Who doesn't love the Gangsta-esque Chrysler 300C; it's the Vinny Jones of the motoring world.
The SRT version even more so, with its Mafioso bulk riding low on big fat 20" alloys, chunky body kit and luxurious leather and suede interior demanding respect from all passengers and passers by alike. There's something about the 300C that captivates my imagination, it brings out the boy in me. You know as a child when you played dressy-up, or in the case of many of us, threw our mum's heels on and mimed into the hairbrush to Madge or Kylie. Perhaps you played Doctors and Doctors or cowboys and cowboys even. Either way the point I'm attempting to make is that at some point in life, 90% of us have thrown a costume on and had fun pretending to be someone we're not (unless you set up bank accounts in the assumed name, in which case that's not playing pretend its fraud lol). Lets face it, who out there doesn't have a little daydream every now and then, harkening you back to your childhood fantasies. Whether you were a cowboy, a princess, a gangster or even a spy on the run, the 300C has the ability every time you turn the key in the ignition to rekindle playtime.
Every time you walk up to those big 20" alloys, open that big heavy door and then cosset yourself away into that soft leather/ suede interior, every time you start that big beefy 3L diesel engine and hear that fantastic exhaust kick out a deep roar that you're instantly transformed into the head of the mafia, a spy on the run, a pop star, you're no longer just some gay guy going to Waitrose for a pint of milk, your Al Capone on your way to take out a rival gangster.
In a world where we have to be serious and grown up all the time, I love that fact that I've found a car that makes me feel like I'm having fun every time I get in it. The 300C looks like a mob car, it's a huge land yacht (it doesn't fit in normal supermarket spaces without putting up a fight) it has the turning circle of Istanbul, and it looks harder than a drunk drag queen brandishing pool balls in a sock. Interior space is immense, front and rear legroom is designed to cope with fitting in 5 large bodyguard sized men and I managed to fit 3 people in the boot alone, it's that massive! I should at this point make it clear that all 3 bodies I fitted in the body were still very much alive! I also didn't drive anywhere with anyone in the boot, I can see the reader lawsuit now: Judge - you are charged with carrying three people in the boot of a moving saloon vehicle. Top Gayer reader: Rich Tuckwell said it was fine!
Performance wise its great to drive, it handles corners well, yes there's some body roll but nothing that's too worrying, the acceleration from the big 215bhp 3L diesel unit under that gargantuan bonnet is superb with 0-60mhp taking just over 7secs. Not only is it quick, its fairly economical as well returning 42mpg on the motorway, so you wont be killing tree's just by starting it either.
However this is where Startech (Chrysler tuning, styling and body kit design house) has decided you can improve on perfection if you try hard enough.
Enter stage left, carrying a violin case (well a toolbox), the Chrysler Mechanic….In his little box of tricks, Startech's new engine PowerXtra chip, designed with one thing in mind…increasing bhp and power! This wondrous little microchip ups the Chryslers bhp from 215 to 260bhp by reprogramming the 300C's ECU engine management computer, giving lots more poke without effecting fuel economy too much, and there's no change in the emissions into the bargain. Now if you're expecting to suddenly, after getting the engine chipped, be beating Audi R8's off the lights, you'd be massively disappointed lol. What it does to through is give a noticeable improvement in performance from about 3,800 revs. This means if you want to get the most from your chip, you'll be putting the auto box into manual mode so it doesn't change at 3,500 revs. You'll then be able to really work the extra power, and get the maximum benefits for your cash upgrade. The other thing it doesn't do is shave huge amounts off the 0-60 time, we clocked the time at .3 of a second quicker than the standard car. So what's the point I hear you cry…. Overtaking or 'asserting you authority' on the road is the point!! From about 30mph onwards you can feel the extra power, the 300C is far more responsive and there is a genuine increase in general oomph and grunt.
The other truly wicked thing about the Startech's PowerXtra chip is that it can be fitted to any Chrysler with the 3.0L Diesel engine. So if you've got a Grand Cherokee that you think deserves an extra 44bhp and 70nm's of torque, then off to the Chrysler garage you should go!!
Anyways back to the 300C SRT Design…..Its kitted up to the nines and the list of standard equipment is just too long to put in the review, one of the most amazing things about this motor is the price: £32,505 OTR! The Startech PowerXtra chip isn't cheap at £1,104.00 (Inc VAT) and there are still the fitting costs to think about. I would recommend you get the chip fitted by an authorised Chrysler dealer otherwise you will probably invalidate your warranty. Overall you're looking at paying best part of £35,000 for the car, the chip and the fitting of the chip, which is still a bargain, drive it and you'll love it as much as I do.