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Chrysler killed the 300 SRT in the U.S., but Australians can buy an upgraded version of it

It’s not every day you read “Chrysler” and “forbidden fruit” in the same sentence, but that’s exactly what we have here. Although the hot-rodded Chrysler 300 SRT was recently axed from our market, an updated model still lives on — and thrives  — in Australia.

Like the defunct U.S.-spec model, the 300 SRT sold Down Under is powered by a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine that makes 470 horsepower and 470 foot-pounds of torque. However, the Australian-spec model benefits from a new eight-speed automatic transmission that is expected to boost performance and bump gas mileage. For the sake of comparison, the 300 SRT sold here was equipped with an old-fashioned five-speed automatic.

Careful observers will notice the Australian SRT has been given a minor facelift. The updates include new-look headlights, a bigger grille with mesh inserts and a SRT emblem, as well as a new lower bumper accented by two rows of LED daytime running lights and a splitter. The rear end also gets small tweaks, including a revised lower bumper, racetrack-style tail lamps, and a bigger spoiler. Interesting, there are no Chrysler emblems anywhere on the car.

Inside, Motoring reports that Australian buyers get what American enthusiasts have for years longed for years — better materials, including more soft-touch surfaces, and an improved build quality. The list of changes also includes a rotary-style shift knob similar to the one found in other FCA products, re-arranged HVAC controls, as well as a market-specific instrument cluster with a large configurable TFT screen. Clearly, Chrysler is trying to bump the 300 SRT up a notch in the market.

Related: Fiat-Chrysler’s SRT Tomahawk concept previews the sports car of 2035

The Chrysler 300 SRT will go on sale across Australia in the coming weeks. When it lands, it will square off against other full-size rear-wheel drive muscle cars such as Holden’s HSV GTS, a sedan that lends the bulk of its mechanical components to the Chevrolet SS.