The 2023 Chrysler 300C is the sedan's most powerful variant ever with its upgrade to Dodge Charger Scat Pack spec. What it isn't is a Hellcat-powered send-off, which would've been more appropriate since this will be Chrysler's last internal combustion muscle car. The 300C shares a platform with the Charger that does get the Hellcat V8, so why is it still going without in its final year?
It's a question that'd bug us for years if we didn't get an answer, so we asked Chrysler. As it turns out, the problem isn't selling Hellcat-powered 300Cs—the problem is building them. According to a person with knowledge of the program, all of the automaker's Hellcat engines are dedicated to other vehicles. Simply put, the 300C doesn't have a Hellcat engine because there aren't enough. Dodge has been moving a lot of Hellcats lately, and with the Durango Hellcat coming back to add demand on top of Ram TRX production and crate engine sales, it figures that Chrysler was left out in the cold.
What's more, anyone who wants a four-door Hellcat can just get in line for a Charger. The lack of a 300C Hellcat hasn't exactly made a difference in sales so far, and it would've still cost money to develop, even if only a small amount. And all for what? To hype a nameplate whose cultural moment has been outlasted by the Charger's?
Don't get me wrong, I wanted to see a 300C Hellcat happen before the chance was gone—to see Chrysler get another moment in the spotlight. But from a cold, hard business perspective, I get it. There'd be little to gain from Hellcatting a Chrysler, and certainly some money to lose. If a 300C Hellcat wasn't worth developing years ago, then it'd be even less worthwhile with the sun setting on the full-size, V8 American sedan.
Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: firstname.lastname@example.org