Ann Arbor, Michigan may be known as a beautiful collegiate town, but being a short jaunt from Chrysler’s proving grounds in Chelsea, it’s also a good place to spot future Mopar machines out testing. Such was the case this weekend, as we spotted a 2011 Chrysler 300 prototype parked on a street not far from our offices.
Although Chrysler is expected to unwrap the new 300 shortly, the car and this prototype are still under wraps. As long predicted by a number of teaser shots, the new 300 receives a rounded front fascia, a new grille, and headlamps patterned after those on the 200 sedan and 200C concept.
Thanks to some serious camouflage, it’s a little trickier to see how designers revamped the rear quarter panels and decklid. A small lip spoiler seems to protrude from the trunk, while the rear door stampings hint at chiseled character lines and pronounced fender flares.
If the ovoid dual exhaust tips are anything to go by, this 300 likely has Chrysler’s 5.7-liter (don’t call it Hemi anymore) V-8 underhood. That engine will remain part of the 2011 300’s lineup, although the two V-6 engines currently offered will be dropped in favor of Chrysler’s new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. We’re not entirely certain what transmission will appear in the car; the 2011 Charger is launching with a five-speed automatic transmission, but we’ve heard from sources close to the program that Chrysler’s new ZF-licensed eight-speed automatic will eventually work its way into these cars.
Those who have seen the car sans camouflage tell us the revisions go a long way in reinventing the 300’s appearance. Stay with Automobile Magazine for all the latest news surrounding the 2011 Chrysler 300.