Flex mus­cles in the 300C

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

THERE re­ally isn’t any prac­ti­cal rea­son these days to buy a $74,000 car that has a 6-litre V8 en­gine that slurps 21 litres of fuel ev­ery 100km around town. But there are loads of fun rea­sons.

Chrysler’s pimp-mo­bile 300C, with looks sug­gest­ing it is driven by gang­sters (par­tic­u­larly the black cars), has been around for a while in Aus­tralia now and get­ting the oc­ca­sional mi­nor up­grade. With ma­jor changes oc­cur­ring at Chrysler, we took the op­por­tu­nity to re­visit it for an­other drive.

There’s plenty of blokey testos­terone about it when you fire up the rum­bling en­gine. They’ve tried all sorts of vari­a­tions over the years, but a V8 is still a boy’s-own favourite. And there’s quite a few women who rel­ish the sound and driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of a V8, too. The 6.1-litre SRT8 tops the 300C range that also has a six-cylin­der, diesel and the sta­ple 5.7-litre Hemi.

Hav­ing driven all of them (in­clud­ing the wagon ver­sion) over time, the six cylin­der and the diesel are more live­able, but the big V8 is the real fun ma­chine.

Since the 300C’s re­lease sev­eral years ago Chrysler has been hit by hard times. It was nearly wiped off the auto map by the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis and has bounced back un­der the wing of new owner Fiat. If the 300C stays it will prob­a­bly end up with smaller, more prac­ti­cal and con­sid­er­ably less thirsty en­gines, so it’s worth steer­ing this beast while it’s still around.

The 300C has a look-at-me grille that wins over fans. Those it steers away are more likely to be in the mar­ket for a Prius, any­way.

The rear is look­ing a bit old now and could do with a boot-lid lip for a sportier feel. It rides on 20-inch al­loys that add to its mus­cle-car ap­peal.

In­side you re­alise that for all the sporty GT feel, this car is re­ally more of a lux­ury saloon.

Nearly 300 300Cs have been sold to the end of June this year, down on the 494 for the same pe­riod last year, but it’s out­selling the States­man.

DAVID FITZSI­MONS

THIS is the next Holden Ba­rina. It’s not con­firmed by Fish­er­mans Bend, and it’s not ar­riv­ing un­til the mid­dle of next year at the ear­li­est, but it’s def­i­nitely Holden’s next small car.

Ac­tu­ally, it’s one of two Holden small cars: the com­pany is plan­ning to have a Ba­rina and a Spark to help com­bat cheap Chi­nese im­ports.

This Ba­rina, caught by Carparazzi, is ac­tu­ally a Chevro­let Aveo pro­to­type. But, as Holden said at the Detroit Mo­tor Show

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