Do you like cheeseburgers, guns, and all things 'Murican? Do you need to go crazy-fast, but fly under the radar in a big, comfy saloon that’s ready for family duty? Do you enjoy lighting up your tyres, an exhaust note that sounds like Diwali fireworks, and smoking a ¼ mile in 13 odd seconds? If so, then you might be needing a Chrysler 300C SRT8 in your life.
Introduced in 2006, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 was the first Street and Racing Technology (SRT) vehicle to be powered with the 6.1-litre HEMI V8, which made 67kw more than the 5.7-litre HEMI in the normal 300C. 317kw and 569nm was its official output, enough to sprint from 0-100kph in around 5 seconds.
SRT engineers who developed the 300C SRT8’s engine achieved the additional power by adding more displacement, increasing the compression ratio, and completely redesigning the cylinder head, intake and exhaust systems for better flow and increased engine speed. The rear-wheel drive SRT8 also featured a track-tuned chassis as well as Brembo brakes.
Visually, the SRT8 was set apart from lesser 300C’s by subtle but effective upgrades: massive 20-inch wheels with grippier tyres, a sportier interior with sublime sport seats, and revised front and rear bumpers to enhance airflow and accommodate the enlarged exhaust outlets respectively.
Chrysler 300C SRT8 owners have been known to rave about its epic sound system, massive boot and spacious cabin, and naturally its blend of speed, luxury and overall comfort. Interestingly, the 300C was named as one of "The 25 Most Iconic Hip hop Cars" due to its popularity in many hip-hop music videos following its introduction.
With even the Chrysler 300C designer Ralph Gilles saying that the "300 turned out to be a bit of an icon for Chrysler". The SRT8 (as well as the regular 300C) featured bold styling, as well as enough features to rival competitors with much higher price tags, yet despite that, 1200 300Cs were sold in SA between 2005 and 2011.
Local sales aside, the 300C SRT8 was a car that stood out from the sea of Audis, Mercs and BMWs, yet still looked classy. It was a luxury muscle car that was well engineered and represented incredible value – carrying a price tag of just R539 900 when launched in SA back in 2006.