Chrysler's Mopar parts division turns 75 years old this year. To celebrate, the company has begun gifting itself customized products, including the Mopar-ized Chrysler 200 Super S and Dodge Charger Redline that appeared at the Detroit Auto Show. Among the latest birthday presents is this limited-edition Chrysler 300, which has been built up mainly from parts available in the Mopar catalog. The 300C-based sedan will be shown off at the Chicago Auto Show before 500 examples go on sale this summer.
Bruiser Looks and a Bruised Color Combo
This special-edition 300's black-and-blue theme isn't completely new — it will be familiar to fans of the Mopar '10 Dodge Challenger and the Mopar '11 Charger — but this is the first time it and the full Mopar treatment have been applied to a Chrysler. We will say the hematoma-inspired paint scheme looks more at home on the Dodges, however. As befits Chrysler's more luxurious image, the rest of the Mopar 300's visual upgrades were kept subtle and classy. Instead of the bold graphics, spoilers, and hood scoops on the Mopar Dodges, the 300 gets thin "Mopar Blue" stripes along its beltline and down the middle of its scoop-free hood. Black 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, a black grille and front fascia inserts, and black-trimmed headlights complete the darkened treatment. A handful of Mopar badges, including "Mopar 75" pieces on the front fenders, round out the exterior upgrades.
The 300 gets some, uh, internal bruising, as well. The black interior features more blue highlights throughout, including inserts on the leather seats as well as stitching on the chairs, the leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the shift lever. Piano-black trim pieces adorn the steering wheel, instrument panel, and door panels. Finally, there's a serialized plaque and Mopar sill plates to remind occupants of the 300's limited-edition status.
The Mopar 300 also gets a unique suspension tune; the front and rear spring rates are 42 and 23 percent stiffer, respectively, than those on the 300C's sportier Touring suspension setup. There are no underhood modifications — the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 makes the same 363 hp as any run-of-the-mill 300C — but the sedan's straight-line performance should be improved by a higher final-drive ratio. The stock 3.06:1 rear diff was swapped out for a 3.91:1 unit; Mopar claims this drops the 300's 0-to-60 time into the low-five-second range. That represents a sizable improvement over a stock 300C, which made the trip to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds in our testing. To better haul the 300 down from speed, Mopar fitted high-performance brake pads at all four corners. The aforementioned 20-inch wheels are wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires instead of the Firestone Firehawk all-seasons worn by other 300Cs equipped with 20s.
Any 300 owner can replicate this special edition by mining the Mopar catalog, as everything, save for the unique badges, is available separately. Those purchasing one of the 500 limited-edition cars will receive a box of goodies that includes Mopar key fobs and swag, a concept sketch of the 300 signed by the designer, and a certificate with the car's build number and date of manufacture. The Mopar 300 comes with equipment that's optional on lesser 300s, including Chrysler's SafetyTec package, which bundles adaptive HID headlights, adaptive cruise control, collision warning and blind-spot monitoring systems, front and rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
The price for all of this is $49,700, which is more than $10,000 higher than the 2012 300C's base sticker — it even beats out the 300 SRT8 by $705. Given that information, we'd lean toward the more powerful (and, to our eye, better looking) SRT offering. Those who disagree can line up at their Chrysler dealer before summer.