The two-seater arrived in 2001 as a concept car designed by Eric Stoddard with further refinement by Andrew Dyson before beginning production in 2003.
The Crossfire's fastback roof and broad rear fenders made for a rear end design that prompted automotive journalists to describe the new car's resemblance to American Motors’ 1965–1967 Marlin. 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. Motor Trend" also noted the "provocative boattail theme" of the 2004 Crossfire's sheetmetal to that of the AMC Marlin's.
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.
Construction and featuresEdit
The Crossfire shares 80% of its components with other Mercedes-Benz models. The engine bay of the Crossfire is virtually identical to the Mercedes-Benz SLK320 on the R170 platform. This engine bay has now been proven capable of housing Mercedes V8 engines, which increases the car's performance considerably. The wheelbase and track width are also identical to the SLK320. The seats from the SLK320 bolt directly into the Crossfire chassis. The dashboard, control panel and instruments are mostly identical to the SLK as well.
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, are equipped with a 3.2 L, 18-valve, SOHC V6 engine which produces 215 hp (160 kW) and 229 pound-feet (310 N·m) of torque.
The 6-speed transmission on the Chrysler Crossfire is a variant of the NSG-370. The automatic transmission on the Crossfire achieves a better EPA fuel efficiency rating over the 6MT, mostly due to the difference in gear ratios.
Unlike most sport cars of its time, the Crossfire does not use a rack and pinion steering system; instead, it utilizes a recirculating ball system. Front suspension is double wishbone with 5 point multi link in the rear.
The sales of the Crossfire were slow, with an average 230 day supply of the vehicles during November 2005. In December, the cars were listed on Overstock.com to clear out inventory. Very few Crossfires were imported to the United States and Mexico for 2006 (and almost all of these were roadsters).
Chrysler discontinued the Crossfire after the 2008 model year, as part of its restructuring plans. The last Crossfire rolled off of the assembly line on December 17, 2007.
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 six variants available; Coupe and Roadster, each with three trim levels: Base (with fewer amenities), Limited, and SRT-6 (supercharged).
The SRT-6 trim level, as both coupe and convertible, featured the supercharged engine delivering 330 hp (246 kW) and 310 lb·ft (420 N·m) of torque. Differentiating features included suspension and brake modifications, fixed vs. retractable rear spoiler and available navigation system.
In 2006, the SRT-6 was changed to special order only and the Base trim level was renamed to Standard.