The 300C Touring could be a hit in the UK - with diesel engine

Looks great and the engineering is ok. UK journalist's opinion..
See paragraph 3 in particular.
http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,12929-2218596,00.html
DAS
Chrysler 300C Touring By Andrew Frankel of The Sunday Times
It could be really big
Recently I attended the launch of an executive car where a man from marketing stood up and told me what I'd long suspected: it really didn't matter if the car was any good or not, so long as it projected the right "look". This varied from car to car, which is why some preferred BMW, others inclined towards Audi, and so on. But engineering excellence was way down the priority list. And if looks were the only arbiter, this new Chrysler 300C Touring would be the class bestseller. Drive a 507bhp BMW M5 and no one will look twice at you, but turn up in this diesel-powered Chrysler and you'll garner a level of attention you'd need a new Lamborghini to trump. With its long, sleek body, narrow windows and imposing cheese-cutter grille it looks cool, individual and, if you order it in black, impressively sinister too. Indeed it makes every other estate look bland and predictable by comparison. Drive one and there will be people tapping your window at traffic lights to find out more.
You may think you know where I'm heading with this. If I had a dollar for every American car I've driven that's failed to deliver on the promise of its looks, I'd have a dollar for every American car I've driven. Except this one. In the 300C the long promised synergy that merging Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler into DaimlerChrysler was meant to deliver from the start - an irresistible blend of American creative design with German engineering know-how - is finally with us.
Of course the 300C is not entirely new. A couple of years back I reviewed one on this page and was broadly impressed - but that car had deeply unfashionable saloon bodywork and, under its bonnet, a highly amusing but scarcely practical Chrysler 5.7 litre Hemi V8. What's different about this one is not only its estate bodywork but also the state-of-the-art Mercedes 3 litre V6 diesel it uses to throw itself very convincingly up the road. Its 218bhp means it reaches 62mph in 8.6sec, while a thick slab of torque and an ultra-smooth and quick (Mercedes) auto gearbox means it feels faster still. And at 34.9mpg it doesn't even use that much fuel.
But while Mercedes might be responsible for the way it goes in a straight line, Chrysler is laying claim for its behaviour in the corners, which news in the past would have caused me to groan. Again the 300C confounds the form book - it rides a little firmly but that's more than fair trade for its precision, grip and balance. Indeed, were it not for the quite extraordinary lengths Chrysler goes to in press material to deny any link between its chassis and that of the E-class, I'd have sworn there was more than a little Mercedes magic in there.
Of course, however good looking an American car may be on the outside, be advised that interior styling is about as important to American car designers as aftersales service to a funeral director. But while I'll grant you that the cabin of the 300C is not going to get knees knocking in Audi design studios, it doesn't stoop to the laughable standards of many American cockpits. It has some fiddly switches and, if you order the luxury pack, some dodgy wooden touches, but on the whole its quality is reasonable, its execution competent and interesting.
Add to all this the fact that there's acres of space in the back and a strangely shaped but capacious boot, and you'll see why the 300C Touring is more than a just a good looking, quick and characterful alternative to the conformity of a big German estate.
But I've not even mentioned the best bit. Buy a Mercedes E-class estate with this engine in it and it'll cost you over 10,000 more. The 300C Touring is 27,275. Of course, the Mercedes is a little better in most areas than the 300C but it looks a whole lot worse.
I can see a cult forming around the 300C Touring - a small, brave band of buyers rebelling against executive estate establishment. Sadly, its lack of snob value will keep it from the mainstream sales it really deserves - were this car called a Mercedes they would queue down the street for it.
Vital statistics
Model Chrysler 300C CRD Touring Engine type 2987cc, six cylinders Power/Torque 218bhp @ 3800rpm / 376 lb ft @ 2800rpm Transmission Five-speed auto Fuel/CO2 34.9mpg (combined) / 215g/km Performance 0-62mph: 8.6sec / Top speed: 136mph Price 27,275 Verdict A fascinating and capable alternative estate Rating 4/5 Date of release Out now
The opposition
Model Mercedes E 320 CDI Elegance Estate 38,095 For The best executive load carrier in the business Against Expensive relative to the opposition, bland styling
Model Volvo V70 D5 SE Geartronic 30,065 For Blends traditional Volvo ability with modern styling Against Ride quality is poor, diesel engine rather unrefined
--
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

I'd like to stick a modern medium duty truck engine into an old sixties Letter 300C. Or an Imperial or a Newport.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

a 'modern' truck engine from where, US or EU - because the US ones are, from what I've seen, WAY behind the EU ones technologically (seems like 10-15 years behind)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
flobert wrote:

Are you smoking crack? Caterpillar and Cummins. are about a decade ahead of European diesel manufacturers. They've had production common-rail injection for *years* now, and its still "new and spooky" in Europe.
Granted, Europe is even further ahead of the US than that in small automotive diesels, but when it comes to medium duty engines you can't TOUCH Cat and Cummins. Same for locomotives- the 6000 HP class EMD and GE engines are superb (although the screw-ups by partnering with Deutz almost killed the GE HDL engine, but they've all been undone now that the partnership is dissolved.) You have to get all the way up to huge ship diesels before you find European engine builders ahead of the US.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.