Our $56,000 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Core is wrapped in CarAdvice livery and is essentially the same specification as one you can buy from Chrysler showrooms. Minor modifications for the Targa rally have included off-the-shelf parts such as Mopar front strut brace and exhaust system, cold air box and race-spec brake fluid.
The heart of the beast, a 6.4-litre HEMI V8, remains unchanged with 347kW of power and 631Nm of torque. The transmission, suspension, tyres and rest of the car have also remained untouched.
We started the special prologue stage of Targa Adelaide last night with a run around Adelaide showground, surrounded by hundreds of spectators. The 300 SRT8, despite its rather large size and rear-wheel-drive set-up, behaved well in the tight course and gripped out of corners better than we expected.
This morning the car was checked, and we set off for day one of Targa Adelaide. With the roads soaked in overnight rain, which continued for the entire day – aided by fog – the conditions were far from ideal.
Our 300 SRT8 took a little getting use to with the rear wheels doing their best to provide grip but ultimately letting go out of tight hairpin corners, much to the delight of spectators that had braved the weather to set up camp around the road stages.
Like all Targa championship events, Targa Adelaide is conducted on public roads that have been closed off. South Australian police force and dozens of volunteer organisers help make the event come to life each year. It follows a similar set-up to Targa Tasmania, Targa Wrest Point and Targa High country.
Despite the ‘closed-road’ status, there’s a 130km/h speed limit for competition roads, which from what we could work out, was entirely unenforced. The main reason being that the majority of the time, the 130km/h speed limit is hard to hit, given the nature of the roads.
This year the competitor cars include everything from a McLaren MP4 12C to a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and the usual horde of Nissan GT-R, Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions. The classic and historical cars are also out in force.
The Chrysler 300 ST8 Core is $10,000 cheaper than the regular car, without losing any power. It misses out on the flagship SRT8’s two-mode adaptive damping system, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor and rear cross-path detection system.
There's also no heated and ventilated front seats or heated rear seats. Number of speakers have dropped from 19 to six while cloth rather than Nappa leather with perforated suede is used for the upholstery. Overall, a reasonable price cut for those that want a HEMI V8 without all the safety technology and additional interior equipment.
CarAdvice will be in Adelaide for the next three days to complete the Targa event. Expect a feature story on the 300 SRT8, the Targa experience and a video to accompany.
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