The Hellcat Engine Would Take The Chrysler 300 From Lukewarm To Piping Hot

Few engines have character anymore, as automakers are looking for ways to improve fuel efficiency and provide drivers with a more refined experience. Dodge, though, isn’t like other (mainstream) automakers and still has an eye on performance. It’s time that Dodge shared the love across the entire FCA family.

The Hellcat engine is one of the best motors on sale today. The 6.2-liter supercharged engine, as we all know by now, cranks out 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough grunt to make the land yacht of the Challenger a real competitor against high-performance machines. The engine also plays the role of a miracle worker in the Charger, turning the sedan from a pedestrian vehicle to a deranged daily.

Interestingly, Dodge has decided to start giving its engines to others under the FCA umbrella, mainly Jeep with the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. In a world that’s starting to get crowded with high-performance SUVs, Jeep has managed to stick out with its 707-hp brute. The engine clearly has the Midas touch, turning anything, regardless of how heavy, boring, or mundane it may be, into a tire-roasting monster.

2018 Chrysler 300S

Dodge should spread the Hellcat love

Now, reports claim that Dodge will even stuff the glorious Hellcat engine into the Ram Rebel, essentially creating a road-ready version of the Rebel TRX Concept we saw at the end of 2016. I’ve been begging Ram and FCA to put the motor into a Ram pickup for awhile, and hearing that it’s actually in the works is thrilling. If it’s like any other machine with a Hellcat engine, it’ll be a riot.

It’s good to see Dodge letting others use its engines, but I think it’s time to continue to spread the love – especially to Chrysler. Have you looked over the automaker’s lineup recently? It’s disturbingly small. Ever since Chrysler pulled the plug on the 200, which was an awful car that was plagued with numerous problems, the brand’s lineup has dwindled down to just three offerings – the 300, Pacifica, and Pacifica Hybrid.

The Pacifica is the star of the show, as it’s one of the better offerings in the once loved minivan segment. While I’m all for the Hellcat everything lifestyle, even I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to put a supercharged V8 engine into a minivan – it would be badass, though.

2018 Chrysler 300S

The Chrysler 300 could use some extra love

What I’m proposing is for Dodge to hand its wonderful motor over to Chrysler, which would then shove it into the front of the 300. I may be in the minority here, but I’m not a fan of the 300. I don’t think it looks every good, I don’t like the interior, and I’m not a fan of how the brand is just letting it age. The only thing the 300 has going for it, is its performance and Chrysler should capitalize on that.

The 300 is second in line to the Charger or Challenger when it comes to being the most-seen car in Michigan. They’re everywhere, but they don’t really do anything besides sit there and look odd. People ragged on the Chevrolet SS for its timid looks, but I think Chevy’s offering was so much more potent than the 300. When I think of the 300, I think of a lukewarm cup of coffee or tea. And no one likes lukewarm anything.

Chrysler does offer the 300 with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which puts out a respectable 363 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, but just imagine what it would be like if it had 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Chrysler could also do something with the sedan’s looks, giving it larger fenders, a more aggressive front end, and a nice pair of massive exhaust outlets at the back. Then, the vehicle would actually be worthy of being Walter White’s car in “Breaking Bad.”

2018 Chrysler 300S

At the moment, the 300 is kind of in lala land. It appeals to those that have a diehard need to go with something that has an American badge, but it’s not really attractive to anyone else. A supercharged V8 engine and some new styling cues would change that.

Instead of letting Chrysler stick around like your neighbor’s poor 15-year-old dog that can’t walk and has glaucoma, FCA should either put the brand down for good or inject some life into it. The Hellcat engine has enough juice to not only bring the 300 back to life, but the brand as a whole, as well.

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  • TrevP

    I hope a new 300C is in the works…this is not aging well

    • brn

      Considering how long it’s been around, it’s aging pretty darned good. But yes, it needs a revamp.

    • Agreed that it needs a replacement (Yes FCA, REPLACEMENT). But I had to say the car looks still good to me.

    • Bash

      Actually Its aging pretty good imo, yes it can use some update and refresh, and certainly a new model is a must, but it still looks good.

