August 31, 2005,
Auburn Hills, Mich.
It wasn't long after the debut of the HEMI®-powered Chrysler C300 in 1955 that it became known as the "banker's hot rod." The key characteristics of that car-a powerful HEMI V-8 engine, performance-tuned ride and handling and premium amenities-are also key to the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8. And, there's quite a bit more.
Introduced in 2005, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 was the first Street and Racing Technology (SRT) vehicle to be powered with the 6.1-liter HEMI V-8, which offers 85 more horsepower — 25 percent more power — than the 5.7-liter HEMI. But SRT performance is more than just straight-line quickness.
"There's no other premium sedan that delivers the comfort, convenience and performance numbers that the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 delivers," said Jeff Bell, Vice President-Chrysler Marketing, Chrysler Group. "In terms of affordability, no one else even comes close to delivering the Chrysler 300C SRT8's combination of performance and value."
"The 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 is a complete package for the customer who wants awesome performance in an award-winning sedan loaded with comfort and style," said Dan Knott, Director – Street and Racing Technology. "With its SRT-engineered 6.1-liter HEMI engine and Brembo brakes, it's engineered for incredible acceleration and stopping power."
For 2006, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 is available in a new Silver Steel exterior color. Also new for 2006 are a standard tire pressure monitoring system, an available Kicker® high-performance audio system and available rear-seat video system.
The Chrysler 300C SRT8's 425-horsepower (317 kW), normally aspirated 6.1-liter HEMI has the highest output for its size of any naturally aspirated V-8 engine ever offered by the Chrysler Group. Its 69.8 horsepower-per-liter rating exceeds even that of the legendary 1966 "Street HEMI." Torque is rated at 420 lb.-ft. (569 N•m).
Although the Chrysler HEMI was born in the 1950s and entered into legend in the 1960s and '70s, today's version took much of its inspiration from the original-particularly the namesake hemispherical combustion chambers that provide power and efficiency.
When SRT powertrain engineers set out to develop a more powerful HEMI for the Chrysler 300C SRT8, they were mindful of the engine's heritage, which led to adopting traditional HEMI engine cues including an orange-painted cylinder block and black valve covers.
SRT engineers who developed the Chrysler 300C SRT8's engine achieved more horsepower by adding more cubic inches, increasing the compression ratio, and redesigning the cylinder head, intake and exhaust systems for better flow and increased engine speed.
For more displacement, SRT engineers bored out the diameter of the cylinders in the HEMI by 3.5 millimeters each in order to increase the total displacement to 6.1 liters from 5.7 liters.
Compression ratio was also increased to 10.3:1 from 9.6:1, increasing engine efficiency and power.
Engine breathing was increased with new higher-flow cylinder heads, a specially designed intake manifold, and exhaust headers with individual tubes encased in a stainless steel shell, all unique to the 6.1-liter HEMI engine. Larger-diameter valves and reshaped ports in the heads allow for maximized air flow. The intake manifold was designed with larger-diameter and shorter runners for higher-speed tuning. Exhaust is routed through a large-diameter (2.75-inch vs. 2.5-inch) exhaust system with 3.5-inch chrome tips.
To further increase horsepower, performance-oriented camshaft profiles were developed to allow more air in and out of the cylinders, as well as manage a higher engine speed. SRT engineers increased the HEMI's peak power output engine speed by nearly 20 percent to 6,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) from 5,000 rpm. Intake and exhaust valve stems are hollow, and the exhaust valve stems are filled with sodium to help dissipate heat more efficiently.
The high-performance SRT 6.1-liter HEMI is strengthened with redesigned components, including a reinforced engine block, forged steel crankshaft, high-strength powdered-metal connecting rods, floating-pin pistons (cooled by oil squirters), and an oil pan modified to manage oil return to the pan sump at high engine speeds.
Power for the SRT 6.1-liter HEMI is channeled through a five-speed automatic transmission with specially calibrated driver-selectable AutoStick®, which offers fully automatic or manual shifting selection. A heavy-duty four-flange prop shaft sends the torque from the transmission to an upgraded differential and axles.
Ride and Handling
The 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 is conditioned for outstanding ride and handling across the dynamic range that customers are likely to experience.
Chassis setup for the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 is aimed at all-around performance with a number of enhancements, including tuned dampers, specially tailored spring rates and suspension bushings and larger diameter anti-sway bars. New front and rear suspension knuckles contribute to a ride height lowered one-half inch from the Chrysler 300C. In addition, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) has been specially tuned for the Chrysler 300C SRT8's performance handling characteristics.
The 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 connects with the road via a new wheel and tire assembly consisting of 20-inch forged aluminum wheels shod with high-performance Goodyear F1 three-season tires (four-season tires are an available option) with asymmetrical tread. Tire dimensions are a beefy 245/45/20 in the front and 255/45/20 in the rear.
Braking performance goes hand-in-hand with the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8's outstanding acceleration and speed-and the braking system was specially designed to slow and stop the car predictably. At the same time, this system was designed to provide benchmark braking performance, setting a new standard for sedans in its class.
All four wheels feature stout performance calipers developed by Brembo-well-known in racing and high-performance circles-equipped with four pistons for even clamping performance. Up front, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 has 360 x 32 mm vented rotors, with 350 x 28 mm vented rotors in the rear.
This braking system contributes to a 60-0 mph performance in approximately 110 feet, and a 0-100-0 mph time in the mid-16-second range.
Befitting its high-performance character, the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 offers power-adjustable sport seats up front that are fitted with performance suede inserts (matched in the rear seats) which hold the occupants during spirited driving. Seats are also equipped with heat and memory functions that, when paired with the adjustable pedal cluster, are adjustable for every driver.
Steering wheel, shifter and door pulls are covered with "technical" leather trim for positive grip. Other SRT-only trim includes special finishing on the steering wheel, door pulls, door trim and center stack.
Full instrumentation, including a 180-mph (300 kph) speedometer, tachometer and temperature gauges ensure that the driver can monitor crucial functions. A tire pressure monitoring display within the instrument panel display is standard for 2006.
Premium amenities within the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 cabin include a standard AM/FM stereo radio with six-disc CD changer powering a six-speaker Boston Acoustics speaker system, with steering wheel-mounted controls.
Two new-for-2006 options are a 13-speaker Kicker audio system with a 322-watt amplifier and 100-watt subwoofer, and a DVD system with center console-mounted flip-up screen.
Also available are SIRIUS Satellite Radio, which offers hundreds of commercial-free channels, and a UConnect™ hands-free communications system with Bluetooth™ technology. This system recognizes up to seven different Bluetooth-equipped cellular phones and responds to voice commands, utilizing a microphone in the rearview mirror and the stereo system's speakers for hands-free conversations.
Heating and cooling adjustments are made with an automatic temperature control system with dual-zone controls and infrared temperature sensing. Other standard features of the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 include an electronic vehicle information center with 128 customer-programmable features.
The 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 interior is offered in a Light Graystone/Dark Slate color scheme.
Street and Racing Technology DNA is evident in the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 exterior styling, in a sophisticated treatment that resonates with the Chrysler brand's premium character.
Modified front and rear fascias direct air flow through unique ducts that cool the brakes. In addition, a specially designed rear deck spoiler, while refined in appearance, is also functional-increasing rear downforce by 39 percent without increasing drag.
Other unique touches to the Chrysler 300C SRT8's exterior include body-color front and rear bumper inserts, body-color mirrors and door handles, and unique SRT badging.
Three exterior colors are available: Bright Silver, Brilliant Black and, new for 2006, Silver Steel.
The 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 is built at the Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada.