Revving Up with Chrysler (Of All Brands!)

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At long last, Chrysler Group is drawing accolades for new-car performance and winning back business for police patrols. Chrysler’s often-panned 300 and its sibling Dodge Charger are being lauded by nothing less than New York Times auto reviewer Lawrence Ulrich, who in the March 17 edition writes that the tweaked line of 300s raises horsepower on V-8 models to 470 and the more economical V-6 to 363.

2013 Chrysler 300

2013 Chrysler 300

HP has been an unsure metric for Chrysler, which under the baton of CEO Sergio Marchionne has given vibes of Italian autostradas to Chrysler and partner Fiat.

Check out these add-ons for 2013-14 Chryslers and Dodges, however:

  • Leather interiors valued at $2,500
  • The aforementioned power boosts
  • Brmembo brakes shared with the Dodge Viper supercoupe (needed to stop cars whose top speed is 175 mph!)
  • 4-cylinder shutoffs during traffic stops

Suggested prices of SRTS Chrysler and Dodge models start at $49,990, with options adding $8,000, far below BMW M5 and Mercedes E63

Indeed, Cadillac CTS-V, Mercedes E-Class and Porsche Panamera also challenge the upstarts from Chrysler.

Concludes Ulrich, seemingly amazed by the rev-ups of Chrysler/Dodge: “I kept finding excuses to goose the Chrysler, just to watch the hp gauge explode from roughly 3MPH output at idle-to 400hp.

“Just remember to keep the eye on the blurry road ahead-the car runs a quarter-mile in roughly 12.7 seconds. Top speed said to be 175 mph!”

Chrysler skeptics abound, but don’t forget impact of the Viper, still built at a dedicated plant on Detroit’s East side!

Chrysler history note
Chrysler’s historic 1955 300 sedan introduced the V-8 engine, followed by Chevrolet Corvette, first American car engines to be so powerful.

Author’s Comment:
It wasn’t Chrysler that flubbed up in the power department. Rather, Chrysler fell short on quality and ergonomics, while not surpassing rivals in performance and durability of things like windshield wiper motors, headlights, batteries and power seat and window controls. For Chrysler to be top-rated across the board is a bright sign for its future as a global player.

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