2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Brings the Thunder with 465HP 6.4-liter HEMI V8

It’s big, it’s brash, it’s powerful and it’s attempting to take on the sport saloon segment. Yes, it’s the all-new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 and it was revealed today at the New York International Auto Show that runs for the public from April 22 to May 1.

The flagship model of Chrysler’s redesigned 300 series packs a more muscular 6.4-liter Hemi V8 pushing out an estimated 465-horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, up 40 horsepower and 45 lb.-ft. over the 6.1-liter mill it replaces. All that power is channeled to the rear wheels through a carried over five-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Chrysler’s projected performance numbers include 0-60 mph (96 km/h) sprint time in the high 4-second range; quarter mile in high 12 second range; 0-100-0 mph (0-160km/h-0) in less than 16 seconds, top speed of 175 mph (281 km/h) and stopping power from 60-0 mph in 120 feet.

The Auburn Hills-based company says that despite the elevated performance, the 2012 300 SRT8 returns an estimated 25-percent fuel economy increase on the highway thanks to the use of a new active valve exhaust system, which allows the standard Fuel Saver technology (four-cylinder mode) to engage over a wider rpm range. Chrysler said specific fuel economy numbers will be announced closer to the vehicle launch.

The standard 300’s chassis has been tuned on the SRT8 to improve handling. Among other changes is the introduction of a new Adaptive Damping Suspension (ADS) system that uses a variety of inputs such as vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, brake torque, throttle position and lateral and vertical acceleration, to adjust the suspension settings. Additionally, the driver can manually choose between “Auto” and “Sport” settings that change the shock damping and harshness characteristics.

The SRT8 also gets a specially-tuned fully-hydraulic steering system and a new braking system with 14.2 inch (front) and 13.8 inch (rear) vented/slotted rotors and four-piston Brembo calipers. Chrysler’s sportiest sedan model rides on new seven-spoke 20-inch forged alloy wheels shod in beefy tires.

The SRT-tune adds some bespoke exterior styling features such as the front grille, side sills, rear fascia that incorporates 4-inch round dual exhaust tips, and a boot lid spoiler. Interior goodies include a new leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel, real carbon fiber trim pieces, sport seats and unique instruments.

The new 2012 300 SRT8 will reach Chrysler showrooms in the third quarter of the year.

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