Chrysler has launched a “Motown Edition” of its 300 sedan that will come with an SD card pre-loaded with 100 Motown hits.
The Chrysler press release about the new model says, “If cars are the heart of the Motor City, music is its soul.” The Motown Edition 300 would appear, then, to be another of the company’s recent efforts to market itself by marketing Detroit. Those efforts include the company’s decision in 2011 to use the tagline “Imported from Detroit” in its advertising. No doubt Chrysler hopes memories of legendary music produced by Motown Records– not to mention a commercial featuring Motown founder Barry Gordy riding in the back of the Motown Edition 300 from Detroit to New York City to see the opening of “Motown: The Musical” on Broadway— will strike an emotional chord with car shoppers.
Like its Dodge sister, the Charger, the Motown Edition of Chrysler’s 300 gets Beats Audio technology that uses a 12-channel amp to push 10 speakers with the proprietary Beats Audio equalization algorithm. The UConnect infotainment system features what Chrysler bills as “the segment’s largest touchscreen” at 8.4 inches, which allows connectivity with other devices, infotainment, and multimedia features to be accessed seamlessly.
UConnect’s audio system features an SD card reader that will be pre-loaded with an SD card featuring 100 songs by original Motown artists, the release said. Unfortunately, Chrysler did not provide the playlist, but did hint that a young Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Supremes, and the Temptations are likely to be featured by way of including them in the commercial that began airing Thursday, Dec. 20.
Other things that make the Motown Edition 300 different from any other 300 in Chrysler’s stable: Bright chrome front and rear fascia treatments, mirror caps, door handles, and greenhouse surround trim plus a unique Mopar seven-blade chrome grille and “heritage design” 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, for starters. It also comes in unique colors including Bright White, Gloss Black, Deep Cherry Red, and Jazz Blue. Inside, it gets Pearl White Nappa leather seating, extensive use of Piano Black trim pieces, satin silver accents, and black olive ash wood trim.
Under the hood, the car won’t have any tricks up its sleeve that other 300s don’t already have. It will feature the same base 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine pushing 292 horsepower through a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission that help all 300s get an EPA-estimated 31 MPG highway. No word in the press release if the Motown Edition will be available with the legendary Hemi V8 that sacrifices fuel economy for sheer muscle, but knowing Chrysler, it’s probably just one little check-mark away on any Motown Edition option list.
“We are Motown and this is what we do,” quips Gordy as he steps out of the Motown Edition 300 in the commercial. By that, we hope he means build ever-better yank tanks that shatter long-held preconceptions about American luxury cars, not build endless “special editions” to distract people from the brand’s shortcomings. So far, Chrysler gives no reason to believe it has fallen into the latter trap.
The Motown Edition 300 will bow at the North American International Auto Show in (where else?) Detroit in January. Chrysler says it will sticker starting at about $34,000 after destination charge and will be available at Chrysler dealers next spring. We look forward to seeing one in person– if only so we can bump that SD card playlist through the Beats Audio system.