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.
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.