1999 Chrysler 300M

posted in: Chrysler | 0

In my opinion, this is one of the brightest American cars of the late 90s and early 2000s. The premiere of this sedan from Chrysler took place in Detroit in ’98, and the car was produced until 2004. I think you know that this sedan was created on the LH platform and in the model lineup of the company occupied a niche under the larger models Concorde and LHS. This Chrysler was officially delivered to Europe and it was the company’s largest car that was delivered to the Old World.

This 1999 Chrysler 300M was developed as the second-generation Eagle Vision. But before the new model was launched, the Eagle brand was eliminated and the car was produced under the Chrysler brand. Motor Trend magazine named the 300M Car of the Year in ’99, and Car and Driver did so in both ’99 and 2000.
Some marketers talked about the 300M as a sports sedan. I find that odd, because in my mind a sport sedan is a BMW, or an Alfa Romeo, but definitely not a big Chrysler.

Sale and price of 1999 Chrysler 300M.

In Europe, the 300M cost less than a BMW 5-series E39, or an AUDI A6 C5. At the same time, the American sedan exceeded the business-class sedans from Europe in its dimensions. In terms of body width, the 300M was 40mm wider than the AUDI A8 D2 and 60mm wider than the Mercedes S-class W220. In its looks, this Chrysler’s appeal is not even in its length, but in its low roof height and width.
In the US, in ’99 a brand new Chrysler 300M could be bought for $28,500. Which is equivalent to $46,000 today. Optional extras like: – chrome wheels and a full-size spare tire added $600. For a sunroof, the first owner had to pay an additional $800.

Today the price for 1999 Chrysler 300M is usually kept at a low level. The car is not a collector’s value and more often it is bought by those who want to buy a large and comfortable, but not expensive car. So a car with a mileage of a little more than 100 000 miles, which is in good technical condition can be bought for 3000 – 4000 dollars.

Appearance and photo.

With a body length of 5024mm ( 197.8d), the wheelbase is 2870mm. Curb weight of 300M with 3.5L engine is 1735kg. The drag coefficient is 0.31. The body is very low here, 4mm lower than on the BMW 3-series E46. In comparison, the taller BMW 5-series E39 has a drag coefficient of 0.30. This is probably partly due to the larger frontal projection area.
Not only on the trunk lid, but also on the front doors you can see Chrysler lettering. But even without the inscriptions, to confuse 300M with any of the European models, in my opinion, is simply impossible. From the photo you can notice that the trunk lid has a built-in stop light. This element contributes to passive safety and in the late 90’s such equipment was appreciated by buyers of such cars.
The base car was equipped with 225/60 R16 tires.

From 2002 to 2004 the Special model was produced. These cars were equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 245/45 R18 tires. In addition, the 300M Special can be distinguished by a split exhaust system, where the exhaust pipes are on the right and left side from under the bumper.
The US market had some cars similar to the 300M, like the Concorde, but in Europe it was a real alien. A low and wide car with not high ground clearance. What automaker from Europe offered a similar car? – Perhaps the Peugeut 607? Such a car was officially sold in Ukraine. In the early noughties, some Ukrainians who could buy a Mercedes or BMW bought it for the sake of comfort and the desire to stand out on the road among the many German business sedans. In Ukraine Chrysler 300M can be found even today. We also have fans of comfortable, American cars.

Interior and equipment.

Opening the doors, the first thing to notice is the very wide doorways. They are definitely wider than in German or Japanese business-class sedans. So wide, the doorways contribute to comfortable seating in the front and rear seats. On the key you can see the inscription Chrysler. And if in Ukraine Dodge and Chrysler brands are considered equally prestigious, then in the USA Chrysler belongs to the premium segment.

Instruments are made in classic, retro style. They, like the clock in the middle part of the front panel, are placed in chrome trim.
Equipped with hydraulic power steering wheel becomes heavier with increasing speed. There is a foot-operated parking brake in the American style.
The front seats are equipped with electric drives and are adjustable in 8 directions. The optional Infinity music system has a power of 320W, 11 speakers and CD-changer for 4 disks. In 2003, the CD changer can hold 6 disks.

Chrysler 300M Special has a carbon fiber interior instead of wood paneling. Obviously, this is one of the decisions, which was to emphasize more sporty character of this modification.
In the American manner, the on-board computer screen is mounted on the roof trim, above the rearview mirror. This is a very common solution for cars made in the USA. And in America this solution looks absolutely usual, but in Europe it is not usual.
As we said above, there are very wide doorways and very wide body, but the rear sofa is formed for 2 people. The sofa cushion in the center part is less long than on the sides (you can see it on the photo).
There is a very deep trunk, which is generally typical for American sedans. The trunk is also equipped with the aforementioned CD changer.

Engine and technical characteristics of 1999 Chrysler 300M.

The base engine for the 300M was a 2.7 liter V6. This engine was the base engine for Chrysler delivered to Europe. Despite the front-wheel drive, the engines were mounted longitudinally to the body, which contributes to maintainability. The 2.7 liter V6 was equipped with a chain-driven timing mechanism, which was designed to last 150,000 kilometers. So on a used car, the timing mechanism may require replacement. With a compression ratio of 9.7:1, this motor develops a power of 204 horsepower and traction of 257N.M. With such a motor and with an automatic, four-speed gearbox to 100km Chrysler 300M is able to accelerate for 10.2s and reach a maximum speed of 210km per hour. The 42LE automatic transmission has a manual shift mode.

The more powerful V6 with a volume of 3.5L produces 253 horsepower and torque of 346N.M. The main pair of 300M with a 3.5 engine has a gear ratio of 3.66:1. This motor is equipped with belt-driven timing. Up to 100km per hour such 300M is able to accelerate in 8.8sec, maximum speed is 230km per hour.
The weak point of the engine 3.5 is considered to be the clogging of narrow, oil channels from – because of which turns the crankshaft liners and the engine begins to knock. To avoid this problem it is necessary to change oil more often.

In 2002, the rack and pinion steering was modified, which was not considered too reliable until then.
The front suspension is McPherson, rear suspension is independent. Brakes on both axles are disk.
Chrysler 300M Special received a redesigned engine for 95th gasoline and changed ratio of the main pair – 3.89:1. Thanks to this, the power of the 3.5 liter V6 has been increased to 255 horsepower, and torque to 350N.M.

This is a stylish and comfortable car. Outside the United States, such a car is not often found on the roads, but it always stands out among mass business sedans from Europe. Good equipment and high overall reliability make it attractive to buy 300M even today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *