2005 Chrysler Crossfire
When you're wheeling Chrysler's Crossfire through the Midwestern
countryside, it's easy to visualize you're cruising the back roads
That's because the Crossfire has a German soul in spite of its
American name. The German soul is even more pronounced in the
Roughly 40 percent of the Crossfire's components, mainly the V-6
powertrain and axles, are from Mercedes-Benz. The 94.5-inch
wheelbase, 51.4-inch height and 159.8-inch length are almost
identical to the last-generation SLK.
The Crossfire squares off against sports cars such as the Audi TT,
Porsche Boxster and Nissan 350 Z. The standard roadster starts at
just under $35,000, while the SRT6 starts at $49,120. That's a
hefty jump in price, but then, the SRT6 has a hefty jump in
A 215-horsepower, 3.2-liter engine with single overhead cams and
three valves per cylinder powers the standard Crossfire. The SRT6,
however, is bolstered with an impressive 330 horsepower, thanks to
a helical supercharger and water-to-air intercooler.
Chrysler claims the SRT6 squirts to 60 miles per hour in roughly
The SRT6 flexes its muscles across a wide power band. It's docile
when you dawdle and fierce the second you nail the throttle. A
five-speed AutoStick automatic is the only transmission available.
The lack of a manual gearbox might be a drawback to performance
purists, but the AutoStick can be shifted manually when you
Designers have done a good job of translating the coupe's boat tail
shape into the roadster. From the rear it looks fast, wide and
sleek because of a sizable rear spoiler. Up front, "speed" grooves
crease the hood.
A fully independent suspension, double wishbone in front and a
five-link unit in back, is again similar to that of the SLK320. The
SRT6's suspension has been firmed up to handle the extra power.
Low-profile tires and tight suspension yield responsive handling,
but the SRT6's ride quality suffers as a result. It is quite
On the road, the chassis of this two-seater feels solid and secure.
The high waistline enhances the feeling of sitting well down inside
the vehicle. Rear vision with the top up is not great.
The Crossfire's cabin is small, yet it doesn't feel confining.
Heated bucket seats grip the side of the driver's torso, which is
especially helpful when attacking turns. Much of the instrument
panel and switchgear is borrowed from the SLK320. Dual-zone air
conditioning is standard, but wheel-shaped knobs regulate the
temperature settings and they seemed harder to fine tune. The
center stack is a mass of bright silver that sometimes reflects
light into the driver's eyes. The gear lever has a slight ridge in
the middle to mirror the one on the roof. Brushed-silver trim also
rings the gauges. Interior storage space is somewhat limited, and
the trunk, too, is fairly small.
Safety items include antilock brakes, traction control, tire
pressure monitoring and a vehicle stability system. Side airbags
are built into the doors.
The Crossfire is built at the Karmann factory in Germany.
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