We’ve long known that V-6-powered models of the 2012 Chrysler 300 and 2012 Dodge Charger would receive a new eight-speed automatic transmission, with improved fuel economy being one of the new transmission’s big selling points.
Now Chrysler has revealed just how much that new transmission will actually improve economy: the 2012 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger with the eight-speed transmission will be rated at 19/31 mpg (city/highway) — compared to ratings of 18/27 mpg with the five-speed automatic.
The 2012 Chrysler 300 new transmissions is known as 845RE and was designed by German company ZF. It is very similar to the eight-speed automatics in the Audi A8, BMW 5 series and 7 Series, and even some Rolls-Royce and BMW models. Chrysler has a license to build the 845RE in Kokomo, Indiana, but for now is importing it from ZF in Germany while the Kokomo factory is readied for assembly of the transmission.
The ZF unit, the 845RE, is the first of its kind installed in a domestically produced automobile and will come teamed with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 found in both the entry-level 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan and Dodge Charger.
Chrysler is up and running with its last attempt to make their new 2012 Chrysler 300 even the teensiest bit successful on the market and just a few months after the 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan hit the ground running at the Detroit Auto Show, the company has now brought the Chrysler 300 2012 SRT8 (Street and Racing Technology) – the most powerful version in the line-up – to the 2011 New York Auto Show.
Chrysler is bringing three new and distinct models to their 2012 Chrysler 300 lineup with the 2012 Chrysler 300c Executive Series, 300 SRT8 and 300S Series, each designed with specific consumer lifestyles in mind.
The new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 comes with a distinct upgrade to the exterior, as well as the interior, and a bigger engine ready to spit out 40 HP and 45 lbs-ft more than the standard model. This new 6.4L engine will come equipped with a new active valve exhaust system and a five-speed automatic transmission with “Auto” and “Sport” modes.
More than an icon of simple American motoring, the 2012 Chrysler 300 is an icon of attainable style and performance. For those customers who live for the sport of being first, the all-new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is the no compromises king of the hill, featuring the ultimate combination of world-class luxury and performance in our most powerful, best-handling sedan ever.
In addition to the efficiency gains, Chrysler says the new transmission makes the 2012 Chrysler 300 and Charger quicker. The 2012 Chrysler 300 zero to 60 mph is said to take 7.2 seconds, thanks to the confluence of shorter, closer gear ratios; quicker shifts; and a torque converter that locks up more readily. In fact, McCarthy told us he thinks fewer buyers will opt for cars equipped with V-8 engines, because the V-6 and eight-speed provide brisk acceleration as well as better fuel economy.
For now, the transmission will be available only for the 2012 Chrysler 300, 300 Limited, and 300S; and the 2012 Dodge Charger Rallye, Rallye Plus, and SE. The 2012 model year also marks the return of all-wheel-drive with V-6 engines; it’s available for the 2012 Chrysler 300 Limited and 300S, and Charger Rallye and Rallye Plus. The Chrysler 300 2012 price started at $27,170, while the 2012 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger go on sale later this fall.
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