2009 Chrysler 300C SRT8

I might have done a very bad thing. I gave my dad a ride in the 300C SRT8. Like many Chrysler retirees, he's worried about his health care and his pension in light of the Fiat/bankruptcy/bailout situation. And like many Chrysler retirees, he owns a Hemi-powered LX car (300/Charger/Magnum/Challenger), in this case an all-wheel-drive Magnum R/T. But I fear that he's now going to sell the proverbial farm to get into a 300C SRT8.

I can't blame him, though. This car has awesome gobs of addictive power ... but not in an overwhelming way like the last SRT8 I drove: a Charger in December. That Dodge could barely hook up in those cold temperatures, cocking its body sideways under moderate throttle, even with the stability control fully engaged. But now that spring is in full effect, the 300C SRT8 just goes and goes fast, with very little wheel spin--unless you try for it, of course.

I like the quick-shifting automatic transmission, which reminds me of the impressive five-speed autobox in all V-8-powered LX cars. That gearbox helped me achieve an indicated 20 mpg over 350 miles, which is a tick better than the car's EPA highway rating. Not that I was trying to get good fuel mileage; that sonorous 6.1-liter Hemi is too sweet to refrain from the occasional foot-to-the-floor flurry. Indeed, I still love the aging 300C (SRT8 or not) for cruising down the highway, for thundering around town, and for hurtling through the back-road twisties.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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