Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The Chrysler Crossfire is a rear-wheel drive, 2-door sports car marketed by Chrysler as both coupé and roadster and was built for Chrysler by Karmann of Germany for model years 2004-2008.

Developed during the union of Daimler and Chrysler, the two-seater is based on the R170 platform and shares 80% of its components with Mercedes-Benz SLK320. Having initially arrived in 2001 as a concept car styled by Eric Stoddard, the Chrysler was with further refined by Andrew Dyson before production began in 2003. 

The blended DNA of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corporation produced its first offspring in 2003, and hairdressers rejoiced. The Crossfire is just the kind of florid prêt-à-porter that appeals to people in the look-good business. To be sure, the Crossfire does look good.

The car's name is also an unintentional pun about DaimlerChrysler; in the days since the 1998 merger, executives have been regularly mowed down by crossfire between Stuttgart and Detroit. The name "Crossfire" refers to the two character lines that run from front to rear along the body sides — crossing each other midway through the door panel. Conceived during the period of Chrysler's ownership by Daimler-Benz, the name also refers to the collaboration of the two companies.

The Crossfire, which shares both skeleton and muscle with the first-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster, is the first Chrysler product to attain the performance-enhancing SRT label, heretofore bestowed only on Dodges. 

The "street and racing technology" shtick—adding more horsepower, bigger tires, and big attitude—has already been done to a few Dodges, notably, the Ram SRT-10 and Neon-based SRT-4 (all Vipers carry an SRT-10 badge). Buyers who prefer a quick quarter-mile served with essence of tire smoke have approved of the 500-hp pickup and 230-hp subcompact (in fact, various Mopar bolt-on kits will bump the SRT-4's horsepower all the way to 300). These first vehicles have given the SRT moniker a reputation for delivering the real deal. Anticipation runs high for the SRT versions of the Chrysler 300C sedan and Dodge Magnum wagon, now only months away, we are advised.

While we wait, the Crossfire SRT-6 will blaze into dealerships this June as both the $45,695 automatic coupe pictured here and a $49,995 automatic convertible. Criminally, no manual is offered in the SRT-6.

We have written that the base Crossfire has eye-snaring looks and pleasing handling but an engine at least 50 horsepower short of the boiling point. The SRT mods are substantial, as is the price increase. From base Crossfire coupe to SRT-6 coupe, the extra $11,200 buys first and foremost an intercooled supercharger that wrenches another 115 horses from the 3.2-liter, 18-valve V-6. Blown, the V-6 makes 330 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, a twistability increase of 81 pound-feet. And there are only 109 more pounds of curb weight (3220 in all) for the coupe to haul.

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