CHRYSLER is readying yet another red-hot version of its 300 sedan, sprung testing in facelifted MY16 left-hand-drive guise near Detroit, ready to be rolled out in the last quarter of this year.
Proving that the rear-drive five-seater muscle car will survive the demise of the Australian vehicle manufacturing closures of 2016 and 2017, the prototype snapped here appears to be in production-ready form, complete with the signature SRT crosshatch grille, LED-enhanced headlights, lower ride height, quad exhausts, and 20-inch alloys (looking very much like a blacked-out version of the limited-edition Satin Vapor released back in February).
The word is that Australian demand for the US-built SRT in its current iteration – which at times has accounted for about a third of all 300 sales – has helped push through the development of the 6.4-litre Hemi V8 flagship, with Chrysler hoping to snare traditional Falcon XR8 and Commodore SS/HSV buyers once they start exiting the market.
Expect a step-up in power and torque above the outgoing SRT’s 347kW and 641Nm, with an eight-speed automatic driving the rear wheels via a Getrag limited slip differential, instead of the old Mercedes-sourced five-speeder.
The MY16 should also usher in improved advanced driver-aid tech such as adaptive cruise control that can draw the car to a complete stop, autonomous emergency braking, a lane departure warning, and lane keep assist, with the range-wide upgrades also expected to include a revamped interior.
Interestingly, the test vehicle is not wearing the Chrysler winged logo front or rear, suggesting that North American versions of the SRT may don Dodge badges instead.
With the local SRT currently ranging from $56,000 (raw and ready Core) to $66,000 (well-equipped SRT8), it is likely that the facelift will not stray too far from the present pricing structure.
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