Could this be a prelude to the world's next super sedan?
There must be a demonic presence roaming the halls of Fiat Chrysler headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills. First came the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat twins, unleashing 707 horsepower on an unsuspecting world. That same power plant has since found its way to Jeep for the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which debuted with the even more insane Dodge Challenger SRT Demon last month in New York. And now we’ve spotted this Chrysler 300 wearing an SRT badge, which is interesting in and of itself since such an animal hasn’t been offered in the U.S. for some time now.
The neck-snapping news here, however, would be the fat Nitto drag radials mounted to 18-inch five-spoke wheels at every corner of the car. If this wheel and tire combo looks familiar, it should – it’s the same setup we saw on the Challenger SRT Demon test mules. Also clearly visible behind the wheels are sizable Brembo brakes. Surely FCA wouldn’t be thinking about demonizing its flagship luxury sedan?
Probably not, but that doesn’t mean a Hellcat-powered variant is off the table. The supercharged mill already holds space in a pair of FCA four-door models, and the 300 is already setup to carry an optional Hemi V8 in stock trim. After tailing this particular 300 for upwards of 20 miles, the photographing team behind these shots felt pretty certain that a Hellcat was indeed lurking beneath the 300's hood.
So what does this mean? We know the Chrysler 300 is overdue for an update, with the current generation dating back to 2011. It received a minor facelift in 2015, but with 300 sales tumbling 25 percent last month, times are tough for the once-trendsetting big sedan. Injecting the lineup with a limited-edition 300C Hellcat could bring some new life to the old model, but we just don’t see the reward outweighing the work. Perhaps this is a powertrain mule for an all-new 300 rumored to be coming next year? That makes more sense to us, as it would be a killer way to introduce a new model.
Whatever this car is, we like the fact that horsepower and performance seem to be alive and kicking in the halls of FCA.