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by Tim Beissmann

The all-new 2012 Chrysler 300C is on track to go on sale in Australia in 12 months’ time.

Chrysler Australia’s Dean Bonthorne said the local arm hoped to launch the new luxury sedan in July 2012 with three different engine options: the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, the 5.7-litre HEMI V8 and the high-performance 6.4-litre SRT8.

The Pentastar V6 produces 215kW of power and 350Nm of torque – up from the current V6’s 183kW/340Nm output.

The HEMI V8 will be carried over from the current model, producing 265kW and 528Nm.

The new 6.4-litre SRT8 engine replaces the outgoing 6.1-litre unit. First seen in the Dodge Challenger, the new V8 produces 347kW of power and 630Nm of torque, which represents increases of 30kW and 61Nm. The SRT8 variant will be launched in the US this quarter, and Chrysler says its will be capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in less than five seconds.

All the new models are currently teamed with the old five-speed Auto Stick automatic transmission, although Chrysler is preparing an eight-speed ZF automatic which is expected to be available in the US from later this year.

Mr Bonthorne said Chrysler was also investigating a diesel-powered version of the Chrysler 300C, which would use the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel recently introduced to the new Jeep Grand Cherokee in Australia.

The new engine produces 177kW of power and 550Nm of torque. It uses 8.3 litres/100km on the combined cycle in the Grand Cherokee – a figure that is expected to drop considerably in the lighter 300C sedan.




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