Chrysler Crossfire

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Chrysler Crossfire
2004 Chrysler Crossfire 3.2.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerDaimlerChrysler
ProductionFebruary 2003 – December 2007 (76,014 units)
Model years2004–2008
AssemblyGermany: Osnabrück (Karmann)
DesignerEric Stoddard
Andrew Dyson
Body and chassis
ClassSports car
Body style
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Platform
RelatedMercedes-Benz SLK-Class (R170)
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase94.5 in (2,400 mm)
Length159.8 in (4,059 mm)
Width69.5 in (1,765 mm)
Height
  • 51.5 in (1,308 mm) (coupe)
  • 51.8 in (1,316 mm) (roadster)
Chronology
PredecessorChrysler Prowler
Chrysler TC by Maserati

The Chrysler Crossfire is a rear-wheel drive, two-seat sports car that was sold by Chrysler and built by Karmann of Germany for the 2004 to 2008 model years.

Developed during the union of Daimler and Chrysler, the two-seater is based on the Mercedes-Benz R170 platform which shares 80% of its components with the first generation SLK.[3][4] The second generation SLK was built on a new R171 platform starting in the 2005 model year; the R170 platform was essentially handed down to Chrysler for use in building the Crossfire. Having initially arrived in 2001 as a concept car styled by Eric Stoddard,[5] the Chrysler was further refined by Andrew Dyson[6] before production began in 2003 for 2004 model year sales.

Design[edit]

The name "Crossfire" refers to the two character lines that run from front to rear along the body sides — their crease directions cross below the mirrors on the door panels.[7] Conceived during the period of Chrysler's ownership by Daimler-Benz, the name also refers to the collaboration of the two companies.

The "crossfire" character lines of the bodyside change direction of their creases on the door

The Chrysler Crossfire concept car was introduced at the 2001 North American International Auto Show and the production version unveiled at the 2002 Los Angeles Auto Show as a 2004 model "is as faithful a translation from concept to production as any in recent memory."[8][9] The concept car was made "to evoke a strong, passionate, emotional response. We had to retain that. We want to polarize our audience—we want people to love it or hate it."[8] Conceived to be a two-seat image building or halo car for the Chrysler brand, the marketing objective was also to make use of available components using a two-seat roadster chassis. The production car shares about 39% of its parts with Mercedes-Benz vehicles and Chrysler dealers were required to invest in special equipment, tools, and parts to be able to sell the new luxury model.[10] The rear-wheel-drive Crossfire coupe design objective was to make an "impression" with looks that are "unique, almost sculptural."[11]

The Crossfire's visual presence includes a wide body raked over relatively huge 19-inch rear wheels and 18-inch front wheels.[12] The most distinctive design element is the fastback roof and broad rear fenders made for a rear end design that prompted automotive journalists and writers to compare the new car to American Motors' 1965–1967 AMC Marlin.[13] The "distinctive boat-tail rear end that reminds more than one observer of the old Rambler Marlin."[14] For example, Rob Rothwell wrote "... when I first espied the rear lines of the Chrysler Crossfire I was instantly transported back to 1965 and my favorite car of that year, the Rambler Marlin."[15] Motor Trend also compared the "provocative boattail theme" of the 2004 Crossfire's sheetmetal to that of the AMC Marlin fastback.[16] Likewise, the new Chrysler's boat-tail is "formed as the edges of the roof converge into a kind of teardrop shape, leaving the rear fenders to flare out over the rear wheels."[12]

Construction and features[edit]

Roadster with the top down

Chrysler executed the interior and exterior styling. All other elements of the car such as wheelbase, track, engine, transmission, chassis structure, suspension components, are shared with the R170 platform.[17] An example of this is the engine bay of the Crossfire, which is virtually identical to the Mercedes-Benz SLK320 on the R170 platform. The seats from the Mercedes-Benz SLK320 would bolt directly into the Crossfire chassis. The dashboard layout, controls and instruments are also similar to those on the Mercedes-Benz SLK320.

The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual with an optional 5-speed automatic. Base (standard) and Limited models, originally sold beginning in the 2004 model year, were equipped with a Mercedes-Benz M112 3.2 L, 18-valve, SOHC V6 engine that was rated by Chrysler at 215 hp (160 kW) and 229 pound force-feet (310 N⋅m) of torque.[18]

The SRT-6 models were equipped with a supercharged version of the M112 engine built by Mercedes' performance branch, AMG. The SRT-6 models came only with the 5-speed automatic transmission, consistent with AMG cars of the same era. The 6-speed transmission used by the Chrysler Crossfire is a variant of the Mercedes sourced NSG-370. The 5-speed automatic transmission in the Crossfire (known as 5G-Tronic) is also Mercedes sourced and a variant of the 722.6 family. The automatic achieves a better EPA fuel efficiency rating over the 6MT, mostly due to the difference in gear ratios.