    • Harry_Wild

      I think the 300 is over 13 years with the same chassis and interior. It is off of a Mercedes architecture when it owned Chrysler.

  • LWOAP

    I’ve felt the same way for awhile now. Shove that thing into the Chrysler 300. It needs something because it has gotten stale. Although, it may end up competing with the Charger Hellcat which I’m certain Dodge might not be too thrilled about.

    • But given the fact that 300 were supposed to be “luxury” rather than “sporty” of Dodge, I think there is a market for luxury saloon (who am I kidding, imagine this thing showed up against excellent E63, M5, RS6 or even CTS-V?)

      • Status

        There is a market for luxury saloons, but it’s contracting every day.

        Years ago, DaimlerChrysler positioned Chrysler beneath Mercedes. The general public didn’t really care or notice as for decades Detroit was always selling it’s luxury cars as a cut-rate shortcut in contrast to the ‘overpriced’ German and Japanese offerings which were better engineered and held onto their values better. DaimlerChrysler didn’t see any risk to Mercedes in the US, so with the introduction of the 300C, Chrysler got the bump it needed to be relevant again.

        But there was no effort in management to push beyond the cut-rate stigma. DaimlerChrysler just rode it out over years instead of offering exclusive and unique features not shared with Dodge and it’s Charger. Instead of slowly charging more over time and building clout, they simply choose to keep the plants humming and to put out as many units as they could.

        When FCA took over, they has a ancient platform and no ability to push the car upmarket.

        Right now, a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat can be configured to $77K USD, but the most expensive configuration of a Chrysler 300C can barely break $45K USD. If Chrysler could command $32K more for it’s products 20 years ago, I doubt Chrysler would be as crippled and overshadowed by Dodge as it is now.

        If then, perhaps the 300C would have had even a modest shot at the performance saloons you mentioned.

        • But would it refine enough? Or the car would only appeal mostly stateside or in middle east. It’s kinda hard to think for 300C Hellcat to compete with.

          • Status

            Refined enough? 20 years ago it *might* have tried to weasel its way into some market, but that probably would have been their best chance to do so.

            Today, they haven’t got a chance. Not in the US or abroad.

          • Even in the US? I thought they still had that ace card. Or Middle East.

  • Merc1

    This is still desirable car, but it needs a redesign asap. The SRT version would have been nice when the last facelift was done. A Hellcat version that is more refined and luxurious than the Charger Hellcat would be just the ticket. I read elsewhere that the new one is already designed and ready for production but FCA can’t see spending what little money they have on a sedan when sedans are dying, especially this segment. Still though there is nothing like this from the Ford or GM.

    M

  • kachuks

    I still cannot understand why they stopped making the 300 SRT.

    • Merc1

      Must have been slow sales, but it was the best variant IMO.

      M

    • Jay

      They didn’t necessarily stop making it, they just stopped selling them in the states.

    • 300 SRT sales in US is dropping and they decide to cancel it, but it’s still available in Middle East.

      • It’s available in Australia too!

  • Adilos Nave

    I don’t care if they put a 2,000 hp engine in the 300, Chrysler is a dead brand. How many do they even expect to sell? 150 of them? They are spending all this R&D money on these small, pet projects that don’t scale in the slightest. Sure, the Demon and all the Hellcat models are cool to us auto-enthusiasts but we are merely a small subset of the market so catering to us is silly when you have far bigger fish to fry. You know, like staying in business and actually making competitive products that sophisticated buyers will put their money towards.

    • Merc1

      All true. It won’t go on forever. At some point Jeep and Ram will be bought/sold off and Chrysler/Dodge will be done. FCA has no small or mid size cars to sell outside of Alfa and that leaves them dangerously exposed if gas prices spike again.

