Chrysler 300C (2011): the spy shots

Published: 12 August 2010

Chrysler is testing next year's new 300C in the US ahead of a debut expected in late 2010 or early 2011. This is the first time we've seen the 300C in production ready guise – previously we'd only seen an artist's impression tucked away in the turnaround rescue plan presented by Chrysler's new Italian masters.

Peeking under this disguise, it seems that the brutal style of the 300C is kept intact. Our new spy photos seem to confirm the teaser shot issued in the blurb to analysts (pictured here) – with exaggerated wheelarches, new headlamps and a little bit of the energy of the Chrysler Nassau concept car from 2007.

What's all this talk of the new Chrysler 300C being more fuel efficient?

Well, the promise of economy improved by a fifth is enabled by a switch to an upgraded architecture. Dubbed internally LY, this platform will also underpin future Fiat group luxury cars, perhaps wearing Alfa or Lancia badges.

In Chrysler's case, the new 2011 300C will sport the group's latest Pentastar V6 engines. With a 3.6-litre capacity, it produces some 290bhp yet economy is hiked up to nearer 30mpg, according to our sources in Detroit. New eight-speed autos from ZF can be thanked for the new (relative) parsimony.

What no outrageous V8s?

This is Chrysler, so of course there will be some big old lumps available. Thing is, even the most ardent US fans are slowly migrating away from the excessive V8s of yore. There will be a 5.7- and 6.4-litre HEMI V8 should you want the grunt to match the grizzly looks.

Expect to see the new Chrysler 300C arrive in US dealers in the first half of 2011, pointing to a European debut later in 2011 or 2012.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet