When Chrysler unveiled a performance-focused version of the Chrysler 300, people were shocked that the auto maker was bold enough to mix its full-size luxury sedan with the incredible performance work done by SRT. It's no surprise that the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, and even the Jeep Grand Cherokee got the SRT treatment, but the 300 was a different story.
Because the Chrysler 300 isn't like its sister car, the Dodge Charger, it was known for being a refined and tamed beast that provides enough performance to stay competitive, but one that focuses mostly on the luxury experience. The SRT8 version of the 300, however, was not tame. Still refined, but unleashed for raw performance like no other full-size luxury sedan on the market.
In production from 2012 through 2014, the second generation Chrysler 300 SRT8 is currently on hiatus. Rumor has it that it will be making a comeback in 2016, but Dodge has exclusive rights to the SRT nameplate now so we're unsure if that's actually going to happen. If it doesn't happen, the SRT8 will most certainly end up being a future classic, given its uniqueness and short run.
This means if you have the opportunity to buy one, do it. And if that wasn't enough to convince you, here are five great reasons to buy a used Chrysler 300 SRT8:
There's no shortage of luxury sedans that perform really, really well. The only problem is, they cost an arm and a leg, yet always seem to be missing the spirit a true performance car. So owners do get the status, comfort, and convenience that comes with owning a luxury car, but have to sacrifice horsepower and torque as a result. Those who are able to get both tend to be spending $100,000 or more on an exotic luxury car, which tends to be completely out of reach for the average car buyer.
The latest version of the Chrysler 300 SRT8, on the other hand, doesn't sacrifice power to bring you luxury comfort and convenience. Its 6.4-liter 392 HEMI V8 is the same used in the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger SRT models, as well as the RAM 2500 and 3500 trucks, making it what many describe as a luxury muscle car.
Putting out 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, the 300 SRT8 is a raw machine under the hood, capable of going from 0-60 mph is 4.3 seconds. (An upgrade from the 6.1-liter HEMI V8 used in the first generation of the car. It only managed to produce 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, which gave it a respectable 4.9-second 0-60 mph time.)
Because the Chrysler 300 is based on the Dodge Charger, they're both mechanically the same. This means you get the same performance as one of the most respected performance cars on the market, yet in a more refined and luxurious packages.
This makes the Chrysler 300 a great alternative for buyers who might see the Charger as more of a intimidating car. The 300 simply has more class, even with the noticeable styling changes made to the SRT8 model. It's the car that gets just as much respect from enthusiasts as it does businesspeople.
While it's likely to come back in some way, shape, or form, the 300 SRT8 (or just SRT) was discontinued after the 2014 model year. SRT as a brand is now completely dedicated to building Dodge up as the performance arm of the Fiat-Chrysler empire, leaving the 300 SRT and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT out in the cold. The Jeep SRT is likely to be renamed for the 2016 model year, but news of the 300 SRT's future is only speculation at this point.
Because it's out of production, the 300 SRT, which was already a rare find, is a much more coveted car than it was in years past. If you can manage to get your hands on one, be sure to keep it in show-worthy condition, as it's likely to be a future classic.
Well obviously, right? It's the name! But being an SRT-branded car instantly gives the Chrysler 300 credibility among performance car enthusiasts and really increases its overall value.
When you're talking about the brand that's now known for revolutionizing the Viper, creating the most powerful muscle car (2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat) and the most powerful production sedan ever (2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat), the name means a lot.
While finding official sales numbers for the just the 300 SRT8 is nearly impossible, we do know that locating one at your local dealership is going to be much more difficult than finding one of the many other trim levels of the Chrysler 300.
According to Autotrader results as of late June 2015, there are only 103 unique second generation Chrysler 300 models for sale. And that's counting both new and used inventory, as there are still a few new 2014 models are sitting unsold on dealer lots.
While this doesn't necessarily mean there are only 103 for sale across the entire country, Autotrader does give you an idea of its availability in both the dealership market and the private market. When you include all model years of the 300 SRT8 (2006-2014), only 280 total appear on the classified site. Compared to the 12,500 total Chrysler 300 models (excluding the SRT8), it's pretty clear that the performance-focused luxury sedan is an extremely rare find.
Overall, we hope the Chrysler 300 SRT sees new life in 2016 or a future model year, as its bold mixture of raw V8 performance and luxury is a rare find in today's world of fuel efficient crossovers and hybrids. It's a throwback that needs to be kept alive to continue innovation for the car enthusiasts of tomorrow.