By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com
For 2014 the new Chrysler 300S model features a monochromatic look with specially appointed body color door handles and fascia inserts. New Gloss Black belt molding, daylight opening surrounds and tail lamp bezels are paired with Gloss Black headlamp bezels for a toughened look. A new Black Chrome grille surround features sculpted horizontal grille blades in the same unique finish, while front and rear Chrysler wing badges in Liquid Chrome with black Chrysler center logo exude an industrial appearance.
Emphasizing the Chrysler 300S model’s iconic silhouette is the availability of a Gloss Black painted roof. A new 20-inch wheel design features a sculptural appearance and Hyper Black finish that hints at this flagship’s world class ride and handling capabilities. For a serious look, new Dark Ceramic Gray clear coat joins the exterior color pallet.
The interior continues the athletic-luxury theme with 12-way power driver and passenger sport seats, featuring black or all new Ambassador Blue Nappa leather with silver accent stitching. For added detail, the center console armrest and door armrests are color matched to the seats and feature French seamed stitching in silver. Exclusive use of Piano Black on interior center stack, instrument panel, steering wheel, gauge cluster and door panel elements provide a uniquely lacquered and highly detailed appearance. This enthusiast-designed interior also features matte carbon hydrographic accents and die cast steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.
In addition the Uconnect 8.4 system with the segment’s largest touchscreen is at the center of the new interior. Included in this Chrysler flagship sedan is the segment exclusive, Beats by Dr. Dre. Audio system, with 10-speakers and a 12 channel amplifier that integrates the heart of the Beats proprietary equalizer algorithm. Beats by Dr. Dre founders, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, worked side by side with the engineering team at Chrysler to design and tune this Chrysler 300 to deliver the high definition sound required in professional recording studios.
Under the hood the Chrysler 300S is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with a cold air induction system and sport tuned exhaust system enabling the aluminum mill to produce 300 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque. For even more driving performance, this 300 model includes the segment exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission with sport mode to fully optimize the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and shifting speed of the transmission. Completing the package are 20-inch all-season performance tires, paired with a touring tuned suspension with 25 percent quicker steering and 20 percent heavier on-center feel than the entry level 300 model.
For customers who seek more performance, the Chrysler 300S rear wheel and all wheel drive models are available with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology, 370 horsepower and driver-selectable sport mode. To maximize the power and torque of this legendary power plant, a firmer performance-tuned suspension and larger performance-disc brake system is exclusive on HEMI-powered rear wheel drive models.
The ZF eight-speed automatic transmission expands the world-class power and fuel efficiency; Quicker shifts are possible on the Chrysler 300S as a result of a sport mode. When the driver chooses to let the transmission shift in sport mode, gear changes are quicker and revs are held higher for even more performance oriented acceleration and higher shift dynamics. For even more control, the driver can also use a pair of die cast, steering-wheel-mounted paddle controls and view gear selection through a full color Electronic Vehicle Information Center in the instrument cluster.
With the aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivering best-in-class city and highway fuel economy (18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway), or the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with 370 horsepower with four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology, the Chrysler 300 with intelligent AWD features a segment-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle-disconnect system to improve real-world fuel economy.
Chrysler 300’s AWD system seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive and AWD with no driver intervention. When AWD is not required, the system automatically disconnects the front axle to maximize fuel economy while still providing the outstanding fun to drive performance and handling inherent in rear wheel drive vehicles.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $33,645.00; the one I drove included the Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof, Uconnect 8.4N CD/DVD/MP3, Garmin Navigation System, 1- Year subscription of SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, and it came in at $37,230.00 including destination charge.