Unlike most cars of its time, the Crossfire does not use a rack and pinion steering system; instead, it utilizes a recirculating ball system as employed on the donor R170 platform.[17] Front suspension is unequal length (SLA) double wishbone suspension with 5 point multi link in the rear.[19] Just like the concept car, all Crossfire models were built with two different wheel sizes measuring 18x7.5-inch on the front and 19x9-inch on the rear.[20] Standard all-season tires were 225/40R18 on the front and 255/35R19 on the rear.

The first production Crossfire was driven off the assembly line on 3 February 2003, by Chrysler Group's COO Wolfgang Bernhard in Germany.[21]

Chrysler Crossfire 2005 SRT-6 with Mercedes-AMG Engine

Equipment[edit]

The Chrysler Crossfire's standard features included large alloy wheels with performance-rated tires, a Becker (part of Harman/Kardon)–sourced AM/FM stereo with anti-theft system and a single-disc CD player, keyless entry with security alarm, a power-retractable rear wing spoiler, leather-trimmed seating surfaces, dual power front sports bucket seats, full instrumentation, a 3.2 L V6 engine with a manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive (RWD), a leather-wrapped and stitched steering wheel, a power-retractable cloth convertible roof (for convertible models), front floor mats, and air conditioning.

Optional features on the Chrysler Crossfire included an automatic transmission, a six-speaker premium Infinity sound system with two "subwoofers" mounted directly behind each seat, a CD-based GPS navigational system, exterior paint colors, and additional interior color choices.

Sales and production numbers[edit]

The original contract with Karmann to build the Crossfire was for about five years with an annual sales target of 20,000 units in the United States.[22] Sales of the Crossfire were slow, with an average 230-day supply of the vehicles during November 2005. A small number of Crossfires were imported to the United States and Mexico for 2006 (and almost all of these were roadsters).[23]

Chrysler discontinued the Crossfire after the 2008 model year, as part of its restructuring plans.[24] The last Crossfire rolled off of the assembly line on December 17, 2007.

Officially recognized production numbers by model year by
Chrysler and Crossfire International Car Club Incorporated[25]
Model Type Model Year
2004
2005 2006 2007 2008 Grand Total
Crossfire Coupe 0 1807 770 434 0 3011
Crossfire Limited Coupe 22801 9027 2155 1063 826 35872
Crossfire Limited Coupe (RHD) 2322 983 591 128 0 4024
Crossfire Limited Roadster (both LHD and RHD) 0 18501 4281 1905 960 25647
Crossfire Roadster 0 1806 780 803 0 3389
Crossfire SRT-6 Coupe 0 2419 47 0 0 2466
Crossfire SRT-6 Coupe (RHD) 0 26 79 0 0 105
Crossfire SRT-6 Roadster 0 1252 69 0 0 1321
Crossfire SRT-6 Roadster (RHD) 0 78 101 0 0 179
Grand Total 25123 35899 8873 4333 1786 76014
Notes:
LHD = Left hand drive (or steering wheel on the left side)
RHD = Right hand drive (or steering wheel on the right side)
Crossfire Coupe and Crossfire Roadster refer to the "Base" model
Year[26][27] 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Production 35,700 28,000 12,500 4,805 2,000
Note: Cars produced in one calendar year may be marketed as the following model year.

Models[edit]

Model Years Engine Displacement Power Torque Handling 0-60 mph (97 km/h) Top Speed
Limited 2004–2008 3.2 L V6 195.2 cu in (3199 cc)[1] 215 hp (160 kW; 218 PS)[1] 229 lb⋅ft (310 N⋅m)[1] Skid pad 1.0g

70 – 0 mph in 161 ft.[28]

6.4 sec (6-speed manual)[29]

155 mph (electronically limited)
Base (Standard) 2005–2008
SRT-6 2005–2006 Supercharged 3.2 L V6 330 hp (246 kW; 335 PS)[2] 310 lb⋅ft (420 N⋅m) Skid pad 1.0g

70 – 0 mph in 157 ft.[28]

4.8 sec (5-speed automatic)[30] 155 mph (electronically limited)

Base and Limited[edit]

For the first model year (2004), only the coupe was offered (with no trim levels), equipped quite similarly to the next year's Limited model. In model year 2005, there were two models available; Coupe and Roadster, each with three trim levels: Base (with fewer amenities), Limited, and SRT-6 (supercharged). There was an SE Roadster model (essentially a base model) in 2006-2007 available only in Blaze Red Crystal Pearl and with black accented 15-spoke SRT-6 style wheels. Base Crossfire models, both Coupe and Roadster, have black painted windshield frames, black filler plugs (in place of fog lights) in the front fascia, and fabric seats with separate, movable headrests. Limited and SRT-6 models, both Coupe and Roadster, all have silver painted windshield frames and are equipped with fog lights. The Limited has leather upholstery. The SRT-6 model has unique Leather/Alcantara upholstery. All Base and Limited Crossfire models included an electronic wing on the back hatch that would go up at about 65 mph and comes back down at 45 mph. The wing had a manual switch to raise it and lower it at any speed.

