Chrysler's last remaining sedan, the 300, will enter the 2021 model year with fewer trim levels and a higher price, according to a recent report. The 2021 model will be the second-generation 300's 10th year on the American market.
Well-informed website CarsDirect received a dealer ordering guide, which reportedly confirms the Limited and 300C trims levels will not return for 2021. They're the two most expensive trims offered for 2020, and the publication added that removing them will likely mean upscale features like wood interior trim, Nappa leather upholstery, and quilted seats will no longer be available. It concluded the 2021 300 lineup will consist solely of the Touring and the 300S models, though it oddly made no mention of the Touring L.
It doesn't sound like Chrysler will make any major visual or mechanical changes to the 300 — sorry, Hellcat fans. Available with rear- or all-wheel drive, the entry-level Touring model will be powered by the company's venerable 3.6-liter V6 tuned to make 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Marketed as a sportier sedan, the rear-wheel drive-only 300S will come standard with a 300-horse version of the V6, but buyers who want more power will be able to order a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 rated at 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque at extra cost.
Pricing for the 2021 300 Touring will start at $31,940 including a $1,495 destination charge, a $405 increase over the 2020 model. Stepping up to the 300S will require spending $38,980, but the cost of the optional V8 will increase from $3,000 to $4,000, bringing its price to $42,890 once the aforementioned destination charge enters the equation. Keep in mind none of these figures are official, and Chrysler hasn't commented on the report.
Most of the carmakers operating under the Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) umbrella will announce the changes they're making for 2021 on September 1 — that's next Tuesday, so we won't have to wait long to find out what's in store for the 300. Chrysler has kept its lips sealed about what's next. Rumors claiming the sedan wouldn't live to see 2020 were evidently false, yet it can't remain in production for another decade. Sales fell by 37% to 29,213 units in 2019.
Chrysler can either develop a third-generation model that will likely need to represent it in the sedan segment through the 2020s, or it can hike the path blazed by many of its rivals and throw in the towel. Ultimately, the 300's fate will likely depend on what the future holds for the Dodge Charger, which outsells it by a considerable margin. For context, the current-generation Charger is just as old as the 300, and the two sedans are positioned in the same segment, yet annual American sales of the Charger shockingly increased by 21% to 96,935 units in 2019.
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