2011 Chrysler 300.....from bad to worse?

Its sad to see how can a car like this can actually make to the market.
I seriously don’t understand how car designers come up with such an ugly, bad and tasteless design. Its a waste of time, money and most importantly resources.
It is really really sad.

I always thought the 300 as one of my favs. The interior was gross, and the rear was underdeveloped, but a great overall concept. The new one improves the rear, and freshens the front. I don’t understand how this is offensive.

I’m with Raymond here. The original 300, though inspired in parts by a certain high end vehicle, was THE return of the bid, classically American rear wheel drive sedan. Its layout was a direct reference to what was going on in 60’s American sedans, and it was almost as if they said, “forget the 80’s and 90’s ever happened, where would we be now?”. While there were some Bentley cues to the vehicle, there were also a lot of cues from the 50’s Chrysler 300 concepts that Virgil Exner, then head of Chrysler design, commissioned the Italian design and coach build house Ghia to create. It is very abstracted, but look at the way the forms wrap the headlamps, and of course the large egg crate grille in this photo of the k310c. If you zoom in to look at the details around the headlamps on the last gen car, you will see some reference even in the trim bezels.

More info here: http://www.imperialclub.com/Articles/GhiaStory/Page01.htm

Principally, what the last 300 had going for it was proportions. The rear wheel drive layout and large outer tire diameter gave Chrysler the ability to give the vehicle a short overhang (front wheel drive cars always have a longer front overhang) and some distance between the trailing edge of the front wheel well and the leading edge of the windshield. This combined with the “chopped” looking DLO and some decent tumblehome gave the car a decent presence, especially for the price. And it felt American. Raymond’s points are dead on in that the rear always felt a bit abrupt and disconnected formally (a trait the generation 300 before that and last generation Charger shared) as well as very cost driven interiors. I recently rented a Charger and was surprised how constrained the designers must have been on that interior.

My jury is out on the new vehicle until I see it in person. These cars tend to read very differently in the flesh and I want to make sure before I see it. I met the designer through a mutual friend a few years ago when he was working on it. Unlike many vehicles that are designed by armies of designers, this was a very small team stretched t get it all done. From reports of friends that have sat in both the new 300 and new Charger I hear that the interiors are drastically improved.

As a side note, that lead designer on the new 300 left the auto industry and is now designing and hand making mens dress shoes. Beautiful ones.

Ok, so maybe I was a bit harsh. But here’s what bugs me most:

You’ve all seen a typical UPS panel van, right? With the classic round headlamps…

Well, in the last year or so Grumman (I think) decided it would be a good idea to make the front end look a bit more current and modern (modern not Modern). As you can see, something went horribly wrong.

That’s my issue with this 300. The headlamps are a complete rip off of what Audi is doing right now.

Chrysler just made it look cheaper by adding more LEDs.

I’ll reserve judgment for the rest of it until I see it in person, because the last two cars I ripped apart I ended up loving in person (new Sonata, new 5/7 series)

That UPS truck is unfortunate. I would love that design project. It is mostly sheetmetal so a challenge to integrate that with the molded or stamped front. I would assume the UPS truck was more about cost savings then making it more contemporary. Notice the original has a formed part on top of the windshield and the new one is more of a sheet metal construct.

RE the LEDs, I’m pretty certain those will be on many cars in the next few years.That said the 300 is not my personal taste, but I’m anxious to see one with some aftermarket rims…

It got Cicero Bentley-er. That is just not an attractive vehicle. It’s like a mashup of M-B s, Bentley Flying spur, and the forgotten ford 500 remake.

The image that Yo has posted above is my CAR to the T minus the rims. My interior is a two tone due to the car being a Walter P special edition.

From an exterior standpoint I love the simple clean lines, high door panels (which also act as additional safety) The interior is very roomy with great trunk space. The car also drives very nice and with snow tires in the winter you only get stuck by doing something dumb… I have had the car since 2007 and have not had a single problem not related to general maintenance as of yet. For my family of 4 this car is great for long trips, and for me it is great for daily use and I feel the look has a touch of class. Yes one can see the Bentley influence which is why it is often reffed to as the Baby Bentley.

My car before this was a 1990 Jaguar which I loved the clean simple lines (before it became all rounded)

The new concept I can defiantly see the Audi head lights and other influences and can’t say without further looks I’m not sure if I like it or not. Unlike when I say the 300 for the first time I fell in love with it and it was the first time I ever spent the money on a new car.

Chevis W.

Yo: As a side note, that lead designer on the new 300 left the auto industry and is now designing and hand making mens dress shoes. Beautiful ones.

Smart move.

And this is not meant cynical.

The auto industry doesn’t allow one lone designer on a project to control the execution in every detail. And the detail
is where a great design really flourishes.

