As the big Chrysler 300 sedan, with its big square badge, nears the end of its 18-year production run, the brand unveiled a special edition model in Detroit last Tuesday night. That model, the Chrysler 300C, comes with a 485-horsepower V8, but it could have made more power than a supercharged engine.
The only problem: All the supercharged V8s made by Stellantis, Chrysler’s parent company, are already being used in other cars.
However, the Chysler 300C sold out early Wednesday morning. All 2,000 cars allocated 200 for the United States and Canada were quickly booked.
This special edition will be the most powerful 300 offered by a wide margin. The next most powerful version available for purchase is the 300S, with its 363-horsepower 5.7-liter V8. But Stellantis produces much more powerful versions of the same engine and they could have been used in the 300, spokesman David Elshoff said. But there simply weren’t enough V8 monsters to go around, not with Chrysler, like much of the automotive world, converting to electric propulsion in the following years.
Chrysler has announced that Stellantis will be the first US brand to sell only electric vehicles, something it aims to achieve by 2028. Dodge, another Stellantis brand, has not announced when it will become an all-electric brand. Tim Kuniskis, head of the Dodge brand, insisted that he does not have a specific year in mind.
Supercharged versions of the famous Hemi V8 producing 717 and 797 horsepower are offered in the Dodge Charger, a car that looks different from the outside but is almost identical to the Chrysler 300 in terms of structure and engineering. Those engines would certainly fit in the 300’s wide engine bay.
Engines for both cars are produced at the same plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. While the Dodge Charger is marketed as a “four-door muscle car” — a more practical version of the closely related Dodge Challenger coupe — the Chrysler 300, in its Bentley guise, is marketed as something akin to a luxury sedan.
The same 5.7 liter used in the Chrysler 300S is also used in the Dodge Charger R/T. The larger, more powerful 6.2-liter engine used in the limited-edition 300C is used in the sporty Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack, which is not a limited-edition model. The same engines are also found in the Dodge Challenger models and the Dodge Durango SUV.
But the Dodge Charger and the closely related Challenger are offered with those more powerful supercharged engines. Dodge has also announced the offering of the 710-horsepower Dodge Durango Hellcat SUV, which uses a supercharged Hemi engine. Those models are using all the supercharged engines the Mexican factory can make, Elshoff said. Stellantis doesn’t have a breakdown of how many supercharged engines are sold of each model, but by the end of 2023, Stellantis will have sold more than 80,000 of the so-called Hellcat Hemi engines, he said. The Hellcat engine was first introduced in 2015.
But these Hemi V8-powered cars, supercharged or not, are being produced after the 2023 model year. (The Durango’s Hellcat SUV may be in production longer.) Dodge offers its own line of special edition cars to check them out. Dodge recently unveiled a concept version of a planned electric muscle car.