In early 2022, Chrysler announced the company will become an all-electric vehicle brand by 2028, with the first battery-electric vehicle planned for 2025. That means there’s no place in the lineup for the iconic 300 (at least in its current iteration) — a model Chrysler premiered in 1955. To say a proper goodbye to the 300, the company will be building a limited edition, high-performance 2023 Chrysler 300C — the last fully fossil-fueled Chrysler 300.
Celebrating a Legacy
“We’re celebrating the Chrysler 300 and it’s iconic legacy in the automotive world,” said Chris Feuell, Chrysler brand chief executive officer. “The Chrysler 300 changed the automotive world in so many ways, and we will carry that spirit of ingenuity forward as we transform Chrysler with a fully electrified future and breakthrough customer experiences,” Feuell enthused.
Where It All Started
When the Chrysler 300 debuted in 1955, it was named for its 5.4-liter HEMI “Firepower” V8 engine that produced 300 horsepower. But the following year the horsepower went up, and instead of renaming the car, marketing gurus gave it a letter — the 300B. For the following 10 years, every new model year got a different letter (eventually getting to 300L), which is why these were called the “letter series.”
As the market changed over the years, so did the car, but the 300C was always the most powerful in the series, boasting a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 producing as much as 390 horsepower. The 1957 Chrysler 300C could reach 60 mph in 8 seconds — quick for the time — and top speed exceeded 145 mph. With a low center of gravity, special suspension and a front torsion bar, the 300 was one of the best-handling vehicles of its time.
Still a 6.4-liter HEMI
Fast forward about 65 years and Chrysler brings back the high-performance 300C one more time, and it will also feature a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine under the hood. But clearly technology has made a few advancements since 1957: this 6.4-liter HEMI generates 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful production Chrysler 300 — ever.
All that power in the 2023 Chrysler 300C gets sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed TorqueFlite transmission designed to optimize fuel economy while delivering quick shifts for maximum performance. This big rear-wheel-drive sedan will reach 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and cover a quarter mile in 12.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 160 mph.
Designed for Performance
Like the original 300C, this modern-day 2023 300C does more than go fast in a straight line. In addition to the powerful V8, the 300C gets a 3.09 limited-slip differential, active damping suspension, Brembo brakes with 4-piston calipers in red, and an active exhaust system. Granted, the car’s chassis is old by automotive standards — introduced in 2005 — although it has aged gracefully and should still be a good driver to the bitter end.
Looking the Part
This special 2023 Chrysler 300C is trimmed in black chrome, including the grille and lower fascia. Headlight and taillight bezels are black, as are large dual exhaust ports, giving the big sedan a sinister look. A special tricolor 300C badge gets affixed to the grille, and 20-inch forged alloy wheels compete the look. The 300C will be available in three colors: Gloss Black, Velvet Red and Bright White.
The 2023 Chrysler 300C gets a unique interior, fitted with heated and cooled black Laguna leather front seats. The seats are accented with silver stitching and embossed with a new 300C logo. The contrasting stitching gets carried through to the door trim and dashboard, with other trim in carbon fiber and piano black.
Considerably more advanced that its namesake, the 2023 Chrysler 300C receives the latest 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A 19-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system provides entertainment — if drivers ever tire of hearing that throaty V8 exhaust note. Chrysler also equips the 300C with advanced safety features including advanced brake assist, lane departure warning and full-speed collision warning.
Only 2,000 copies of the 2023 Chrysler 300C will be offered (200 more will be sold in Canada) with a base price of $55,000, and production will end following the 2023 model year. Those interested in ordering one of these limited-edition models can do so now at reservation.chrysler.com.