2011 Chrysler 300 to Get 30 MPG With Eight-Speed Transmission

At today’s Detroit auto show, Chrysler announced the redesigned 300 will get an estimated 30 mpg on the highway with a new eight-speed automatic transmission and the automaker’s Pentastar V-6. The combination will become available “this calendar year,” Chrysler spokesman Jiyan Cadiz told us.

The car will initially be offered with five-speed automatics in both V-6 and V-8 configurations. Cadiz wouldn’t confirm any plans to pair the V-8 with the eight-speed automatic, but it would only seem natural for that to happen sometime down the road. After all, the automaker announced last June that it would invest $300 million in its Kokomo, Ind., transmission plant to produce an eight-speed.

There were no details on what sort of city mileage the transmission might return, but the highway figure is impressive for a full-size car; the competing Toyota Avalon and front-drive Ford Taurus get 29 mpg and 28 mpg, respectively. Few other details on the transmission were available, and Cadiz wouldn’t say if the eight-speed will be offered early on as an option or if it will supplant the five-speed entirely. We’ll let you know once we know more.

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