New 2011 Chrysler 300 revealed!

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Published on December 23, 2010

The next 300 will no doubt be a good performer. (Photo: Chrysler)

Published on December 23, 2010

Say hello to entirely new level of interior quality. (Photo: Chrysler)

Published on December 23, 2010

The detailing looks to be superb. (Photo: Chrysler)

Published on December 23, 2010

The new 300 looks very promising. (Photo: Chrysler)

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

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Published on December 23, 2010

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Published on December 23, 2010

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Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

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Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Published on December 23, 2010

Few cars have been able to turn the industry on its axis as profoundly as the 300C did when it entered the scene in 2004 as a 2005 model, therefore anticipation for and speculation about an all-new Chrysler flagship sedan has been high for a very long time. Now photos and interior details reveal what's most important about the new 2011 model.

First off, it was a given that the new 300 would get a version of the automaker's recently introduced 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, as well as its 5.7-litre Hemi V8. Whether or not the new model will debut with Chrysler's upcoming eight-speed automatic has yet to be announced, but the automaker is pushing hard to that end, having invested another $85 million to retool its Kokomo Transmission Plant where the new gearbox will be manufactured so that it can arrive on the market sooner than later. If not available at launch, Chrysler's tried and tested five-speed automatic will soldier on.

More critically important, for its initial launch at least, is a fresh new exterior design and an all-new significantly updated interior. For the former, Chrysler won't disappoint those who love the bold, assertive styling of the outgoing car. The new 300 is softer around its corners, yet still maintains the edgy modernity the brand has grown to represent. The most noticeable change is a new grille that boasts seven "deeply sculptured horizontal blades" featuring a "liquid-chrome finish," says a Chrysler press release. The brand's new winged badge is front and centre, bookended by a unique "key slot" headlamp design encasing bi-functional projector beams and LED daytime running lights.

The greenhouse features a windscreen that cants another three inches rearward than the previous model, while rolled-framed doors with thinner A-pillars are said to improve frontal visibility by 15-percent. Chrysler has given the wheel cutouts more shape, adding to the 300's muscular image, with a beltline that reaches back to new chrome-trimmed vertical LED taillights featuring light pipes for a custom look, plus a rear fender-tops that lead off from the C pillars rearward to an integrated lip spoiler.

Chrome is the dominant theme for the 300's trim detailing, with "chrome daylight openings, chrome front- and rear-fascia accents and available 20-inch polished-aluminum wheels," continues the press release. Likewise, a classic retro-style chrome appliqué melds down from the tail lamps before stretching across the car's backend, with the brand's new logo finishing things off just above and fascia-mounted 8.9-cm (3.5-inch) dual oval exhaust tips below.

Good news is that Chrysler is finally giving its 300 the interior it should have always had; rubbery plastics, fake looking faux wood (or tortoise shell) trim, and less than ideal switchgear the only serious shortcomings the outgoing car was criticized for when launched, and the only issue holding the car back from achieving entry-level premium status. The automaker promises "authentic materials" such as genuine wood appliqués on the instrument panel, doors, centre console and steering wheel. Chrysler also touts soft-touch interior surfaces, premium trim and "precise fit and finish," as well as "cast-skin instrument and door panels with three-dimensional dual gloss graining for a premium appearance and suppleness."  Optionally, the 300 will offer heated and ventilated Nappa leather seats.

Other details that sound enticing include "bright chrome contrasted with liquid chrome accents" giving the 300's interior trim "the appearance of milled aluminum." The new instrument cluster features "two large gauge faces with sapphire blue illumination and chrome ring accents," plus "sapphire blue LED-illuminated ambient interior lighting." 

In the tech department Chrysler's updated flagship sedan will offer an ultra-large 8.4-inch Uconnect Touch infotainment system that will display the car's dual-zone climate controls, as well as allow its driver to check fuel prices and personalize convenience features, not to mention control the audio system. Chrysler is calling the system Uconnect Touch, and promises it will result in an "excellent experience for the driver and passengers."

The new 300, which will continue to be built at Chrysler's Brampton Assembly Plant in Brampton, Ontario, will arrive in showrooms in Q1 of next year, and when it does will go up against more formidable competition than it had when introduced in 2004. Now on the scene is a revitalized Hyundai that is edging up into the lower end of the premium segment with its Genesis sedan and all-new full-size Equus luxury car, as well as newer and better Buick LaCrosse (previously Allure), Ford Taurus, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon sedans, not to mention a full-size car market that has seen a sizeable dip in sales. Just the same, the 300 has garnered an avid following and should give the brand a big image boost that, if the rest of the lineup measures up, could trickle down into stronger Chrysler sales all-round.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Luxury Sedan, Chrysler, 2011, 300, $30,000 - $39,999, $40,000 - $49,999,

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