The first Jalopnik post ever was a review of the then-new Chrysler 300, which means it’ll be some kind of milestone if and when the 300 takes leave from this world. And according to a new report, Chrysler is slashing two trim levels on the 300 for next year, making me wonder if “when” is getting here ever closer.
CarsDirect.com got a hold of a dealer order guide which shows that the Limited and 300C trims will be discontinued for 2021, leaving only the Touring and 300S versions. In the process, that means that the 300 will also lose some options, too.
With the demise of the Limited and 300C, our analysis finds that premium features like real-wood interior trim, Nappa leather, and quilted seats will no longer be available. You’ll still be able to buy the optional 5.7L V8, but the price is going up.
The 2021 Chrysler 300 Touring will start at $31,940 with destination and come with a 292 hp 3.6L paired to an 8-speed automatic. The 300S will continue to feature a 300 hp V6 ($38,890), but pricing for the 363 hp V8 will increase by $1,000.
Even though the Touring will be just $405 more than the previous year ($31,535), the cost of the V8 will increase to $4,000 in the 300S. That will bring the price of the S to $42,890, which is $1,400 more than what the 2020 model currently costs.
Chrysler sold 29,213 300s last year, which was a full 37 percent fewer than the 46,593 300s it sold in 2018. It sold 8,383 300s in the first half of this year, which, even with the pandemic and all, suggests that the 300 is on track for another year of sales declines.
And while I’m sure Chrysler will say that it makes money on every 300 it sells, given that the 2020 car starts at $30,040, at some point you also get the feeling that Chrysler will just give up and embrace what contemporary Chrysler really is, which is the minivan division of FCA, given the new Pacifica and death of the Caravan.
That would fit, in any case, with FCA’s apparent strategy of giving its brands clear identities, with Ram being the truck one, Dodge being the muscle car one, Fiat and Alfa Romeo being the Italian ones, and Jeep being the Jeep one. Chrysler being the minivan one would be a strange, possibly fitting new chapter for a marque that used to mean American luxury.