420 lb-ft, so preservation of the five-speed A580 transmission requires a little more aggressive electronic "torque management" in the way the engine and trans relate to one another. Keeping in mind the 300’s base architecture is inherited from the parent company in Germany, Knott also had to draw on corporate knowledge by finding AMG’s supplier of rear differentials and ordered up a part akin to that used on the mighty Mercedes-Benz E500 to couple to his beefed-up halfshafts.

    It should all be good for quarter-mile times in the high 13s and 0-to-60-mph runs in the low-five-second range. Officially. Knott suspects most magazine testers will better those figures—he wants to underpromise by just a little, rather than suffer the embarrassment of under-delivering.

    It’s not just about power. The 300 SRT-8 is 0.5 inch lower than the 300C thanks to new front and rear suspension knuckles. The chassis is stiffened with tuned shocks, spring rates and bushings, and larger antiroll bars front and rear.

    "With the SRT-6, we had to start asking ourselves, ‘What is the Chrysler ride signature?’" Knott explains. "It’s softer than I would do if I was making a Dodge, a little more touring-oriented, but stiffer than the stock Hemi C."

    The electronic stability program has been recalibrated, too, to let the driver manage the handling with the throttle more, and when you turn the stability program off the "residual" traction control is also less aggressive, allowing somewhat more slip than in the regular 300C, a car that already allows a bit more slip than is usual in the industry.

    Packed into the wheel wells are 20-inch forged aluminum wheels wearing Goodyear Eagle F1 three-season performance tires (four-season tires are optional) with asymmetric tread. The rubber is 245/45 in front, 255/45 in back. The wheels have room inside for larger brakes. All four wheels boast four-piston Brembo calipers grabbing onto ventilated discs, and Knott predicts this 4160-pounder will stop from 60 mph in 120 feet or less, maybe even 110. That’s exotic sports-car performance in a five-seat family sedan—clearly, the German autobahn influence on Detroit has its benefits.

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    The driver and front-seat passenger of an SRT-8 will sit on a bolstered bucket sport seat. The bolsters aren’t as big and aggressive as he would put in a Dodge, Knott says, but with suede seat inserts he expects few will complain about sliding while cornering.

    "We’re talking about an SRT Chrysler being a car with an enhanced dynamic range, aiming for a car you can drive to the grocery store, and then take out to the track and compete," he says.

    The interior wasn’t finished in the example we saw in Auburn Hills. Knott promises a different texture on the metallic trim and expanded use of leather in the interior, including the door handles and steering wheel, a performance-oriented instrument cluster with tach and temperature gauges, all with different color and texture faces from stock.

    Standard AM/FM stereo radio with six-disc CD changer powering a seven-speaker Boston Acoustics system promises you can turn up the volume, if the Hemi’s dual exhaust burble ever becomes tiring (as if).

    Expect nothing too loud on the exterior. The mirrors, grille and door trim go body color (from chrome), the front fascia is reworked with a functional air dam including cooling vents for the brakes, the rear fascia accommodates those dual chrome exhaust tips, and there is a functional rear-deck spoiler. Functional? At high speeds, Knott asserts, it increases downforce by 39 percent without increasing drag. It’s such a modest little thing it’s hard to imagine, but then you remember the company has Dodge NASCAR programs that feed a lot of information back from the wind tunnel.

    The 300 SRT-8 should arrive in Chrysler dealerships in February 2005, and pricing will be established closer to that time. "You could look at what we did with pricing on the SRT-4, SRT-6 and Ram SRT-10 for guidance," says Knott. "We want to offer the best bang for the buck."

    The engine should provide plenty of bang. Most speculation about the SRT-8 designation centered on the Dodge Magnum sport wagon. When we ask if there will be a Dodge version of this car, Knott smiles slightly and says, "Let’s just say that if there were a Dodge application, this would be our engine for any V8 car."

    Is anyone else thinking Charger?

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    2005 CHRYSLER 300 SRT-8
    ON SALE: February 2005
    POWERTRAIN: 6.1-liter, 425-hp, 420-lb-ft V8; rwd, five-speed automatic
    CURB WEIGHT: 4160 pounds
    0 TO 60 MPH: 5.0 seconds (est.)


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  2. nucl3ar

    nucl3ar Guest

  3. Sonic

    Sonic Live every day to the fullest, for yesterday is go

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    I'm about to cum.

    I think that very well my second car.:wackit:
     
  4. AlbinoMuntjac

    AlbinoMuntjac New Member

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    :werd:
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It might give the CTS-V, among other things, a run for it's money. Especially in the straights. :eek3:
     
  6. PurEvl

    PurEvl going out gassed and not half assed...

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    :werd: Thats car number 5 for me for sure
     
  7. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    FOOKA ME!
     
  8. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

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    :wackit:

    DC > *
     
  9. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    but fuck ... that is one badass car.
     
  10. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    In...

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    ...for the Magnum SRT-8. :eek3:
     
  11. Melvin_91GT

    Melvin_91GT New Member

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  12. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  13. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

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    those magnums are so hot. :wackit:
     
  14. We_Todd

    We_Todd I'm a naughty squirrel.

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    i'm with ya :eek3:
     
  15. Poetic

    Poetic Guest

    Magnum=will own someday:o
     
  16. Eskimo Yo-Yo

    Eskimo Yo-Yo absent OT Supporter

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  17. plejtoj

    plejtoj New Member

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    Looks like a fucking Huyndai :rolleyes:
     
  18. Aznpho

    Aznpho Not Currently in Use

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    300C SRT-8 and MAGNUM or on my wishlist for a new car if my maximas transmission craps out again after they put a new one on it today
     
  19. TRDYota24

    TRDYota24 New Member

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    gayest cars ever :truestory:

    ibbandwagonofhaters
     
  20. GReddy EX

    GReddy EX Guest

    still an ugly design...
     
  21. Sangster

    Sangster OT Supporter

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    So fucking sexy :bowdown:
     
  22. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  23. krott5333

    krott5333 Guest

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    If you dont agree that this is one of the best looking cars EVER, then DIAFx3232323255252.234232
     
  24. Supernoma

    Supernoma servus publicae OT Supporter

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    I like the Magnums alot. If I had family that worked for DCX I'd be torn for life. :o
     
  25. MAD PUNK inDC

    MAD PUNK inDC Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    I'm not liking the 300c, it's an ugly car from the front, and barrows rear styling from Cadillac. The Magnum however doesn't look bad at all. The one thing that throws me is how slow they actualy are, even for such a suposedly powerful engine. I've run against the 300c in my Impala and I was not impressed, he barely managed to keep with me (yes I was sure it had the Hemi, not the v6). Hopefully this new 6ltr engine will put some speed in it, but as far as giving the CTS-V a run for it's money, thats doubtful. They are two completely differant cars, and the CTS-V is far superior in handling and power to wieght.
     

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