Image credits: © Chrysler.

MSRP: $27,170-47,170
Invoice: $26,252-45,602

2012 Chrysler 300 news, pictures, specifications, and information

Luxury and Fuel-efficiency Define New ‘Imported from Detroit' TV Spot for the 2012 Chrysler 300

• Chrysler Group LLC is the first domestic automaker to feature the state-of-the-art ZF eight-speed automatic transmission in its vehicles

• Best-in-class 31 highway miles per gallon (mpg) and best-in-class all-wheel-drive fuel economy wîth eight-speed automatic transmission and award-winning 292 horsepower, 3.6-liter aluminum Pentastar V-6 engine

• Campaign continues ‘Imported from Detroit' message, filmed in and around Detroit and features local citizens


September 19, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The Chrysler brand is touting its new state-of-the-art eight-speed transmission and fuel-efficiency in its new television commercial for the 2012 Chrysler 300. The new commercial continues the 'Imported from Detroit' message and is filmed throughout Detroit and its neighboring cities and is comprised of local residents. The new 60-second commercial titled, 'If You're Gonna,' began airing on Friday, Sept. 16 on national and cable networks.

'The 2012 Chrysler 300 offers consumers a fuel-efficient and luxurious vehicle at an extraordinary value without compromising size or amenities,' said Saad Chehab, President and CEO – Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. 'The combination of our award-winning V-6 Pentastar engine, the new eight-speed transmission and world-class interior appointments takes the domestic luxury sedan to a new level that only can be found at Chrysler.'

Once limited to premium import vehicles costing twice as much, the new §egmènt-exclusive ZF eight-speed automatic transmission expands the world-class power and fuel-efficiency of the 2012 Chrysler 300, 300S (V-6) and 300 Limited models and offers class-leading fuel efficiency wîth respect to:

Vital Stats
Engine : 3.6 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 292 hp
Torque: 260 ft-lbs

Engine : 5.7 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 363 hp
Torque: 394 ft-lbs

5-speed Automatic
• Best-in-class highway fuel economy (31 highway mpg)

• Best-in-class V-6 AWD fuel economy (18 city and 27 highway mpg)

• Best-in-class combined fuel economy (23 wîth RWD, 21 wîth AWD)

• Únsurpassed city fuel economy (19 city mpg RWD, 18 mpg AWD)


Overall unsurpassed fuel economy in its class (19 city and 31 highway mpg wîth RWD
Delivering up to a 17 percent fuel economy improvement compared wîth the previous generation six-cylinder Chrysler 300 AWD models, the new 2012 Chrysler 300 Limited and 300S (V-6) AWD models combine the new eight-speed automatic transmission, fuel-efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and the §egmènt's most advanced all-wheel drive system for maximum all-weather traction and efficiency.

'The new commercial continues our 'Imported from Detroit' theme by taking this great city to the rest of the world and captures a day-in-the-life of local citizens in and around Detroit,' said Chehab.

The new spot was filmed in Detroit and its neighboring cities including Birmingham, Ferndale, Grosse Pointe Park and West Bloomfield, Mich. The commercial features local attractions including American Coney Island, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Fox Theatre, Frank Lloyd Wright's Affleck House and Lafayette Coney Island.

Chrysler brand's advertising campaign was created in partnership wîth Wieden+Kennedy of Portland, Ore. The campaign is supported by broadcast and digital media placement. The 60-second as well as a 30-second version of the commercial can be viewed on the Chrysler brand Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/Chrysler and on the Chrysler brand YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/chrysler.

Advertising efforts from the Chrysler brand has resulted in a number of awards this summer. Most recently, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded the Chrysler brand's 'Born of Fire' commercial wîth a Creative Arts Emmy award. Born of Fire was also honored wîth five awards at the Cannes Lions 58th International Festival of Creativity held in Cannes, France.

About the 2012 Chrysler 300
Integrating the first eight-speed automatic transmission in a domestic luxury sedan, the new 2012 Chrysler 300 series sedans offer world-class technological innovation and quality while delivering stylistic distinction, best-in-class fuel efficiency and premium E-§egmènt sedan features at a legendary value.

Once limited to premium import vehicles costing twice as much, the new §egmènt-exclusive ZF 8HP45 eight-speed automatic transmission expands the world-class power and fuel-efficiency of the 2012 Chrysler 300, 300S (V-6) and 300 Limited models and delivers up to 31 best-in-class highway mpg. And wîth the most advanced all-wheel-drive system in the E-§egmènt, the all-new Chrysler 300 V-6 AWD models deliver best-in-class city and highway fuel economy (18/27) and even more year-round grand-touring performance.

