When the Chrysler 300 hit the streets, it was a new dawn in American luxury sedans. Rear-wheel drive, a fantastic look that was dripping high-end style, and road manners that rivaled Europe's best, thanks to Europe's best taking part in its design. But if the standard 300 wasn't enough, the SRT guys came through by adding a couple tweaks, creating a distinctive luxury sedan with the heart of a muscle car with the 300 SRT8. And for the pros/geniuses/daredevils at Hennessey Performance, that was finally the perfect backdrop for their science experiment: this 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Hennessey HPE650. Packing a 6.4L Supercharged HEMI engine, a full fuel system upgrade, and the requisite Hennessey branding/appearance package, this is not your mother's 4-door grocery getter.
Maybe it's no longer a grocery-getter, but it's certainly still a sleeper. Typically, Hennessey Performance isn't one to be shy, but other than a few carefully placed badges and a pair of oversized exhaust pipes, this super-clean sedan looks pretty much like standard 300 SRT8. But underneath, it' anything but standard. In fact, this is probably the closest thing you'll ever get to a Chrysler Hellcat, although the rumored 2023 Chrysler 300C SRT is allegedly going to come close. Nevertheless, until that happens, this is the only 4-door sedan than will give the Dodge Hellcat a run for its money, and as the Serial #1 car built by Hennessey, it's an incredibly special build. The original, 2nd generation 300 design still looks best dressed in SRT Design garb, with its deep chin spoiler, blacked-out mesh grilles, and aggressive rear fascia, which combine with those oversized tires to make it look WAY longer, lower, and meaner than a garden-variety 300. The Ivory Tri-Coat Pearl paint helps tame the car's intimidating presence, giving it a more formal look instead, like a heavyweight prizefighter in a tuxedo. And with the low miles and low ownership, it remains in outstanding condition. There are probably a few incredibly minor signs of what might be called "shelf wear" (although if we're honest, we've seen NOTHING to complain about), but you know that it's had an incredibly easy time of it over the past ten years. Other SRT8 tricks include a subtle deck lid spoiler and tough-looking lower rear valance with trumpeted dual exhaust, while the special Hennessey HPE650 badging on the fenders and decklid let everyone know this sedan can throw down with the best.
The black leather-and-suede interior shows off its sports car DNA with deeply contoured bucket seats and a driver-oriented environment. There's almost no wear on any of the seating surfaces despite the deep bolsters and you'll note beautiful white SRT logos on the seatbacks. An SRT-spec leather-wrapped steering wheel transmits everything the front wheels are doing directly to your palms, yet the 300 doesn't forget it's a luxury car designed in Europe, so there are beautiful, bright-trimmed SRT gauges with elegant markings, white stitching throughout all the elegant soft stuff, an elegant center-mounted timepiece, and carbon-fiber accents on the dash and center console. Everything you can think of was standard, including power windows, locks, and seats, climate control, push-button start, adaptive cruise control, etc., and with the added Customer Preferred Package 21X, you also get a 900-watt amplified, 19-premium speaker system, multi-function folding mirrors with supplemental signals, and a dual-plane panoramic sunroof up top, just to a name few. Bottom line, it's loaded. Hennessey added embroidered headrests, floormats, and a serial-numbered dash plaque that proudly boasts this is the #1 car. The back seat is upholstered in matching leather and suede and provides plenty of room for passengers, and there's enough room in the massive trunk for all their gear. And did I mention that it's all in essentially new condition?
The 6.4-liter Supercharged HEMI V8 is one of the most powerful production engines in the US, with 580 horsepower on tap. The TVS2300 Supercharger system was professionally installed by Hennessey at their Texas facilities, along with a custom HPE pulley (7-8 PSI boost), a custom HPE thermostat, HPE engine management calibration, ported factory cylinder heads, and chassis dyno-tuning to hone it all in. In all honesty, this thing is absolutely bonkers in every way. It's too much power, too much speed, too much being too much. It's the ultimate Mopar muscle car, and the thing just flat-out scoots. Hit the push-button ignition and it fires instantly, breathes perfectly with the help of a Hennessey HPE air-induction system, burbles through Hennessey stainless-steel long-tube headers matched up with high-flow cats, and happily swills 93-octane pump gas thanks to an upgraded fuel system. A 580 horsepower vehicle does all this! I can barely get my head around it. It's linked to a 5-speed automatic transmission, which may seem like the easy way out until you realize that the car is faster with a computer handling the shifts and you'll be too busy holding on with two hands and screaming like a little girl for it to matter. Thankfully, it's not just some brute that can't handle itself in the corners (both on the track and off), as the reworked SRT8 suspension is beefed up to notably reduce body roll, the Brembo brakes are as big as manhole covers, and it gets special SRT 20-inch aluminum wheels shod with 245/45/20 radials that are rumored to have the most fragrant tire smoke.
A sure-fire future collectable and a flat-out blast to drive today, there are very few vehicles more outrageous than this "Chrysler Hellcat". Call today!
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