2010 Chrysler 300C SRT8

2010 Chrysler 300C SRT8 2010 Chrysler 300C SRT8
Quick Spin

What Is It?

With a rumbling 425-hp, 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 sending its fury to the rear wheels, the 300C SRT8 is the deviant of the Chrysler 300 lineup, a classic tire-shredding muscle sedan wrapped in a crisp, if somewhat dated, suit. It remains a tremendous performance buy for the money, and we look forward to the next version, which will be based on the more modern next-generation Chrysler 300 scheduled to be released later this year. It will have more than five speeds, too, which is the number found in this beast’s automatic gearbox.

How Does It Drive?

The SRT8 drives better than lesser 300s but is unable to hide its antiquated underpinnings (it debuted in 2005). The steering feels lifeless, especially in comparison with many of its newer peers, and the ride-and-handling balance doesn’t feel optimized for either. The side-to-side action of Chrysler’s manumatic shifter is clumsy, and fuel-economy ratings of 13 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway—we averaged 15—are as behind the times as the rest of the car. But the Hemi’s bellow is addictive, and in a previous test, the 4200-pound SRT8 was able to hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and cover the quarter-mile in 13.2 at 109 mph. Stopping performance from 70 mph is good, at 162 feet. (The car we tested in 2005 wore different rubber than today’s car, but we expect similar performance.) Just keep it in a straight line; although we saw 0.89 g around the skidpad, the lack of feeling at the helm makes placing the nose mostly guesswork.

How Does It Stack Up?

The SRT8 is a heavy, blunt instrument in a sea of more agile, modern sports sedans, but it is still larger, quicker, and more visually alluring than almost anything offered by Germany or Japan for similar money. The Korean Hyundai Genesis sedan looks like a prime candidate for comparison, too, with its 375-hp V-8 and $44,000 starting price, but it’s a bowl of cold oatmeal compared with the SRT8. For Detroit loyalists, the Dodge Charger SRT8 and the Ford Taurus SHO are the strongest arguments against the big bad Chrysler. The Charger is mechanically identical but costs almost seven grand less. The all-wheel-drive SHO also is less expensive and offers a nicer cabin, but it’s tighter inside and lacks the ability to perform totally immature and totally awesome V-8­­–powered burnouts. For our money, we’d maybe try to hunt down one of the 1800 or so 2009 Pontiac G8 GXPs built—it offered a manual transmission and is a guaranteed collectible now that Pontiac’s been shuffled to the morgue.

What’s the Cost?

Various equipment upgrades have raised the SRT8’s price slightly over the years, but the base for this 2010 is a respectable $47,366, including a $1751 gas-guzzler tax. Outfitted with $295 Inferno Red paint, a $1460 rear-seat entertainment system, the $900 SRT Option Group II—multimedia nav head unit, Uconnect voice control, Sirius traffic updates, iPod connectivity, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror—and the $685 Kicker SRT stereo upgrade, our tester stickered at $50,706. You’ll have to spend thousands more to find an equally muscular luxury/sports sedan of similar size, but, of course, those cars will be somewhat modern and likely more involving to drive. If you’re looking at one of these now, you might want to wait until the next high-po 300 and Charger models rear their rorty, snorty heads. That way, you won’t feel like you showed up at the party after everyone has already left.