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2011 Chrysler 300 (photos)

Somewhat late, Chrysler introduces the 2011 version of its 300 sedan. This update shows off revised styling and a new power train.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
Chrysler's 300 model has been very successful, so the company did not alter the design of the 2011 model too much. As Chrysler unveiled the new 300 at the 2011 Detroit auto show, a spokesman emphasized the quality engineered into the new vehicle.

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Notably missing is the old-style grille, although Chrysler says it will be available as a MOPAR accessory. The new 300 features Chrysler's new Pentastar engine, a 3.6-liter V-6 with variable valve timing. The 300C variant gets the current 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi.

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LED lights in the headlight casing are intended to form a distinctive C shape, although reversed in this shot of the left-hand headlight.

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The 300 maintains its strong proportions, with a wide C-pillar reminiscent of that seen on Rolls-Royce models. Likewise, the front fender arch is similar to that on the Mercedes-Benz S-class.

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Chrysler300_SS05.jpg
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Chrysler will also offer an all-wheel-drive version. This new all-wheel-drive system uses an active transfer case that only engages the front wheels as needed. The system defaults to rear-wheel-drive.

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Chrysler emphasized upgraded quality for the 300, a problem in past models. Power steering comes through an electro-hydraulic system, maintaining the feel of traditional power steering but gaining some of the efficiency of an electric system.

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The 300 gets a large, 8.4-inch LCD to host its UConnect-branded cabin tech. This system uses Garmin for navigation and Sirius for external data, such as traffic and gas prices.

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Chrysler maintains traditional gauges for the instrument cluster, although fits a monochrome LCD in the center for vehicle information.

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