Full disclosure: Roman Mica (TFLcar.com’s Capo) and I have different opinions on the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8. He finds it too soft and not very comfortable, while I like its comfy ride and my big ass craves those seats. We both agree, there’s too much road noise from those massive 20 inch wheels and tires.
These were preproduction models, so there may be more sound deadening material for the production models.
For me, the Chrysler 300 SRT8 ticked most of the right boxes.
• Externally, it’s brash, while maintaining some semblance of decorum. It looks even more menacing than before with the LED headlight additions and I like the functional spoiler. It sits very low, but not obnoxiously so.
• It’s comfortable inside while demonstrating some profundity of upscale refinement. The front cup-holders are heated AND cooled. That’s a homerun with me. My big tushie was very comfortable in the semi-sport seats.
• The 470 horsepower 6.4 liter HEMI V8 doles out 470 lbs-feet of torque, it’s a beastly engine. Still, with cylinder deactivation, the mpg improvement is up to 25% over the old one. I got 22 mpg on the highway – and I have a heavy right foot.
• The 900 watt, 19 speaker Harmon Kardon sound system sounded amazing when playing anything from Bach to BB King or Wagner to Van Halen.
• Adaptive dampening system (ADS) comes standard and it can tighten the smooth suspension to a sport car-like stiffness with a click of a button. It is simpler tech than General Motors’ magnetic suspension – but it works nearly as well.
There are a few things that have the TFLCar.com staff scratching their collective heads.
• Enough with the 5-speed automatic transmission already. We all know there’s an 8-speed automatic that will lift everything from performance to mpgs. At least the old 5-speed auto shifts better and has handy-dandy paddle shifters that truly hold the gears when called upon.
• Some feel the headlights are cheap rip-offs of the Audi design. I’m warming up to the look.
• With a price starting around $48,000 – and easily going into the mid to high 50K mark, it’s creeping in on the Cadillac CTS-V territory (low 60K) and the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 cannot compete with the CTS-V’s performance.
So, there is a little room for improvement.
The thing is, Chrysler Group LLC brought us out to Hollywood to play with all of their 2012 SRT8 vehicles in a very short time-span. I’m under the impression that if we had more time to drive the 300 SRT8 well after or well before the other models, we would have liked it better. I mean, driving a laser sharp Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 on a track before hoping into a softer Chrysler 300 SRT8 immediately puts the big sedan at a disadvantage. I think more time spent with the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 will change Roman’s mind and beef up my support.
As it stands, the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is a damn good car and a significant improvement over its predecessor. Add some thicker/better sound deadening material and I’ll proclaim it to be American made Viagra on wheels!
Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com page HERE.