Chrysler says it is redefining the classic Americanautomobile with the worldwide debut of the Chrysler 300C concept at the2003 New York International Auto Show. With an entirely new shape based onthe company's all-new rear-drive architecture, this concept sedancontinues the Chrysler brand's proud 'letter series' tradition - but in athoroughly modern way, says the company.According to the company, it's been nearly five decades since Chrysler first introduced its 'letter series' cars. The brand's line of Chrysler 300s startedwith the C-300 in 1955, and continued for 11 years. Chrysler 300C features classic proportions -- a long hood, short deck and adramatic profile complete with 20-inch tires. Paying tribute to some ofthe first letter series cars, a production version similar to the Chrysler300C concept will go on sale in 2004, further solidifying the Chryslerbrand's premium position in the market."Chrysler 300C signals a dramatic new design direction for Chrysler," saidDieter Zetsche, president and CEO of the Chrysler Group. "With its newshape and noble proportions, the Chrysler 300C redefines the classicAmerican automobile, while moving the brand solidly into the premiumsegment of the market."While Chrysler 300C is a concept vehicle, it provides a strong hint at thefirst sedan from Chrysler Group's much-anticipated next generation ofrear-wheel drive vehicles to debut in 2004, according to the company."With recent introductions including the innovative Chrysler Pacificasports tourer and the head-turning Crossfire sports coupe, and now theall-new 300C, the Chrysler brand has one of the most impressive productportfolios in the industry," added Zetsche. "These vehicles will enable usto move the Chrysler brand to a premium position within the U.S. market."According to the company, transferring all this power to the pavement is Chrysler's new rear-drivearchitecture. Rear-wheel drive offers improved handling with front wheelssteering and rear wheels driving. With tremendous advances in tiretechnology and electronic stability control, Chrysler brings back therear-wheel drive passenger sedan.The Chrysler 300C concept also marks the return of the HEMI engine to theChrysler brand after more than 30 years. The engine design thatpowered Chrysler's 'letter series' cars in the 1950s has been re-engineeredand reborn as a modern, high-performance, fuel-efficient and durablepowerplant known as the all-new 5.7-liter HEMI V-8."Combining confident performance with stunning design, the Chrysler 300Cconcept defines our next generation of automobiles," said Zetsche. "Withrear-wheel drive and HEMI Inside, Chrysler 300C delivers power andperformance in an elegant package."