Detroit motor show 2011 - Chrysler 300C

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The Chrysler has always had a strangely alluring quality – perhaps because it has the road presence of a Rolls-Royce but the price of a Renault.

A face-lifted version of the ‘supersized’ four-door has been launched in Detroit, and it gets a restyle that does nothing to dampen its ‘in-your-face’ looks.

It will go on sale in the UK later this year – alongside a product range that has been overhauled by new Chrysler shareholder Fiat, and which is set to include the new Grand Voyager.

Changes include thinner front pillars to improve visibility, a double length sunroof to let in more light and more chrome around the front end and daytime running lights.

The interior is also a major step forward according to Chrysler, which says its has a larger touch-screen display, improved leather seats and more soft-touch materials.

The 300C is new from the ground up, says CEO Olivier Francois, from the architecture it is built around to the powertrains, suspension, interior and styling. It will come with top-grain leather and hand-finished wood trim, an 8.4-inch touch-screen control system that is ‘almost like an iPad in the car’, laminated glass and the most advanced safety features, including the option of all-wheel drive.

The result of a $1 billion (£650m) investment, it is ‘the pure American expression of automotive greatness,’ says Francois, with a level of quality that was ‘non-negotiable’.

While still recognisable as a 300C with its bold front and squared-off profile, it is now more mature, more relevant, more luxurious and more functional, according to design vice-president Ralph Gilles.

Chrysler's new V6 petrol will slot into the 300C, but it has not yet been revealed whether the car will also offer a diesel. Without one, its prospects in Europe are extremely limited.

Detroit motor show 2011 - Chrysler Grand Voyager


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