You can watch as a boy grows into a man. The pattern is always the same. As he starts to know his power, to gain some muscle, he buys flashy clothes. He spends too much on shoes that shout “this cost a lot of money!” and he wears short sleeves whenever possible to show off the guns he’s just started to build. But he doesn’t stay a large boy in flashy clothes. As he grows into a man, if he is successful, and if he is strong, he tones it down. He buys a suit and tie. If he is truly successful, he doesn’t just assume the corporate uniform to fit in. He buys a finer suit than he’s seen on anyone else. He buys expensive, hand-made European shoes…the kind of shoes that look sharp to everyone, but only a handful of people recognize them, know they’re rare, and know what he paid. And those guns? He still works on them in the gym every other day. They’re bigger now. But you don’t see them from across the street. They’re hidden in that finely-tailored suit — so that only a woman who grips his arm really knows.
Yes, as a boy grows into a man, he dons a fine suit. The first 300 was a big boy. It looked brash. It carried a big V8, and you knew that from across the street. It rolled on dubs, or better, and had chrome on every available service. It was as flashy as a four-door could be, and we loved it — because it showed that America could still build those cars. But time has passed that car buy, and now, admit it — when you see one, you just shake your head at its childish excess. You’re not impressed anymore. You’re a little embarassed for it. Soon, though, all that will change. Meet the 2011 Chrysler 300. This car looks like an Ermenegildo Zegna suit custom made for the muscle underneath. And the muscle is still there, ranging from the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 (we loved it in the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee — look for that review soon), or the well-known 5.7-liter V8. The styling is sharp, but also functional — with a more rakish windshield and slightly thinner pillars, visibility is improved while the muscular look of the old one is retained. Inside, you’ll find a huge 8.5-inch LCD touchscreen — the biggest on the market. Blue LEDs set the mood. It’s an impressive space, and looks lightyears beyond Chrysler’s interiors of just a few years ago. And the snarling SRT8 high-performance model? Not yet announced, but you know it’s coming. Chrysler had to get the suit right first…and we think they have.