For those who prefer their Chrysler 300's with plenty of personality but don't need the in-your-face muscle found in the new STR8, the automaker rolled out a pair of well-focused high-profile/high-content alternative players in New York. The 2012 Chrysler 300S sets its sights on a more youthful buyer demographic while the 2012 Chrysler 300C Executive Series is simply the most luxurious, best-appointed version of this full-size four-door ever produced.
In keeping with its mission, the 2012 Chrysler 300S jettisons most of its exterior brightwork in favor of unique body-color mirrors and fascia accents set off with black-accented headlamp bezels and grille blades done in understated black chrome. Sole bling things are its 20-inch polished alloy wheels -- the biggest standard hoops on any 300 model -- wrapped in larger performance rubber. It's a similar story inside the cabin of the 300S, which can be done in black or Radar Red cloth. Chrome and wood are banished in favor of Piano Black trim and matte-carbon hydrographic- finish accents. The heated front buckets in the 300S offer 12-way power assist and the Uconnect Touch 8.4 with its oversize display screen controls the on-board infotainment/connectivity duties.
Highlighting its standard creature comforts roster is the first automotive application of a studio-quality Beats by Dr. Dre audio system. This 522-watt/10-speaker sonic tour-de-force includes a 12-channel amplifier that uses the same proprietary equalizer algorithm Beats Audio founders Dr. Dre, and Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, use in their recording studios. A collaborative effort between Chrysler and Beats Audio, it has "the power to play music as the artist intended it to be heard."
The 2012 Chrysler 300S will be available in both V6 and V8 flavors as well as rear- and all-wheel drive configurations. Like the base Chrysler 300 the new 300S V6 is fitted with the automaker's 3.6-liter Pentastar engine that makes 292 horsepower and sends it to the wheels via a new ZF eight-speed automatic transmission that also includes steering-wheel mounted shifter paddles. Opting for V8 power brings the 5.7-liter Hemi that makes 363 horsepower and features Fuel Saver Technology that can shut down four cylinders under light load conditions. It's paired with a five-speed AutoStick automatic that also adds shifter paddles to the mix.
Created to serve as the undisputed flagship model, the 2012 Chrysler 300C Executive Series matches the same Hemi powertrain as the 300S V8 with exterior and interior enhancements that speak more directly to elegant refinement. Outside, richer-looking platinum chrome replaces virtually all regular brightwork and is joined by standard 20-inch polished alloy wheels. Inside the 12-way power heated/ventilated seats are wrapped in either Black or two-tone Mochachino Premium Nappa leather while most of the rest of the dash/door/console trim is covered in matching Poltrona Frau "Foligno" hides set off by hand-sanded, low-gloss Natural Pore Mocha or Pore Gray wood trim.
Other elements of distinction in the 2012 Chrysler 300C Executive Series include a Uconnect Touch 8.4N infotainment system with Garmin navigation and SIRIUS Traffic/Travel Link, 160-mph LED-illuminated instrument cluster, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, power tilt/telescoping steering column, power-adjustable pedals, premium 18-ounce berber floor mats and more.
Both the 2012 Chrysler 300S and 300C Executive Series will arrive in dealers starting this fall with pricing to come closer to the on-sale date.