In 1955, when the Chrysler 300 was first introduced to the American public, the nation’s population was 151,684,000, the average annual salary was $2,992, and the cost for a loaf of bread was $0.14. Times sure have changed. DaimlerChrysler has built the 2006 Chrysler 300 to meet the challenge of a modern America. The new car, which was launched in 2005 – has a bold new look, sumptuous leather interior, refined handling, four choices for engines, and shares many components including the chassis with the Mercedes-Benz E Class. But the MSRP of $23,525 to $39,920 suggests the company has kept pace with the vision of the Company founder Walter P. Chrysler to build mid-size cars that were technologically advanced and priced adequately to meet the needs of the American people.
On May 8, 1998 when Daimler-Benz merged with Chrysler, resulted in the co-development of the company’s new car, the Chrysler 300. The car features engineering from both companies. Its large headlights, full front grill, and a boxy cut complements its bodacious exterior making the car resemble the more expensive Bentley Continental coupe. Step inside the cabin and you’ll be surprised with the amount of space. The full size cabin is comfortable, as legibly put together. Look around, and you’ll see large, clear dials that have a retro appeal, yet are easy to read. Turn on the engine and listen to the Hemi® growl, engage the gear, and the 2006 Chrysler 300 is ready to rock.
At the heart of the 2006 Chrysler 300 is the re-engineered Hemi® engine that gained infamy by winning Le Mans in the original 1955 Chrysler 300. For 2006, the Chrysler 300 gives you choice of the 2.7 -liter V6 engine tweaked with 200 horsepower, the 3.5-liter 250 horsepower; the 5.7-liter V8 Hemi® with 340 horsepower, and the top of the range SRT-8 with 6.1-liter Hemi® with 425 horsepower (torque of 420 feet/pound at 6,000 rpm) that can go from 0 – 60 mph in the low 5 seconds. Fuel efficiency ranges from 21 mpg city, to 28 mpg in the highway but also depends on how you drive.
The handling of the 2006 Chrysler 300 mimics that of the Mercedes Benz E-Class. The rear wheel drive car shares the same suspension with the Mercedes E-Class, and the 50:50 weight distribution helps deliver a smooth, supple ride with enhanced cornering capabilities. The 120-inch wheelbase provides greater stability. Moreover, there are subtle differences depending on which trim you choose. For example, the ride in the Touring trim is supple and controlled, while the 300C with the more powerful Hemi® is stiff. But the more you drive it, the more familiar you’ll get with its agile feel and responsive handling.
Safety is also a vital component of the design in all DaimlerChrysler automobiles. The 2006 Chrysler 300 has attained the five star front-impact crash test rating (the highest government safety standard for evaluating vehicle management of crash energy). All 300 models use steel Unibody™ safety cage construction and standard multi-stage airbags with Occupant Classification System® that evaluates forces to determine which bags should be inflated, when and how fully. Front and rear side-curtain airbags are available as options, and we strongly urge you to get these to complement the vehicle’s otherwise exceptional safety reputation.
On January 5, 1924, the same year Lee Iacocca was born, the first Chrysler car model was launched. It was called the Chrysler Six; it was a statement that enshrined Walter P. Chrysler’s philosophy of beating Henry Ford at the automotive game by building technologically advanced cars. For its time, the Chrysler Six was way ahead of the curve offering the industry’s first high-compression engine with aluminum pistons, detachable cylinder heads, vacuum fuel feed and uniquely expressive design. The Chrysler Six served as inspiration for the original 1955 Chrysler 300, which in-turn inspired the current Chrysler 300. What would make these cars better would be the availability of a Hybrid engine, and word has it DaimlerChrysler, BMW, and Ford and jointly developing one which should be ready for the market in 2009. The passage of time is glorious indeed.