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Poor Man's Bentley Gets Juiced: Dodge Adds Viper Engine To 300 C

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On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 9:16AM | By: Chris Weiss

Poor Man's Bentley Gets Juiced: Dodge Adds Viper Engine To 300 C

The boxy Chrysler 300 often draws comparison to a Bentley or Rolls. Kind of the 50-footer of the auto market, the 300 appears to some untrained eyes like a Bentley from distance, but as it draws closer, it's more than clear that it's not a $250,000 ultra-premium, but a Chrysler knock-off. And while Chrysler offers several attractive engine options for the 300, topping off at the 425-hp 6.1-liter SRT HEMI V8 used in the 300C SRT8, the 300 still falls short of 500 to 550 horses worth of Bentley V8 or W12 power. Of course, with a starting price of under $27,500, the 300 doesn't exactly need to compete with the Bentley on every level. Or any level.

But now it can. One enthusiast of yet-unknown origin recently took the Chrysler 300 to the next level by jamming the 600-hp 8.4-liter V10 engine from the Viper under the faux-Crewe hood. In addition to some deep-throated, all-American muscle grumble spewing from the exhaust, the upgraded 300 would certainly be capable of super-Bentley numbers.

At under 5 seconds, the 300C SRT8 is already faster to 60 mph than the V8-powered Bentley Mulsanne (5.1 seconds) and as fast as the W12-powered Continental Flying Spur (4.9 seconds). The Vipered-over 300 would beat either Bentley to 60 mph. Of course, the 300 has a lot less luxury to tow around, so it's bound to be a little more spry. Unfortunately, there are no specific numbers on exactly what the beefed-up 300 can do on the street.

We're thinking the chances of Chrysler actually offering the 300C SRT10 lie somewhere between pork making its way to the dinner table via its own airborne volition and a frosty, wind-chilled hell. Speculation originally indicated that the company would be showing it at the SEMA show next month. However, after some investigation, Car and Driver reported that the car isn't an official Chrysler/Dodge/Mopar vehicle at all and won't be a part of the SEMA display. It appears to be a privately customized car that was brought out for the 2011 Viper Owners Invitational (VOI) held at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City. Dodge's official blog—Red Letter Dodge—planned to post a video and write-up about the one-off, but the video got posted first, leading outsiders to believe that it was an official Dodge build.

Oh well, it's pretty damn sweet regardless.


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