Spied: 2012 Chrysler 300C

If there was a bright spot during the last, bleak decade of Chrysler’s history, it is the success of the handsome, full-size Chrysler 300 sedan. From the moment it went on sale in 2004, the 300 proved wildly popular with ballers, enthusiasts, businessmen, and family guys alike. Now the time has come for the 2011 Chrysler 300 to relieve its successful predecessor, and we were able to catch one out on an R&D jog as it prepares, reinvigorated, to reenter the full-size-sedan fray.

Still swaddled in cladding, the 300 prototype leaves much yet to the imagination, although everything we can see agrees with the rendering of the 2011 Chrysler 300 we posted back in February of 2009. The car’s thick-waisted proportions haven’t changed much, even as the new grille is canted back much more than before and the lower hoodline leads into a body that rises slightly from nose to tail. No one should be surprised that the gangsta-chopped beltline continues, but the fixed quarter windows in the rear doors are new for 2011. Chrysler has said in the past that one of the goals for the redesign was to address visibility issues, and so this new car has more glass and thinner pillars. Rear fender flares match the bulging front wheel arches that carry over from the current model, and the 300’s designers have cleaned up the tail, which now integrates exhaust finishers. Finally, from certain angles, portions of the lighting elements can be seen; the headlamps contain integrated HID bulbs, while stacked taillamps similar to those of today’s 300 will be lit by LEDs (at least on some models).

The most welcome improvements, however, likely will appear inside the car. Indeed, the weakest aspect of the current 300 is the low-rent interior, and although our images don’t capture the new car’s interior, more recent Chrysler products—the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram being the prime examples—have been blessed with cabins that can handily hold their own within their segments. We have no reason to believe that as Chrysler’s flagship, the 300 won’t boast equally massive improvements in quality and design. (Check out the new Charger’s interior for an idea of the 300’s appointments.) No word yet on the bulk of innovations or interior features for 2011—we do know the car will feature a seven-inch touch screen in the center console—but we expect the environment to remain cushy and conservatively styled, with the most luxe models boasting leather and genuine wood trim, and a wicked SRT model bringing sportier detailing and aggressively bolstered seats.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


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