      M

    • Nick099

      Really?
      All sedans will end up being “niche” vehicles. FCA has kept the Dodge twins alive and relevant…and selling… with HP and options. “Sophisticated”??? Please, I own a 470 HP 300 SRT ( and that is an understatement) with an active suspension, Brembo’s, lowered and tuned suspension and trans, model specific trim, and a loaded interior.
      No turbos, no special maintenance, no “extra special” service that costs an arm and a leg. Nope. Change the oil and drive. The car is rated at 0-60 in 4.3 to 4.4 sec with a quarter mile time 12.9 to 13.0….all in a large 4 dr sedan. And all of this had a cost when new of $48k. Heck, my 2006 Corvette did the quarter in 12.8.

      I would submit the SRT vehicles did not cost a lot of money on R&D. The Dodge twins and the 300 are the same chassis. What is known for one is known for the other. The Jeep SRT is not only selling, but has held its value over time. Try and find a low mileage 2012 Jeep SRT ;for under 30k….it doesn’t exist.

      As far as Chrysler is a “dead” brand. That’s a little over exaggerated. FCA is doing well with their US operations but they are bleeding cash on their factories in Socialist Italy and Chrysler is paying the price. But I digress.

      The big focus by manufacturers is trucks and SUV’s. That’s it. That is what people are buying, So that is what they are going to make.

      • Vivek

        Ah, the good old “socialist” catch-all! You might want to learn that both wages and total comp in Italy for auto workers are less than that in the United States. It might also interest you to learn that the automobile industry in the UK is slowly dying- except for the luxury end of the market-, as opposed to “socialist” Germany which has a total comp for auto workers almost 50% higher than in the UK and has a thriving automobile manufacturing industry. The old “overpaid, underworked, entitled blue-collar worker” chestnut as the source of all financial woes simply doesn’t work anymore.

        And a bit of additional fyi: India has an average automobile worker hourly rate of just over $1. Or, to put it another way, the Indian auto worker earns less in a month than what a US or Canadian auto worker is paid in a day. It should be a thriving Mecca for global auto production, shouldn’t it? And yet, comparing apples to apples, the average car produced in India isn’t substantially cheaper than similar cars produced in China, where wages are five times higher, or in South Korea, where wages are more than ten times higher.

        There are nuances to cost and profitability in different regions that simply cannot be glossed over by beating up on production workers or misusing the “socialist” tag.

  • MarketAndChurch

    The only thing that can save this car is a stronger Chrysler portfolio. That money would be better spent on hybrid crossovers.

  • Jason Miller

    I think it still looks nice, just getting a bit old.

  • Auto

    What about a Pacifica Hellcat? That would be an amazing sleeper. A Pacifica with a hellcat engine and a modified chassis to handle the huge engine, with maybe one hellcat badge on the side. The ultimate fresh out of the factory sleeper.

  • IT CAN’T HURT. NOT THAT LONG AGO THE 300 WAS GETTING A LOT OF PRESS AND ACCOLADES THEN CHRYSLER LET IT FADE AWAY.

  • Honda NSX-R

    Crazy how Chrysler only has the 300 and Pacific in their lineup now

    • LWOAP

      Perfect for a two car garage.

  • Six Thousand Times

    …and would easily add hundreds of sales.

  • brn

    Don’t overdo the hellcat. If they do decide to do another, it shouldn’t be one more hellcat sedan. For the 300, the SRT is plenty.

    Now a hellcat Jeep would be amazing. Oh wait, they did that.

  • Which I doubt it since FCA didn’t offer 300 SRT anymore in the states, and given 300 were based on old Mercedes E Class, I wonder how much can you stretch this platform with Hellcat (Oh wait they did…)

  • Retired Early 53

    The 300 looks great ! It looks better than any other large car out , in it’s class ! As far as design, remember the VW beetle that shape lasted over 65 years or more, and that car was ugly , and not safe to drive in! What Chrysler should do to the 300 , is make a Two door version ! Offer , a few more engine choices, and maybe advertise more . You never see many TV commercials for this car ! Don’t play up the car as a GHETTO or Hoodlum ! Show the comfort angle , since that is exactly what that car feels like driving it !

    • Status

      The Beetle was an inexpensive mass-market car, whereas the 300 is being pitched as a budget luxury car. The Beetle could afford to stretch out it’s design for decades because it wasn’t trying to be a luxury product. The 300 IS trying to be a luxury product, but it’s doing it wrong by under-pricing itself in the market, and under-pricing itself beneath Dodge.

