- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2005

It’s been only a few months since Chrysler presented its way cool 300 C Hemi-powered sedan to our streets. However, it is continuing to stretch the envelope of performance with another offering from its Street and Racing Technology (SRT) department.

Any reasonable person might think that the big and powerful Hemi V-8 would satisfy the power junkies. But no, the inventive folks at Street and Racing Technology never rest, so they added the SRT touch to the fine-driving 300C.

In this version they didn’t just go off and throw a bunch of unrefined power into a car and go away satisfied. With this vehicle they kept the Chrysler personality in mind. This is a performance car that remains as refined as it is powerful. The ride comfort will keep you contented and the performance will keep that tiny little sinister side in you happy.

The existing Hemi engine was taken to a new standard by enlarging it to 6.1 liters. But it doesn’t stop there; by tweaking most of the engine’s components, the SRT folks have easy leveraged 425 horsepower and 420 foot-pounds of torque from this V-8.

DaimlerChrysler is one of the few car companies that seem to continue to push its staff to gaze down the road a long way. With its SRT group DaimlerChrysler also allows — no, it encourages — them to stretch the realm of performance street machines. This is the place where racing technology meets the street.

During my testing of the new 300 C SRT8 sedan, I pushed the car hard through high-speed maneuvers that would have lesser vehicles spinning out of control.

Like a good performance car, this Chrysler can stop as well as it goes. When developing a performance car, it is even more important to give the car superior brakes. This is the case with the SRT8. Here you get huge Brembo brakes, including large vented discs at all four wheels.

The capable Goodyear F1 performance tires mounted on 20-inch forged five-spoke wheels help keep this 300 C on the road. Not only does this combination help the car stick to the road like a magnet to steel, it gives the car a cool appearance.

This Chrysler isn’t just about high performance on the road, it is also has a high level of comfort from a plush and well-designed interior. The special performance suede seat inserts not only assist in keeping you firmly planted in the seat; they are quite comfortable and add a contemporary look.

Other features that extend the spirit of the drive are the leather-covered steering wheel, shifter and door pulls. Special trim and the full complement of instruments, including the 180 mph speedometer, contribute to the sporty look.

I must admit I had high anticipation at the prospect of driving this SRT model. Chrysler has done such wonderful things to the previous vehicles that this had to add to the excitement. Look at the high-profile Dodge Viper and Ram SRT10 as well as the Crossfire SRT6. And how can we forget the surprise of them all, the SRT4, which is the ultimate in performance at an economic price tag of just over $20,000. It easy for me to say to folks looking for performance combined with civility on the street to look toward anything the SRT folks do. I have never been disappointed in any of the vehicles that have come out of their shop.

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