With more standard equipment than its direct standard full-size §egmènt competitors, the 2012 Chrysler 300 is well-equipped for the individual who is lòòking for distinctive design, best-in-class seat comfort, 292 horsepower, world-class ride and refinement, and the §egmènt's largest touchscreen infotainment system — Úconnect® Touch — all at an extraordinary value.

Adding an avant-garde appearance to the letter-series flagship sedans, the all-new Chrysler 300S V-6 and V-8 models take the American brand in a new direction wîth world-class ride and handling, discrete exterior styling elements, contemporary interior materials and state-of-the-art technology features –including the studio quality sound experience of Beats by Dr. Dre technology.

Designed to be the most luxurious Chrysler flagship sedan ever, the all-new Chrysler 300C Luxury Series takes the Chrysler 300C model further, integrating ultra-premium leather – once limited to some of the most exotic Italian luxury cars – wîth world-class refinement and handling, state-of-the-art safety and connectivity features and the legendary 363 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine wîth Fuel Saver Technology.

The Chrysler 300 is available wîth more than 70 safety and security features and was named a Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Chrysler brand was named the 'Most Ideal Popular Brand' in AutoPacific's 2011 Ideal Vehicle Awards based on owners' ratings of their 2011 cars and trucks.

The 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan has a Ú.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $27,995 (including $825 destination charge).

Source - Chrysler
In 1955, Chrysler introduced the C300. The 'C' stood for coupe and the 300 was the horsepower rating of the original Hemi engine equipped with , two four barrel carbs, solid lifters, special manifolds, and enlarged dual exhausts. This vehicle gave the Chrysler Corporation a performance and sporty image, a much needed persona in this post World War II era. Many European manufacturers, such as Jaguar and MG, had introduced high powered, small, responsive sports cars. American manufacturers countered with the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Thunderbird. The Chrysler 300 was a performance car with a contemporary 'Forward Look' designed by ex-Studebaker stylist Virgil Exner. The design was void of the popular chrome sides which was prevalent during this era. It was simple but aggressive gentleman's car.

The Chrysler 300 was outfitted with a hemispherical (Hemi) combustion chamber 5.4 litre V-8 that produced 300 horsepower and matted to a performance modified two-speed 'PowerFlite' automatic gearbox. The body came from the New Yorker; rear quarter moldings were compliments of the Windsor. The two piece grille came from the Imperial. An improved suspension was implemented to provided sporty and responsive handling. The base price was $4,055.

Sales of the C300 were fueled by its success on the stock car circuit. The C300 dominated the sands of Daytona Beach, Florida where it won the stock production class and took home the Tom McCahill trophy. From 1955 through 1957 it was the fastest American car.

In 1959, a 300D driven at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats by Norm Thatcher set a new Class E speed record of 156.387 mph. During the same year, Brewster Shaw achieved a quarter-mile time of 16 seconds with a trap speed of 94 mph at Daytona Beach, Florida.

For 1956, Chrysler increased the displacement of its Hemi engine to 5.8 liters and changed the name to 300B. With 355 horsepower, the V8 engine had one horsepower per cubic inch, an achievement that very few manufacturers were able to claim.

The letters continued to climb the alphabet annually until the 300L of 1965 (the letter I was skipped). They became known as the 'letter cars'. In 1959, the 392 hemi was replaced with the 413 cubic-inch Golden Lion wedge-head design engine. In 1962, the 300 Sport series became available along side the 300H. The 300, without a letter designation was continued until 1971. In 1970, the 300 Hurst was produced, built by Chrysler and modified by the Hurst Company. The modifications included two-tone paint, special striping, spoiler on the deck lid, and wheels. The 300 name was again revived in 1979 as the 300 Special Edition, but endured a short life span. It was based on the Cordoba platform and available only in white with red leather interior.

Even with eleven years of production, less than 17,000 were produced. The bodystyle's available were either a two door hardtop or convertible. The convertible was not available during 1955, 1956, and 1963.

In the early 2000's, Chrysler revived the model name with the 300M. For most 300 enthusiasts, it is a good attempt, but far from the original 300's. The original 300's, as argued by some MOPAR enthusiast, is considered to be the first muscle cars. Although they were fast, they were also large and luxurious, qualities that muscle cars did not typically process. The 300 did get American moving on the fast track to the horsepower and performance revolution, and looked good while doing it.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2009
In 2005, the wave of retro design that is still shaping American cars first washed over Detroit. American companies, with their stale product offerings, began looking towards their rich pasts to inspire new models with the design and flair of long-gone icons. It was in 2005 that Chrysler launched a modern iteration of the famed 300.

