Chrysler 300 SRT8 Targets BMW M5 Territory

Recent development in the American auto industry brought forward a refreshed Chrysler 300. The new model also has a SRT8 model with 470 HP that seems to be aiming at BMW M5 customers. Will it succeed? We think not.
BMW F10 M5 1 photo
Photo: BMW
Nothing makes the 300 SRT8 a worthy challenger for the likes of the M5 or the E-Class E63 AMG. Even though the first model was based on the E-Class chassis, it was still miles away from the German car, and this seems to be the case with the new one also.

According to Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence at TrueCar Inc., the Chrysler is better than the competition solely because of its price. “It’s a halo vehicle that shows the ability of Chrysler to make a car that size with that kind of power and torque. I don’t think the competition can stand the one-on-one comparison, with all the features and pricing of a 300. It’s a lot of value for your money," said Jesse in an interview for Bloomberg.

Being priced at around $60,000 (€46,000) it's true that it comes really cheap. However, high-powered sedan amateurs are willing to pay the extra money for a true, purebred car like the M5, simply because you don't want to be seen in a 300.

“On paper, it’s a far better choice. But that’s not what luxury is about. It won’t matter if you compare features and benefits of the 300 or the Benz. Most luxury buyers won’t listen, because most won’t want to be seen in the 300,” said Toprak.

The 300 SRT8 has a lot going for it though, covering the quarter mile in less than 13 seconds, reaching 100 mph (160 km/h) in 16 seconds and with a top speed of 175 mph (280 km/h) it is pretty impressive. Luxury items include leather-wrapped instrument panels, 19-speaker Harman Kardon Audio systems and an adaptive-suspension for improved handling and a plus of comfort depending on the needs.

However, when compared to the European rivals, all those impressive figures fade away. Looking at the wide range of optionals and features BMW has and the incredible performance figures, the Chrysler will be, most likely, compared to the 3 Series instead of its bigger brother.

It's not only the performance that separates the two. It's also the price tag. The E90 M3, that is still available, starts at around $60,000 also. That's exactly in the same price range as the 300 SRT8 and performance figures are more balanced. But even with the M3, things are not that easy.

“Comparing the SRT8 to the M5 makes it a great value. But I see the SRT8 in the same category as the M3, which is a very refined car. The difficulty for the SRT8 is that entry-level luxury is the most competitive,” said Myles Kovacs, president of DUB Magazine.

That is completely true, even though most supporters of the 300 will claim that the Chrysler offers you a lot more value for your money, the brand is, and will always be, a decisive factor when buying a car.

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