2013 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Core: Power and Prestige at a Lower Price [2013 Chicago Auto Show]
As luxury sedans go, the Chrysler 300 SRT8 goes better than most, and the latest embellishments by the Street and Racing Technology crew should make the going look even better. One of three “Core” SRT models displayed on the floor of the Chicago auto show—all are intended to appeal to enthusiasts by offering full SRT8 performance with fewer niceties—the latest package is distinguished by 20-inch aluminum wheels with black highlights and black “6.4L” fender badges.
The 6.4 refers to the 300’s 6.4-liter Hemi V-8, rated for 470 horsepower, 470 lb-ft of torque, and by EPA estimates, 23 mpg on the highway, thanks to cylinder deactivation that shuts down half the engine under light loads. An active exhaust system reduces back pressure under higher loads, lending authority to the combustion audio.
This is the biggest sedan in Chryslerdom, but the SRT folks figure the combination of launch control and paddle-shifter-equipped six-speed automatic should propel this 300 to the quarter-mile lights in less than 13 seconds and 0-100-0 in less than 16 seconds. Top speed is estimated at 175 mph. (When we last tested an SRT-fettled three-hundo, we traversed the quarter in 12.8 seconds.)
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The interior is deepest coal-bin black, but it’s an elegant coal bin, with snug bucket seats with “Ballistic” cloth inserts and “Axel” cloth bolsters with outstanding support. (The regular SRT8 has leather seats with suede inserts.) Piano-black and matte carbon-fiber accents enhance the already attractive 300 dashboard and instrument binnacle.
To bring the price down, the regular three-mode adaptive suspension is switched for a single-mode setup, the HID headlights are replaced by halogens, the fog lamps have been deleted, and the wheels are cast rather than forged. Slated to go on sale this summer, the new package will be offered at $44,990, plus maybe a grand in gas-guzzler penance. For comparison, a de-Cored 2013 300 SRT8 starts at $50,020 with all taxes and fees.
By Tony Swan