The 300 name had actually been revived by Chrysler several years before the 2005 300's introduction as a car called the 300M, but that model was dated even when brand new and didn't evoke nostalgic memories in the same way its replacement would. The 2005 300 was a total departure from the Chrysler models immediately preceding it. The sleek, low slung, 'cab-forward' design language of the 300M and others was replaced by the new 300's brash and blocky look. The 2005 Chrysler 300 was not merely an updated version of a bygone classic, but rather a revival of Chrysler's attitude during the company's most exciting times.

The new 300 went back to a rear wheel drive platform and reintroduced the muscular proportions of America's former bad-boy sedans. Available V8 power rounded out the package and a large, upright chrome grille stood proud in grand American fashion. The 2005 Chrysler 300 was met with great fanfare and positive press. For as exciting a car as the '05 300 was, though, it could barely capture the style and spirit of the car that inspired it. The original 300 was one of the most thrilling Chryslers ever released. It was a car whose inspirational design and performance will be lauded forever and whose legend will continue to be respected by Chrysler workers, owners and admirers, as well as by the flashy new car that shares its name.

Produced without interruption from 1955 through 1971, the Chrysler 300 in its earliest form was one of the very first muscle cars. Though production extended into the early 1970's, the best-known (and best-loved) 300s were the 'letter series' cars of 1955-1965. All 300s were part of this letter series until 1962, when both letter and non-letter variants were offered through 1965. Models made from 1966 on were not part of the letter series. Each Chrysler in the letter series used the 300 designation followed by a single letter. That letter ascended alphabetically once every year, making it up to 'L.' Confusingly, the first of the series was not called the 300A but the C-300. In that one instance, the letter 'C' simply stood for coupe. Revisions on the C-300 theme created the 300B for 1956, then 300C for 1957, 300D for 1958, and so on. The only other snag in the letter series system was the use of the letter 'J' for the 1963 300, instead of the 'I' for which the car was due. Chrysler likely used the 'J' nomenclature to prevent confusion between the letter 'I' and the Roman numeral I.

The letter series 300 introduced potent performance and a fresh design to Chrysler, whose other models had grown stale. In that sense, the original 300 arrived for the same reasons as 2005's remake. The name was chosen for bragging rights. Chrysler, with its aptly named C-300, had become the first American manufacturer to develop 300hp in a production car. That power led the 1955 Chrysler to become the fastest production car in the world, reaching 127.58mph at Daytona Beach. The C-300's engine was a 331ci Chrysler V8 with hemispherical combustion chambers and two 4-barrel carburetors. The aforementioned 300hp was achieved at 5,200rpm.

There was much more to the C-300 than formidable speed. The car was large, luxurious, and packed with comfortable features. At 220 inches in length, the C-300 was huge for a two-door. A weight of 4,300lbs gave it the bulk of a personal limousine. Its two speed automatic transmission required no effort on the driver's part. The car was rolling evidence that speed and luxury were not mutually exclusive traits. The C-300 was the fastest car on the road, and it may very well have been the most comfortable.

A superb combination of performance and comfort alone would have made the Chrysler C-300 a classic. But the car's quality didn't stop there. Designed by the talented and innovative Virgil Exner, the C-300 was a triple threat of sumptuous luxury, speed and, and style.

Before moving to Chrysler, Exner had worked for GM under the guidance of Harley Earl and for Raymond Loewy's own design firm. His experience led him to be a daring designer, but the 1955 C-300 was a subdued design. It was handsome and understated, free of the garish detailing the plagued so many of its contemporaries. With its regal proportions and proud stance, the C-300 separated itself from lowlier cars that used glitz and glam as their only stylistic values. A split egg crate grille, in chrome, dominated the frontal aspect of the C-300 and had a tastefully minimal chrome bumper running beneath it. The subtle fins picked up just aft of the doors and beneath the beltline. At the rear, the vestigial fins flowed into vertical taillights. With a base price above $4,000, buyers paid dearly for a fine congregation of elegant design, comfort, and rapidity.

Even more power was made available for the 1956 300B. A 354ci V8, at first making 340hp, was available with 355hp by the middle of its run—making it the first American engine to produce 1 horsepower per cubic inch. Three transmissions were offered: PowerFlite and TorqueFlite two-speed autos, and a three-speed manual.

