Designer Virgil Exner's new "forward look," plus new torsion-bar front suspension, helped Chrysler win Motor Trend's Car of the Year in 1957 and turn its falling fortunes around. Following the corporate redesign of its cars, the Chrysler line carried the all-new "Forward Look" for 1957. Sweeping rear fender fins and thinner, modern rooflines highlighted the new design outside.
Interiors featured stylish new instrument panels and upholsteries to complete the statement. Powering the Windsor and returning Saratoga line was an improved version of the 1956 New Yorker engine, while the 1957 New Yorker and 300C received a new 392 CID Hemi-V8 engine. At the front, all models except the 300C sported a new full-width, seven bar horizontal grille, the top two bars of which wrapped around the front fenders to the wheel opening. The 300C used a wide-open, trapezoidal grille, narrower at the top and widening out towards the bottom, with a look of vertical grille bars. The front bumper was also a full wraparound design. Single headlamps were standard at the beginning of the year, with dual headlamps optional. Once most state laws began allowing the new dual set-up, they became standard equipment by mid-year. The real show was at the back with prominent, simply styled tailfins, housing vertical taillamps over horizontal backup lights. Chrysler continued to use a wraparound windshield, now with a much greater slant, yet still managed to avoid the windshield "dog-leg" of other makes.
Body side trim varied by model but was generally basic, avoiding the excesses of some other cars. Windsors used a bodyside trim piece to accent the new tailfin, and the revived Saratoga used a single, full-length trim molding. The Saratoga name had last been used for the 1952 models, and its revival would last only through the 1960 model year. New Yorkers wore a dual, full-length chrome trim piece that was painted in the roof color on two-tone cars. The newly designated 300C featured a stainless trim piece that began just behind the door and ran straight back to a point just above the rear bumper. The round 300C logo was placed midway between the rear wheel opening and the rear bumper tip.
Mechanically, the engine was still of a hemispherical combustion chamber design, but now had 392 cubic inches of displacement and horsepower ratings of 325 up to 390, depending on options and model. This engine was offered only in the New Yorker and 300C. Other Chrysler engineering firsts included a torsion bar suspension system, "Torsion-Aire ride," used on all models, and "Captive-Aire" tires, used exclusively on the New Yorker Town & Country wagon. "Captive-Aire" tires were similar in concept to today's run-flat tires, eliminating the need for a spare tire. Interiors used a wide variety of fabrics and colors to coordinate with all the new colors being introduced. Instrument panels and gauges were easier to read and streamlined compare to their predecessors. The inside rear view mirror was mounted on top of the dashboard, maximizing the view forward.
Despite the new design, sales faltered as prices went up and the economy went into recession. Worse, customers soon found a lot of problems that would quickly damage Chrysler's reputation. Such things as breaking torsion bars and exterior rust-through surfaced quickly, and it would take Chrysler several years to recover.