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Adventures in Freedom: The Chrysler 300 Hemi C

9 January 2000

Return of the All-American V-8, Rear-Wheel Drive Luxury Performance Convertible
    DETROIT -- DaimlerChrysler today unveiled the Chrysler 300 Hemi(R) C, a 
four-passenger V-8 rear-wheel drive convertible, at the 2000 North American 
International Auto Show in Detroit.

    The quintessential Chrysler, this concept combines contemporary design,
elegance, luxury and legendary Hemi-power.

    "This vehicle explores a direction we might take if we were to return to
an all-American V-8, rear-wheel drive luxury performance car such as the famed
'57 Chrysler 300 C convertible," said Tom Gale, Executive Vice President -
Product Development and Design.

    "The epitome of motoring elegance and affordable luxury, the Chrysler 300
Hemi C concept adds the heritage only this company can offer:  a powerful V-8
Hemi engine."

    The prototype all-aluminum 353 cubic inch (5.7-liter) pushrod V-8 engine
features hemispherical combustion chambers and two spark plugs per cylinder.
Its estimated power of 353 horsepower and 353 lb.-ft. of torque is delivered
to the rear wheels via a robust four-speed automatic transmission.

    The powerful V-8 Hemi engine has improved fuel efficiency and emissions
through seamless automatic deactivation of four of the eight cylinders during
highway driving and deceleration.

    A hydraulically shifted lost-motion feature deactivates the valves while
the motor management system interrupts ignition and fuel supply to those
cylinders.  The system maintains full engine performance for acceleration and

    The concept's independent suspension has modified MacPherson struts in
front and an aluminum five-link coil-over-shock rear set-up.

    For increased body stiffness and crisp ride and handling characteristics,
a unique structural door latch design is being developed for the Hemi C concept.

    Fourteen-inch ventilated front and rear disc brakes with four-piston
calipers, 19-inch front wheels and tires and 20-inch rear wheels and tires
amply live up to the Chrysler 300 Hemi C's estimated performance.

    Reflecting its Hemi heritage, the vehicle will sprint to 60 mph in 5.9
seconds and clock a top speed of 160 mph.

    In a thoroughly modern way, the Chrysler 300 Hemi C design pays homage to
the legendary '57 300 C.  Terrific proportions, a monocoque profile with
pronounced wheel flares and a seemingly endless hood are some of its design

    Said Joe Dehner, Senior Design Manager and responsible for the exterior
design:  "It is as if we stretched the body around the V-8 Hemi engine.  The
concept's rear-wheel drive set-up allowed for a minimal front overhang, while
the front fender air exhaust ports and the centrally placed chrome twin
exhaust pipes signal its performance.  And similar to the world's best-selling
convertible, the Chrysler Sebring, this concept is a true four-seat

    Elegance and affordable luxury are reflected by the concept's clean, sleek
and athletic lines.  The sculpted hood focuses attention on the high-placed
Chrysler winged badge and enlarged 300M-style chrome grille.

    A center peakline runs from the front to the rear and works with the raked
chrome bodyside moldings to give the Chrysler 300 Hemi C its chiseled

    Dehner's loving attention to detail is shown in the front and rear light
units that provide a visual link to the 300M, the sculpted chrome door handles
and the center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) wrapped around the Chrysler
winged badge.

    The Chrysler 300 Hemi C interior is in harmony with its refined exterior.
Mimicking the chrome bodyside molding, a wedged California walnut molding
links the instrument panel to the hard-cover tonneau with integrated automatic
roll-over bar.

    An understated monochromatic taupe-based color palette and purposeful use
of chrome enhances the elegant atmosphere in the concept car.  Adjustable pedals
guarantee a comfortable seating position for short and tall drivers.

    "The design and execution of this interior emphasize craftsmanship," said
Lance Wagner, Senior Design Manager and responsible for the Chrysler 300 Hemi
C interior.

    "That is apparent in the California walnut application on the steering
wheel, the chrome details, the leather-tailored seats, the one-touch power top
and tonneau cover and the location and fabrication of the Chrysler winged
badges, the ignition in the instrument panel and the gated gear shift."

    The concept comes equipped with a driver "Infotronic" system.  This unique
feature includes a global positioning system, a trunk-mounted "plug-and-play"
laptop computer, Internet access for real-time weather and traffic information
and e-mail.

    A fingerprint scanner hooked up to a tiny camera provides added security,
important in any vehicle and especially in a soft top convertible.  The vehicle
will not function if the driver's fingerprint and picture don't match the
system's information.

    The Infotronic system is directed by voice commands or through its liquid
crystal display in the instrument panel.  Voice commands also control the
vehicle's audio, climate control, diagnostics, phone and security systems and
the driver's home security system.

    "The straight-line power of the '50s and '60s has been replaced by a balance
of crisp handling and sophisticated performance," said Gale.  "Yet the Chrysler
300 Hemi C still reflects the same philosophy and pedigree of those early
letter series cars."

    The Chrysler 300 Hemi C concept is custom painted with a Frosted Mocha
Pearlcoat finish and rolls on custom Goodyear tires.