As Chrysler told owners five days ago, tomorrow, September 13, will be the official reveal of one of their “most luxurious and powerful special edition vehicles to date.” Most observers expect this to be a 300C with the 392 cubic inch, 6.4 liter Hemi V8 engine used in the closely related Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger, coupled to the usual high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission.
The wording of the teaser is interesting, because the 392 Hemi would actually be a Chrysler car’s most powerful engine; never in the muscle car era did any standard-performance engine, not even a legendary 426 Hemi, pump out anything close to 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque rating. (The Hemi was rated at 425 bhp and 490 lb-ft of torque, but that was on a test stand, without power-robbing accessories; the net reading, which is the only one comparable to today’s engines, was 350 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque.)
In the modern era, the most powerful Chrysler to reach production would be the SRT version of the 300C. No Chrysler ever made would outperform a 392-powered 300C; but some could out-luxury it.
Why the 392, and not the Hellcat? First, Chrysler already builds a 392-powered 300C, which is sold in Australia. Second, it perfectly matches the original 300C, made in 1957 with a 392 Hemi V8 (the original “letter car,” the C-300, was a 1955 model with a smaller Hemi V8). Third, Chrysler’s social media statement claimed they were “bringing something exciting back to the Chrysler lineup next year.” There has never been a Hellcat 300C, but there has been a 392 300C.
The reveal will be on September 13, at 6 pm with a presentation by Chris Feuell, Chrysler’s chief executive.