The Chrysler 300C, due to be launched in SA later this year, has edged out the Audi A6, BMW 6 Series, Porsche 911 and Volvo S40 to win the 2005 North American Car of the Year title.

The Chrysler 300C, due to be launched in SA later this year, has edged out the Audi A6, BMW 6 Series, Ford Mustang and Porsche 911 to win the 2005 North American Car of the Year title.


The announcement was made during the first press preview day at the Detroit Motor Show, capping a months-long process of test driving and voting by 48 journalists from the United States and Canada.


The 300C collected 313 points out of a possible maximum of 480 to win the award. Jurors gave the Ford Mustang 256 points, and the sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette 108 points, reported on Monday.


Other finalists for the 2005 title included: Acura RL, Buick La Crosse, Cadillac STS, Dodge Magnum, Ford Five Hundred, Honda Accord Hybrid and Odyssey, Pontiac G6, Scion tC, Subaru Legacy and Volvo S40/V50.


The 300C – with its sharp creases, high beltline and 250 kW 5,7-litre Hemi pushrod engine – was one of the stars of last year’s Auto Africa Expo, and has been a hit with US consumers since it went on sale in the North American market early in 2004.


With its hi-tech hydraulic valve filters, the Hemi motor uses what Chrysler calls its multi-displacement system to shut off the valve systems on four of the eight cylinders, effectively converting the V8 to a more frugal V4 at cruising speeds.