Chrysler might be waving goodbye to the V8 in the most American way possible.
A visit to Chrysler's website is quite depressing. Once a globally renowned brand, the current range of vehicles consists of the Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid, and the 300. That might change soon, as Chrysler is prepping to make an announcement at the 2022 Detroit Motor Show next week, which might tie in with the recent 300 upgrade for 2023 and a teaser image stating that the American brand will "bring the power" in 2023.
We thought the 300 was living on borrowed time, but Chrysler believes it still has something to contribute to the world. As far as automotive facelifts go, this one was a basic botox injection: nothing too serious and more of a reminder that it still exists. One line in the press release caught our attention, however. Chrysler promises a special edition that would be announced later in the year.
A day after the 300's facelift announcement, Chrysler sent out another memo stating it will host a press conference at the Detroit Motor Show. The brand is currently owned by Stellantis, which has gone from zero to hero in the space of a month. It's slowly working through all the brands it owns, announcing changes to current models and what it has in store for the future.
Dodge was the first to receive the treatment, and Jeep is next in line. All signs point to Chrysler doing the same at the Detroit Motor Show, trying to steal some of the upcoming Ford Mustang's thunder.
We know Stellantis is investing heavily in EVs, but Chrysler has been lagging in that department. The only Chrysler EV we've seen is the Airflow Concept, which is nowhere near production-ready. As we understand, the Airflow will be introduced in late 2024 as a 2025 model, so what is Chrysler on about? What power does it intend to bring?
If you study the Stellantis pattern closely, you'll notice that its embraces electrification while giving ICE a proper sendoff. The last call for Dodge gas burners has been made, and special editions like the Charger Super Bee and Challenger Shakedown have been announced.
Will Chrysler do the same for the 300? All signs point to a yes, especially since everyone stopped caring about the 300 after the SRT trim was dropped from the range.
Both special edition Dodges mentioned above use the same 6.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 used in the now defunct 300 SRT. Not much has changed since the SRT was ditched, and the engine still produces the same 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. There's no reason why Chrysler can't bring the SRT back as a special edition model, limited to 1,000 models. It's precisely what Dodge is doing.
The SRT was dropped due to a lack of interest, so why even bother? It's part nostalgia, part basic economics. Dealers were inundated with inquiries after Dodge announced the final call for V8 models. Most of the population can't imagine a world without V8 muscle cars, so demand is at an all-time high.
The SRT didn't sell because it was expensive for what it was, and there were several better cars available for the money. It was easy to dismiss back then, but not so easy now, especially knowing that it would be the last of its kind. Not just the last 300 with a 6.4 V8 but the last Chrysler ever with a V8 engine.