Performance improvements in the 1956 300B were complemented by the availability of an even more comfortable interior. Air conditioning was offered as well as a clock in the steering wheel for the particularly punctual. And, of course, if the clock wasn't distracting enough, a record player could also be ordered.


The styling of the 300B featured a revised rear treatment, but the car was largely the same as 1955's C-300. For the 1957 300C, though, Exner thoroughly revamped the 300's shape. The new design was more brash but still tasteful and clean. It featured more pronounced fins and a quad headlight face with a large, one-piece egg crate grille. From the side, the 300C looked particularly good. Its long and low proportions were readily revealed from that angle. Also easily noticeable from the side, the 300C had a forward tilt to its front end that was mirrored by a rearward tilt to its fins. The balanced look was an Exner hallmark that worked wonderfully on the 300C. A convertible version was offered whose absence of a roofline emphasized the trapezoidal side profile of the 300C's body. A top speed of 150mph could be reached by the 300C.

For 1958, a 300D was introduced. It looked very similar to the 300C, but big improvements were still made. Fuel injection became an available option and power brakes were standard. With 380hp, the 300D could be propelled to 156mph. The 300E of 1959 offered similar styling but with a very different engine. The hemi-head V8 was replaced by a 413ci wedge-head V8.

The 300F brought major styling changes for 1960. While other companies toned down their use of fins for the 1960's, Chrysler gave its 300F a wild, one-year-only rear treatment with razor sharp fins. Ralph Nader, in his book Unsafe at and Speed that most famously criticized the Chevrolet Corvair's poor handling, called the 300F's fins 'potentially lethal.' Automotive writer Quentin Willson offered good reason for Nader's concern in his own work titled The Ultimate Classic Car Book, pointing to a 1963 traffic accident in which an unfortunate motorcyclist became impaled by one of the fins of a 300F.

With a front end that looked slightly awkward compared to the noses of its predecessors and a heavily criticized faux spare tire cover incorporated into the rear deck lid, the 300F's overall look lacked the thoroughly clean appearance of earlier models. But from the side at least the 300F still looked good, and performance and comfort were as impressive as ever. Up to 400hp could be had from the 413ci engine. A beautifully finished interior continued a tradition of comfortable motoring. The interior was so inviting that the seats literally offered themselves to driver and front passenger, automatically swiveling to allow easy access whenever a door was opened.

The 300G was brought out for 1961 and was the last finned 300. The front end retained four headlights, but they were now stacked two per side in tilted columns. Standard power windows and cruise control further enhanced an already excellent list of convenience features, and performance options remained similar to those of the 300F. The 300H used the following year was similar in most respects to the 300G, but had a fresh tail design with a smooth, tapering deck where once stood fins. Production of the 300H was unusually low even for the exclusive letter series, but sales were bolstered by the introduction of a more affordable non-letter series variant, named simply the '300.'

For 1963, the letter 'I' was skipped and the 300J was introduced alongside a revamped standard 300. The 1963 models were plainer, with square styling that belied their still capable performance. The 1964 300K and 1965 300L were the last two models of the letter series. By 1965, the plain styling of the 300L and the narrow performance gap between it and the base 300 had created an uninspired package. After 1965, the letter series was discontinued.

The garden variety 300 soldiered on until 1971, losing sales and substance as it went along. Chrysler couldn't have picked a better time to pull the plug on the aging model, as allowing it to last any longer would have exposed it to stringent emissions regulations that instantly would have robbed the car of the only virtue it really had left—power. Even the very last 300 had a 440ci V8 that had a tremendous output compared to any American offering of the mid-1970's.

History has ignored any shortcomings of the largely average 300 produced from 1966-1971, focusing on the raw power and suave personality of the early letter series. Few American cars before or since have been able to offer so much speed and luxury wrapped in a shell of aesthetic excellence. From 1955 through 1959, the 300s were the uncompromised rulers of the American automotive kingdom—even the 1960-1965 models were superbly executed. Inspiring the successful 2005 Chrysler 300, the early letter series cars have shown that sometimes history is worth repeating.

Sources:

'History of the Chrysler Three Hundred Series.' The Chrysler 300 Site Web.28 Jul 2009. http://www.chrysler300site.com/cgibin/history.cgi.

Nerad, Jack. 'Great Classic Cars: Chrysler C-300.' AntiqueCar.com Web.28 Jul 2009. http://www.antiquecar.com/gc_chrysler_c300.php.

Willson, Quentin. The Ultimate Classic Car Book. First. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1995. Print.

By Evan Acuña
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