In and under da hood
THE gangsta car from Detroit is headed for a complete turf takeover in Australia.
Post Commodore and Falcon, anyone rusted on to the idea of a family five-seater with petrol six and rear-wheel drive will be looking earnestly at the Chrysler 300.
The success of the 300 is an ironic development, with American metal — which supplied the original building blocks for the ’60s Ford and Holden and Valiant hero cars — returning to its original spot in the showroom pecking order.
The chunky American combines quality, decent styling and a reasonable price. It’s not nearly a match for the VF Commodore, but it trumps the Ford Falcon - at least until its final makeover in October.
You can also get it with a diesel engine and a go-fast SRT8 package that includes a 6.4-litre V8, for comfortably less than an equivalent Commodore contender from Holden Special Vehicles.
The 300 set a new sales record last year with 2508, the best result since 1864 deliveries in 2006 with the firstgeneration car.
There were extra variants, incuding a wagon. But, the current car was effectively out of stock for more than a year while the factory in the US built left-hand-drive cars.
Even in limousine and taxi livery, the 300 is winning fans in Australia.
Unlike the Commodore and Falcon, it will be around beyond 2016.
Muscle up: The SRT8 and, below, 300C Limited