The Chrysler 300 is a full-size car first shown at the 2003 New York Auto Show as a concept car. Sales in the U.S. began in the spring of 2004 as an early 2005 model year car. Designed by Ralph Gilles, the new 300 was built as a luxurious sedan while the SRT-8 model was designed to be the high-performance version. The Chrysler 300 is also marketed in Australia, as the first full-size Chrysler vehicle sold there since the Valiant was discontinued in 1981.The Chrysler 300 is based on the rear-wheel drive Chrysler LX platform which features components derived from the W210 Mercedes-Benz E-Class of 1996 to 2002. Shared components include the rear suspension design, front seat frames, wiring harnesses, steering column, the 5-speed automatic transmission's design, and a derivative of the 4Matic all-wheel drive system. The Chrysler 300 also features a double wishbone front suspension that is derived from the W220 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.The basic 300 (or 300C in some countries) comes with standard 17-inch wheels, wheel covers, four-wheel disc brakes, single disc mp3 player, auxiliary input jack, power driver seat and a four-speed automatic transmission. It uses a 2,736 cc (2.736 L; 167.0 cu in) EER V6 making 190 hp (140 kW). In Canada, it comes standard with the Touring model's 3,518 cc (3.5 L; 214.7 cu in) V6 engine. The vehicle comes with standard rear wheel drive and available all wheel drive. The basic 300 model was renamed to LX for 2008, then Touring for 2009 and 2010.
A redesigned 300 was introduced in 2011. Exterior changes include a revised body, bi-xenon HID projector headlights, LED daytime running strips within the headlights, modified tail lights with LEDs and a horizontally slotted front grill. Thinner roof pillars and a more raked windshield will contribute to improved visibility. A dual-pane panoramic sunroof will offer twice the outward visibility of an average sunroof. The new 300 has optional 20-inch polished-aluminum wheels. Interior upgrades included a new instrument panel with "soft-touch" materials throughout, 8.4 inch Uconnect Touch, new steering wheel and center console. Both seat-mounted and curtain side airbags were made standard. The predecessors' 2.7- and 3.5-liter engines were replaced with Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine producing 292 horsepower (218 kW) and 260 lb·ft (350 N·m) of torque. The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine remained available with 363 horsepower. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 will also be available in Europe. The 2011 model is offered in Touring, Limited, 300C, and 300C AWD configurations. Touring and Limited trims will come with the Pentastar V6 while the 300C line will offer the 5.7. An SRT-8 version was unveiled at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, powered by a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine. Also shown was a 300S trim, which featured a blacked-out grille and headlamps, as well as 20-inch polished-face aluminum wheels with black painted pockets, and a 300C Executive series. In Continental Europe it will be sold under the Lancia badge, except for the UK where it will retain the Chrysler badge.