Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Chrysler imagined a full-size sedan that could take on the European carmakers when it introduced the 300 M in 1998 as a successor for the Eagle Vision.
While the Eagle brand was bleeding and closing to an undeserved death, Chrysler needed a new vehicle to replace the Eagle Vision. It already had the Intrepid in its lineup, but it needed something to fit in the five-meter (16.4 ft) European standards. That was the 300 M, built on the same platform as its longer Concord sibling.
With its rakish profile and narrow front end, the 300 M looked dynamic even when it was parked. Its cab-forward design emphasized the front-wheel-drive system, which was unusual for the 300 Series. Its nameplate predecessor was a coupe from 1970, so it had to look sporty and drive even sportier. Its short decklid in the back enhanced the aggressive stance.
Inside, the 300 M was roomy thanks to the big wheelbase and well-composed interior. The front bucket seats offered more comfort than stability during high-speed cornering, while the bench was wide enough to host three adults but profiled for two. The black interior and wood trims were the main accents, while the white dials in the instrument cluster with green back-light provided an additional sporty image.
Under the hood, the American carmaker offered the 300 M with a European-tuned 2.7-liter V-6 that provided 200 hp and a punchier 3.5-liter good for 248 hp. Unfortunately, Chrysler paired both of them to a four-speed automatic, which was one less than its European competitors and affected the car’s performance.