That aside I would like to hint you at the discussion we had 6 years ago about the original 300C:

I still stand by what I said back then. The 300c was a look into a distorted rearview mirror. Sure they got the
proportions and front facia bang on, but that didn’t make a great car then and the new “300” doesn’t improve on
that. Furthermore it propells a question to the foreground we already discussed: “How do you follow up on retro?”
It’s a task I am glad I wasn’t assigned to. In my Opinion you can only win that one with evolution like Mini and 911
show. The new 300 doesn’t:

The front fascia is much weaker than the original one. The new Chrysler Grille and Logo are almost a template giving
the car a “no brand” face. The execution and interior to me look Shenzhen, not Detroit. Sorry:

I prefer to call a spade a spade.

Unlike other posters on the board I have no Idea how that happened, but to me the endresult doesn’t look promising.

The new Charger is on the other page of the book though, fortunately.


hrysler brand CEO Olivier Francois, who found time to quote the entire opening lyrics from Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” in a thick French accent (not kidding), told the sizable crowd at the Detroit Auto Show that the company invested a jaw-dropping $1 billion on the redesign.

Chief designer Ralph Gilles took the stage long enough to add that Chrysler conducted focus groups showing current 300 owners the new grille. The result? There was some definite resistance, but designers decided not to listen

Sounds a bit awkward.

Yeah I’m not so into this refresh. The rear concave motif that starts on the trunk lid and wraps down to the bumper is just odd. The front is just forgettable. I’m starting to miss the droopy eyed hound dog face of the previous. I don’t think it’ll be much better in the flesh either.

I’m torn.

One one hand, the details of the car, the headlamps, the taillamps, interior pieces, all suggest a higher quality, and higher tech car than the original. The LEDs, while a blatant ripoff of Audi, are going to be cropping up on everything in the next 5-10 years. It is the future, and I think it’s better to adopt early than to risk looking “old”. Just as HIDs made regular halogens look outdated, LEDs too will make even HIDs look “old”. I think they knew this, and chose specifically that they’d rather be called “copycats” than appear ancient in 5 years.

The interior is much improved, no real complaints there. The back end has some neat details as well.

But the grill. Oh god, the grill. It’s as if they forgot what made the 300 pretty awesome: it was raw, american, and proud of it. It didn’t blend in, it stuck out. It was an in your face insult to the aerodynamic jellybeans of the past 20 years. It ripped off a bit of high end luxury style, but it was fresh, bold, and intimidating.

The new one… just looks milktoast. Vanilla. Beige. Toyota-ish. The front end of the car almost looks like some non-licensed model from a grand theft auto videogame. It’s pretty unfortunate. I liked the ballsy, badass Chrysler. Not the watered down “lets hope we dont’ offend anyone” chrysler.

+1 Nothing about the car offends me, but nothing makes me say “Wow check out that Chrysler!”. That was the problem with the last 300C, most people said “Wow check out that Bentley!” when it first came out. It never struck up any real emotion, and I don’t think any of the modern Chrysler products (Dodge included) strike up anything positive.

It’s a shame but I really question if Chrysler will actually weather this storm. At least Ford and Chevy are starting to put out some more exciting products that give the Japanese a run for the money.

Leave it to Chrysler to actually produce the Mediocrity…

It’s a Mopar or No car bud.


Chrysler brand CEO Olivier Francois, who found time to quote the entire opening lyrics from Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” in a thick French accent (not kidding), told the sizable crowd at the Detroit Auto Show that the company invested a jaw-dropping $1 billion on the redesign.

The Detroit News got the full coverage:

As a two time Lancia (Delta) Owner and general car geek I still hope everything turns out good. (Mirracle?)
In terms of content for the money and technical backbone this car looks competitive, nevertheless.


Having spent some more time with the images, I have to say it doesn’t seem as successful visually as the last car. Still want to check one out in person to see…

Fortunately it didn’t take someone in Detroit more than a year to find out the same. They just took the “Mesh-Grille”, that had been aftermarket for so many years to dress up the luxury versions for 2012.

And there are two new ads out, that I find rather nice. The first one to a John Lee Hooker tune, the second one ending rather hmmm. I don’t know if it is a complement. Personally I fear the building in the background doesn’t elevate the car…

Watch it for yourself:

You know, who did that building. If not, have a guess.


P.S.: The first cars have really arrived as Lancia Themas around here. Major, major mistake.

I have to say that when i first saw the images i also felt it was really bland. but i had an eye opening experience… on my drive home there is an older model and a brand new one that seem to be parked next to each other in the lot by themselves every day, and when i see them i think the new one is so much nicer. In contrast the proportions on the old one just look crude and cartoonish and the new one looks so much more refined.

Given the car should look good on its own and not have to sit next to ‘the old model’ but i have to assume the designers looked at it that way hundreds of times, and to me in that respect it looks nice.

mo-i: I told you they will have other grilles eventually. Nice car. Everything the 300 should be. My only beef is that they should show it driving in Brampton, Ontario, where the car is made;)

Personally I fear the building in the background doesn’t elevate the car…

The Affleck House in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1940.