      It’s nih-impossible for Chrysler to divest itself from the “GHETTO or Hoodlum” image if Chrysler can’t can’t charge more for it’s cars, and it can’t charge more for it’s cars if the platforms are old, and it also can’t charge more for it’s cars if the public thinks “No Chrysler is worth more than $45K”….and that’s exactly where the most expensive 300 tops out at.

      Chrysler is fucked, and a 2-door model of the 300 will not do shit.

  • Ed Ward

    Instead of calling it a hellcat, call it the imperial complete with the imperial badge, full width taillights and a super luxurious interior with AWD.

    • Craig

      I couldn’t agree more. But as you can see – even ‘car guys’ [like those on this site] are sorry lacking any imagination.

  • Charger Demon? Yikes, I can’t think of reason on why that car should exist…

    Also Valiant homage is probably only recognized in Australia or South Africa.

  • Jcs4420

    Moderator….I have now verified my email address. First time commenting. Do I need to edit or is my post fine as is?

  • Jcs4420

    Many seem to have forgotten the first gen 300 SRT8 with the 6.1 hemi/NAG1 5G-Tronic trans combo. I own a 2007 300 SRT8 which I purchased virtually new (1800 miles). Having never been a Mopar fan I must admit to my shock regarding the following revelation. It is by far the finest, best built car of the 26 enthusiast vehicles that I have owned since 1977. Absolutely zero issues. Not one. Very fun to drive yet supremely comfortable. Under rated 425 horsepower, 420 lb.ft. of torque has offered me consistent sub 5 sec 0 to 60 and 12.9 quarter miles at 112.6 mph with no drama. Quite impressive at the time, even still so. Incredible binders before they were even a “thing”. Road holding considerably better than anything this size, weight, and comfort level should possess. These cars also offer the two most important things for any automobile enthusiast; after every drive when walking away you glance back admiringly, and if anything were to happen to it I would purchase another without even a second thought. FCA would be wise to offer the 300 SRT8 to the American market again, even if only in limited numbers. The Hellcat engine as the author suggests https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3cba95053c834fa88f6ac7149fea16cf5d513a5b3811fccd7e4d82237e9aa3a0.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7c920cc97f522d1a03f60ed79873845654e3c881d2420c3622833b9eede4c713.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c789be96f50941e3c42533c0e6b6726e7a363cf31534899f65148310a3c7c921.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/78e73f8c766cc4c75404202104d452cd8bdcc04022663ca194f6dea3686dd5bd.jpg would most definitely be the icing on the cake. Pics of “Spartacus” attached.

  • Craig

    NO! Fancy it up a bit and call it the IMPERIAL. No 300 will EVER be considered a competitor for ANY Cadillac or Lincoln. But an IMPERIAL would. Can you imagine? A 200 mph – 707 hp – Chrysler Imperial. A true Chrysler FLAGSHIP. A Hellcat powered 300 would do NOTHING for the Chrysler brand. And suddenly it would be THREE. Pacifica. 300. Imperial.

    • Status

      And for a hypothetical Imperial to be considered a real competitor for any Cadillac or Lincoln, it needs to be priced $35K-$40K under them, right?

      • Craig

        No jackass.

        • Status

          Right now in the world of FCA, Dodge can command more money than the best Chrysler. How on earth would the name ‘Imperial’, a name that has been dead for decades and is virtually unknown to anyone under the age of 60, unseat Dodge as the premier brand of FCA’s North American operations?

          • Craig

            Why do you insist on responding to my comments? I don’t give a damn what you think.

          • Status

            Because I’ve seen your criminal record.

            Anyway, why would you think Imperial would have a chance in today’s luxury market with underpriced offerings instead of exclusive and high-end products?

  • Status

    FCA won’t bring the 300C SRT. Dodge can already command $77K USD for a Charger Hellcat. Chrysler can’t command much more than $45K USD for its 300.

    What you want to do is convince the public that a Chrysler can command $77K USD for a car, but it won’t happen if the bulk of the American buying public thinks luxury is a value proposition.

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