Spy shots have emerged from the US of a Chrysler 300 SRT with a widened wheel track testing on the roads of Michigan, suggesting the American manufacturer might be developing a supercharged V8 Demon version of the already fast sedan.
The 300 SRT was discontinued in the US in 2015 but is still sold in Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, suggesting if the Hellcat made it to production, Australia would be in a prime position to take it.
Given the upcoming demise of the locally built HSV ClubSport R8 LSA and GTS, which are also large sedans with big, supercharged V8 engines, there would be a gap in the market that the Demon could fill.
However bringing it to Australia would require right-hand-drive compliance and a solid business case.
Given that Chrysler has ended its presence in the UK, Australia and New Zealand would likely be the sole RHD markets for a SRT Demon, which could make a viable business case a tough proposition for what would presumably be a relatively low-volume vehicle.
The spy photos show an SRT that looks similar to the regular, aspirated version apart from the obvious widened wheel track, which suggests that it may have received a transplant of the all-wheel-drive (AWD) system from the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
An AWD set-up would help transmit the Hellcat’s 527kW/881Nm to the road, with the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 likely to be mated to a heavy-duty eight-speed automatic transmission, as is in the Trackhawk and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
The body of the 300 SRT would have to be widened significantly to house the wider wheel track, but this could lower its centre of gravity and lead to better handling.
Another point of difference in the spy photos is the wheel and tyre combination, with the test mule eschewing the large, 20-inch rims and low-profile tyres from the regular SRT for what looks to be 17-inch five-spoke wheels borrowed from the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and larger profile tyres with semi-slick tread.
Stopping power comes courtesy of large Brembo brakes front and rear, which if borrowed from the Charger SRT Hellcat or Trackhawk would take the form of either 390 or 400mm two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia has been in talks for some months with the New South Wales police force about using 300 SRTs when the current fleet of Holden Commodore and Ford Falcons winds down over the next three years.
The 300 has passed the first round of police force testing, and FCA’s director of sales Ed Butler has previously told CarsGuide that the SRT fits the bill nicely for a replacement to the Commodore and Falcon.
“There's a process that the NSW police follows, there's a process that we follow and I think it's moving in the right direction. We have a great product, it has the right engine, and I can see lots of them on the highway with police stickers on them,” he said in February.
“It's purely the 300 SRT that we're looking at. It's the only car that we are currently discussing. There's always the community engagement stuff, but we are not talking with them about any other model.”