If reports out of Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s dealer conference in Las Vegas are to be believed, the Dodge lineup may be receiving a rear-wheel-drive coupe smaller than the Challenger and wearing the dormant Barracuda nameplate. “But wait!”, Mopar enthusiasts may cry, “The Barracuda was a Plymouth, not a Dodge! This makes no sense!” Well, I guess you can’t keep a good nameplate down and any publicity is good publicity: it certainly didn’t hurt Dodge sales to put the Charger nameplate on a sedan. And, of course, any new performance models in the Dodge lineup is cause for celebration. The downside is FCA isn’t manufacturing a lot of Dodges in right-hand-drive, and sadly Australia is stuck with that format. Accordingly, our only Dodge is the competitive but not terribly exciting Journey. Rumors abound that the Challenger and Charger will arrive here but in the meantime the Chrysler and Jeep brands must fly the performance flag. That was probably the reason for this dealer-special 300 I spotted.
Yes, this is a 300 bearing Super Bee insignia. It’s not an official option or trim level, and yet I spotted it at a FCA dealership in Brisbane. While I love Mopar performance models and I love the Chrysler 300, this just doesn’t look right.
The 300 SRT-8 may have a fiery Hemi under the hood, but its exterior is simultaneously muscular yet tasteful. But combining the 300’s formal lines with an impact color like this just calls to mind the 1975 Plymouth Roadrunner.
Interestingly, as the Chrysler division is being repositioned as FCA’s mainstream brand (as opposed to whatever it is now), the SRT-8 model will depart the American lineup. It lives on in Australia, though: one in every three Chrysler 300 sedans sold in Australia is an SRT-8, and with Ford and Holden withdrawing from the V8 performance sedan market, FCA has the opportunity to dominate the segment. The new SRT-8 receives an eight-speed automatic transmission mated to the legendary 6.4 Hemi V8 with 470 hp and 470 ft-lbs. Excellent…