SRT-6[edit]

2005 Crossfire SRT-6 Coupe in Sapphire Silver Blue

The SRT-6 trim level, as both coupe and convertible, featured an Mercedes-Benz AMG M112 3.2 L V6 supercharged engine delivering 330 hp (246 kW) and 310 lb⋅ft (420 N⋅m) of torque.[2] Other SRT-6 model-specific features included suspension and brake modifications, a front fascia air dam and a fixed rear spoiler. The Crossfire SRT-6 model used the same drivetrain, suspension, and braking components as those used on the Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG. The standard tires were upgraded to Z-rated Michelin Pilot Sports, sized 225/40R18 on the front and 255/35R19s in back.[31] The SRT-6 cars did not feature the electronic wing that the Base and Standard cars featured.

In 2006, the SRT-6 was changed to special order only.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "2008 Crossfire Feature Availability and Specifications" (PDF). Chrysler media. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "2006 Chrysler Crossfire Specifications" (PDF). Chrysler media. pp. 10–13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  3. ^ Rosenholtz, Jared (4 July 2018). "The Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 Is A Supercharged Bargain". CarBuzz. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  4. ^ Bell, Matt (18 April 2018). "New Age Classic - Chrysler Crossfire". Classics World. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  5. ^ Patton, Phil (27 May 2007). "From a Bad Marriage, Pretty Babies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  6. ^ Joe, Lorio (April 2009). "Chrysler Crossfire – Road Test & Review". Automobile. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  7. ^ Odell, John (28 May 2003). "Chrysler Crossfire: Los Angeles Times's view". cars.com. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b Wyss, Wallace A. (April 2003). "Chrysler Crossfire - Car News". Car and Driver. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Preview: '04 Chrysler Crossfire". The Car Connection. 7 January 2002. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  10. ^ Connelly, Mary (2 June 2003). "Crossfire purely an 'image car'". Automotive News. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  11. ^ Williams, Paul (10 August 2011). "Car Review: 2004 Chrysler Crossfire Limited". Driving. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  12. ^ a b Neil, Dan (1 October 2003). "Caught up in the Crossfire". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  13. ^ Cranswick, Marc (2011). The Cars of American Motors: An Illustrated History. McFarland. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-7864-4672-8. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  14. ^ Lienert, Paul (26 March 2003). "Crossfire's looks sizzle, performance sputters". The Detroit News.
  15. ^ Rothwell, Rob (2 May 2004). "2004 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Road Test". auto 123. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  16. ^ Sessions, Ron (May 2003). "First Drive: 2004 Chrysler Crossfire". Motor Trend. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  17. ^ a b Edmonson, Gail; Kerwin, Kathleen (29 September 2003). "DaimlerChrysler: Stalled". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  18. ^ Pund, Daniel (1 May 2003). "2004 Chrysler Crossfire". Car and Driver. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  19. ^ Lorio, Joe (April 2009). "Chrysler Crossfire – Road Test & Review". Automobile. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  20. ^ Stewart, Ben (June 2003). "Automotive: Reports From Around The World". Popular Mechanics. 180 (6): 50. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  21. ^ "hrysler Group COO Wolfgang Bernhard drives first, all-new 2004 Chrysler Crossfire off the production line". business.highbeam.com (Press release). 3 February 2003. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  22. ^ "USA: Chrysler's Crossfire 'halo' car has doubtful future". just-auto. 30 September 2005. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Overstock.com Announces New Marketing Partnership With Chrysler Group". Overstock.com (Press release). Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  24. ^ Durbin, Dee-Ann (1 November 2007). "Chrysler to cut up to 12,000 jobs". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 3 November 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  25. ^ "Officially recognized production numbers by CICCI". 23 November 2013. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  26. ^ Waterman, Stuart (14 March 2006). "Chrysler caught in own Crossfire?". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  27. ^ Figures for 2006/2007: Automobil Revue, catalogue edition 2008, p. 47.
  28. ^ a b "2004 Chrysler Crossfire (from DaimlerChrysler Press Release)". Serious Wheels. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  29. ^ DeLorenzo, Matt (October 2009). "2004 Chrysler Crossfire – Road Test — Where style is substance". Road & Track. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  30. ^ Robinson, Aaron (March 2005). "2005 Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 – Comparison Tests". Car & Driver. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  31. ^ New Cars and Trucks Buyer's Guide. Edmunds. 2006. p. 217. Retrieved 13 January 2018.

References[edit]

External links[edit]