Hours after Chrysler's bankruptcy became official, I was pulling out of the parking garage in a 2009 Chrysler 300C SRT8. This may sound stupid, but I feel obligated to tell anyone who will listen that the car continued to drive like usual. Not once did I worry about getting a replacement part or whether my local dealer would still be in business come Monday morning.
I actually signed out the 300C because my friend Joe is trying to decide whether he will buy one in the next week. He is trying to decide between a Pontiac G8 GT and a Chrysler 300C (non-SRT8). The Pontiac is appealing because it's sportier, and he already has a Pontiac (a vintage Firebird) in his garage. A 300C is more luxurious and seemingly a little more spacious. At this point, it looks like Joe will be parking a new 300C in his driveway, and I can't blame him.
Most media reports have focused on the (possibly) upcoming 300C that Chrysler previewed to a small group of journalists in December and how much better that car is than the current 300C. Sure, the new car looks more more graceful and luxurious, but the current 300C still feels pretty good. I can't say I have no complaints after some time behind the wheel, but this is the quintessential American sedan, and I really hope the replacement survives the Fiat partnership and all the automotive-task-force BS, so that it can come to market as planned.
If there's still development going on for the 2011 300C, I hope Chrysler can find a way to remove some weight, improve the transmission's shift strategy, and keep this SRT8 version around.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor