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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2010 12 Sneak Peek 2011 Chrysler 300 Page 1

Sneak Peek: 2011 Chrysler 300

Richard Truesdell takes a look at the next component of Chrysler's product offensive, slated for a full unveiling at next month's North American International Automobile Show in Detroit.

Introduced in 2004 for the 2005 model year, Chrysler's 300 brought the traditional, full-size, rear-wheel-drive American sedan to a generation of car buyers who saw its classic proportions as an alternative to popular front-wheel-drive competitors. For 2011, Chrysler again moves the bar higher with an all-new 300 series that sets a fresh course for the American brand.

With more than 55 years of elegant proportions and head-turning style, the 2011 Chrysler 300 delivers contemporary looks with design details unexpected in the segment.

Up front, a new grille features seven deeply sculpted horizontal blades, intended to express precision. The blades' liquid-chrome finish and the new Chrysler wing badge stand out sharply against the bright chrome grille surround.

Illuminating the road ahead are "key slot" headlamps with a scalloped lower edge. Inside, bi-functional projector headlamps nestle next to LED-illuminated daytime running lamps. Together they form a "C" shape for an unmistakable on-road presence.

The Chrysler 300's profile includes the distinctive proportions of its predecessor with added design refinement. The result is a more tailored look.

Front-fender forms rise dramatically above the sculpted hood, echoed by rear-quarter forms that rise above the deck lid and travel down the vertical tail lamps. For improved aerodynamics and visibility, the windshield of Chrysler's luxury flagship was raked back three inches, while rolled-framed doors with thinner pillars improve outward visibility by 15 percent.

For a more contemporary appearance, the 2011 Chrysler 300 features a clean bodyside with a windswept A-line that emphasizes the sedan's long wheelbase and spacious cabin.

Sophisticated touches include chrome daylight openings, chrome front- and rear-fascia accents, and available 20-inch polished-aluminum wheels. Elevating the Chrysler 300's presence from the rear, the deck lid now incorporates a lip spoiler, while the new Chrysler wing badge is proudly centered below.

Rear tail lamps provide harmonious LED illumination, while signature "light pipes" illuminate for an alluring nighttime appearance. Straddling the vertical lamps, the Chrysler 300's rear fascia integrates a chrome appliqué that connects the tail lamp elements while emphasizing the sedan's road-holding stature. Standard fascia-mounted 3.5-inch oval dual exhaust tips complete the car's appearance.

Combining world-class accommodations with American style, the Chrysler 300's interior delivers numerous passenger comfort features and precise fit and finish. Substantial interior upgrades include soft touch materials, premium interior trim, available heated and ventilated Nappa leather seats, and real wood appliqués on the instrument panel, doors, center console, and steering wheel.

Designed to exude a luxurious environment, the 2011 Chrysler 300 sedan features cast-skin instrument and door panels with three-dimensional dual-gloss graining. Bright chrome contrasted with liquid chrome accents gives the sedan the appearance of milled aluminum.

For added detail, a new instrument cluster features two large gauge faces with sapphire-blue illumination and chrome ring accents. Providing a premium and contemporary atmosphere is sapphire-blue LED-illuminated ambient interior lighting--clearly a response to criticisms leveled at its predecessor.

With its massive 8.4-inch Uconnect Touch infotainment center, the Chrysler 300 sedan offers the segment's largest standard touch-screen display, integrating infotainment and convenience technologies to keep passengers connected and secure.

From touch-screen navigation to dual-zone climate controls, to the ability to check fuel prices and personalize convenience features, the Uconnect Touch system ensures that the driver and passengers enjoy an experience that is both comfortable and convenient.

To take in the sky above, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof provides passengers twice the outward visibility of a standard sunroof.

Built at Chrysler's Brampton Assembly Plant in Brampton, Ontario, the Chrysler 300 arrives in showrooms in the first quarter of 2011. It is expected to be the base for a companion Lancia model to be sold in most markets outside of North America, with the exception of the United Kingdom. There, Chrysler's rear-wheel-drive flagship will continue to be marketed under the Chrysler nameplate.