The all-new 1999 Chrysler 300M will try to win some international recognition for the marque.
Forty-four years later, the soul lives on, says the voice on the commercial. Yes, the "letter series" cars of the 1950s are taking up where they left off. The 300M is the latest iteration of Chrysler's sport sedan, a car based on the same platform as the Concorde and LHS.
Of the three sedans, the 300M has the shortest length at 197.8 inches, or just over five meters. Chrysler says that the five-meter length was important from the start, and claims that it can be parked in smaller European garages. Europeans will also get a tighter suspension than the American standard, though the sportier suspension is available as an option. We'd opt for the European suspension, just for the promise of an enhanced driving experience.
In Europe, the standard engine will be a 2.7-liter V6. But Americans need something a little more gutsy. North America will see a single engine choice: the new 3.5-liter aluminum V6 shared with the LHS and Plymouth Prowler. The new engine creates plenty of power for its size: 253 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 255 foot-pounds of torque at 3950 rpm, to be exact. That's more power than you'll find in performance sedans like the BMW M3 and the Ford Taurus SHO.
AutoStick, Chrysler's automatic transmission with manual shift capability, is standard for the 300M. Also standard are leather interior, air conditioning, four-wheel ABS, an Infinity 240-watt sound system, 8-way power seats (heated), and 17-inch wheels.
Says Chrysler chief engineer Bob Rodger, "The 300 idea is the idea of a powerful, nimble, responsive automotive machine." Of course, Rodger made those comments over 40 years ago. Amazing how history sometimes repeats itself.
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