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The Chrysler Crossfire was a rear-wheel-drive two-seater produced between 2004 and 2008 when Daimler and Chrysler united. The two-door sports car, constructed by Karmann and marketed by Chrysler, was made in two body types – as a coupe and later as a roadster.
The car’s name, Crossfire, can be interpreted in a couple of ways. It can refer to the period of collaboration of two auto giants or it can relate to two horizontal creases that stretch out along the car’s body, from the front to the rear; one right below the window line and one above the threshold.
The Chrysler Crossfire took over about 80 per cent of the constituents from the discontinued R170 Mercedes-Benz SLK320 including the platform. However, for some reasons, the car never was as profitable as the model it was based on. Approaching 2008, the Crossfire’s sales fell dramatically. Probably, it should have been modernized urgently but the manufacturer ignored this fact. As a result, the model that was being produced during nearly five years with about 80,000 units sold had to be discontinued.
While almost all the technical equipment of the Chrysler Crossfire – powertrain, chassis, suspension parts, etc. – was the same the vehicles with the R170 platform used (the Mercedes-Benz SLK320 for example), unique exterior and interior design was developed by Chrysler.
The Chrysler Crossfire of the last model year was undoubtedly a head-turner. A chance that you could notice a car resembling or outbraving it on the road was negligible. If your biggest fear was melting into the background of impersonal, featureless, commonplace vehicles, the Chrysler Crossfire was the car that could dispel it in a blink of an eye.
The sports car looked muscular and chiselled thanks to a combination of soft lines and sharp edges as well as a centre spine, which was one of its appearances’s distinguishing features. Even those satiated with wealth and exclusivity weren’t likely to have their heart set against the Chrysler Crossfire.
As its exterior, the 2008 Chrysler Crossfire’s interior was also very beautifully designed, so that disappointment didn’t rush over anybody who got inside. The car’s exterior and interior were equal and it was a good thing.
The cabin of the Chrysler Crossfire was two-tone with aluminium trimming, the silver colour of which brightened it up. It was high-class, exquisite, and cosy, pleasing to the eye. However, a flagrant injustice was that most aluminium-looking parts were nothing else but silver-painted plastic that was totally unacceptable in the cars coming at such a price ($35,000-40,000 depending on a body type).
A rather large centre console was metallic with well-arranged and legible controls on it. It started from the centre of the dashboard and flowed down as if dividing the cabin into two compartments – a driver’s and a passenger’s. As for the steering wheel, it also looked posh. The stalks of the steering column were embellished with aluminium inserts.
There was space for two passengers in the Chrysler Crossfire. They were accommodated in the seats that were considered to be one of the most comfortable in the segment.
There was plenty of head, elbow, and leg room in the car. If a driver or passenger was exceptionally tall, they could boost leg room by adjusting their seats to their physical parameters. However, a little nuisance emerged here: as you set them far back, your head might rest against the bulkhead that appeared to be pretty close to your seat.
Rear visibility the Chrysler Crossfire offered was somewhat restricted meaning a driver had to make an effort to reverse-park. It was so due to a high window line and rather low driver’s position. Also, the car offered modest luggage space – there were just 7.6 cu ft at the back. Small compartments for storing different knick-knacks weren’t numerous and were rather incapacious in addition. There was just a glovebox of an average size and narrow door pockets.
Powertrain and Fuel Efficiency
The 2008 Chrysler Crossfire was powered not by a traditional 330-hp SRT6 engine; it used to be installed on the previously produced models. The latest version of the sports car had a 3.2-litre 6-cylinder motor that generated 215 hp and 229 lb/ft of torque.
Teamed up with a 6-speed manual gearbox, it returned 15 mpg city and 23 mpg hwy according to the EPA while a 5-speed automatic transmission provided better fuel efficiency – 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
The 2008 Chrysler Crossfire was represented in the only trim level called Limited for both a coupe and convertible; the base one wasn’t available.
Standard features the Chrysler Crossfire numbered were 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels, power roof (a single push on the button was enough to lower or raise it) with a glass rear window, and defroster. Inside, you could find power-adjustable leather seats, steering wheel wrapped in leather, 8-speaker 240-W sound system, and a dual-zone manual air conditioner.
Among options were an automatic transmission with Auto Stick, navigation system, and heated seats. It’s obvious that the car lacked in communications and entertainment technologies.
The IIHS didn’t test the Chrysler Crossfire unlike the NHTSA that awarded it top five stars for side impact protection and rollover resistance.
The sports car was well-equipped in terms of safety. It offered front and side airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, and ABS with traction and stability controls as standard safety features (but not a spare tire). There were also knee airbags and brake assist in it.
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