The word "Motown" needs no explanation or introduction: Motown Records earned its own chapter in the history books for being a musical powerhouse during the last century. The celebration of Motown hits its peak next year when "Motown: the Musical" hits Broadway, and Chrysler is commemorating both the musical and the record label itself with a special Motown Edition 300 sedan.
While it's arguable that the SRT Viper or Jeep Grand Cherokee would be better models to spawn Motown-themed special editions (Motown was founded in Detroit, where the Viper and Grand Cherokee are assembled; the 300 is assembled in Ontario), the 300 does provide a large and luxurious canvas for a series of interior and exterior tweaks.
The Motown 300 starts with a stock 300, with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 (292 hp) mated to Chrysler's eight-speed automatic transmission. The car is available in four colors--bright white, gloss black, deep cherry red, and a new hue, jazz blue--and sits atop four 20-inch polished aluminum wheels. The gleaming wheels match the grille, with its seven horizontal chrome blades, and other chrome trim pieces on the front and rear fascias, rear-view mirror caps, exterior window trim, and door handles. The front quarter panels are emblazoned with Motown badges, lest anyone forget which edition 300 you're driving.
Inside, the Motown 300 shows off a white and black color scheme: the interior is primarily trimmed in black, but highlighted with black olive ash wood trim, black soft touch material on the dashboard and doors, and piano black accents on the center stack and steering wheel. The seats, on the other hand, are upholstered in pearl white Nappa leather, and feature black piping and stripes as well as embossed Motown Ms in the seatbacks.
A music-themed special edition car would be nothing without a little music, so Chrysler product planners gave the Motown 300 the ubiquitous Beats Audio sound system -- complete with 10 speakers and two subwoofers -- and included an SD card pre-loaded with 100 popular Motown songs on it. The whole system is controlled, of course, by Chrysler's Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen display.
The Motown 300 goes on sale next spring at a starting price of $33,990 (including destination charges). Chrysler will also launch a new advertising campaign for the Motown 300 featuring--who else? --Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. Motown: the Musical, in the meantime, begins previews at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on March 11, 2013.