2023 last year for Chrysler 300; sedan ends with 6.4-liter Hemi 300C edition
Detroit — Another sedan soon will join the mass grave of gas-powered models that have hit the dust.
Chrysler will end production of the current generation of its full-size 300 after the 2023 model year alongside the Dodge muscle cars when Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario closes for retooling to support an electrified platform, the Stellantis NV brand confirmed on Tuesday during the reveal of a final special edition at the Spirit of Detroit Plaza ahead of Wednesday's media day for the North American International Auto Show. Chrysler will launch its first EV by 2025 and expects to be an all-electric brand by 2028.
Chrysler will commemorate the conclusion of the nearly 70-year-old history with a 300C model powered by the 6.4-liter Hemi engine. Only 2,000 of them will be produced for the United States with another 200 available in Canada.
"This is meant to be a celebration and in homage to the 300," Chrysler CEO Chris Feuell said during the reveal, "that has been such an iconic vehicle in the Chrysler portfolio since 1955."
The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $55,000 plus a $1,595 destination fee. For the first time, Chrysler buyers will be able to reserve a vehicle at reservation.chrysler.com. There, buyers can register to order by selecting a color, designate a dealer and pay a $300 deposit. Delivery is expected in the spring.
Although the special edition is meant to celebrate continued enthusiasm around the 300 among fans and pop culture, Feuell doesn't count aficionados out of Chrysler's future either.
"As you transfer to electrification, there's a certain profile or persona, a buyer who's going to be attracted to that kind of technology and vehicle," she said. "And there are many of the Chrysler 300 and Pacifica owners who want that kind of vehicle in the future, and there are some that don't."
Although 2023 will mark the end of this version of the vehicle, Feuell suggested the 300 name may not disappear forever: "The 300 name is iconic with Chrysler and so many enthusiasts. It's got a lot of equity, a lot of name recognition. I think there's a place for it somewhere in the future portfolio. So stay tuned, it might come back sometime."
The V-8 offers 485 horsepower and 574 pound-feet of torque for a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and quarter-mile speed of 12.4 seconds. The 2023 300C comes with 20-by-9-inch forged wheels and is available in three exterior colors: Gloss Black, Velvet Red and Bright White.
The 300C also comes with four-piston Brembo brakes, a 3.09 limited slip differential and active damping suspension. Inside, there's carbon-fiber accents and Black Laguna leather front seats. It sports a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and advanced safety features, including advance brake assist, lane departure warning and full-speed collision warning.
Feuell said Chrysler hopes to build up some inventory of the 300 in its final year of the production, especially as the industry seeks fewer supply-chain bottlenecks. Windsor Assembly Plant — which produces the only other Chrysler vehicle, the Pacifica minivan — also is slated to be retooled starting next year for a new electrified platform.
Chrysler launched the 300 in 1955. With a 300-horsepower Hemi V-8 with solid valve lifters and dual four-barrel carburetors, it was the most powerful full-size car in the world at the time, according to the company. The 300C has historically designated a top-of-the-line trim.
Ralph Gilles, head of design at Stellantis, designed the return of the Chrysler 300 in 2005. He said he didn't expect the way the 300 would catch on with many young people and be customized even all over the world.
"As a designer, you don't necessarily set up to create an icon, and it's probably the most over-used word in our industry, but it's safe to say it's become an icon," he said. "The demographic was completely different than the picture we had on our wall in the studio. They were much younger and much more interested in the hot rodding thing. They also saw the car as a canvas."
Stellantis already has said it will retool Brampton for an electrified platform starting in 2024 with production resuming in 2025 as a part of a $2.8 billion investment in its Ontario operations. The company hasn't said what it will build there.