2005: Chrysler 300C
“At a time when the American auto industry needs heroes, the 300C wins the medal of honor, hands down. Chrysler’s 340-hp, Hemi-headed honey has taken America by storm. To see this four-door behemoth hustling down the highway at triple-digit speeds is to crave desperately a turn at its whimsical faux-tortoiseshell wheel. It’s the sort of big ballsy, luxurious car for which America used to be known – a full-scale, rear-wheel-drive, V-8 powered sedan looking to kick butt – but with a twist provided by its clever German owners. That twist comes in the form of some important engineering elements – front and rear suspension systems, the five-speed manumatic transmission, and optional four-wheel-drive – provided graciously by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
“The 300C is Teutonically terrific, but its basic concept and bold design are purely American, one of the few successful Detroit designs outside of those icons of automotive Americana – the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Mustang – actually to inspire a little flag waving from sea to shining sea. In this day and age, when it has become as difficult to find an automotive superstar as it has been to find a truly awful car, the 300C shines brightly as our all-American MVP.