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Chrysler Crossfire

 

Chrysler's Crossfire sports coupe which is built on a Mercedes-Benz SLK chassis and uses its drivetrain, is due in New Zealand by early next year.

Chrysler says its goal in designing the Crossfire was to produce a genuine driver's car that was the "ultimate expression...of the brand's core values - expressive, confident, romantic and refined."

The car has a long bonnet and a fastback boat tail.

Chrysler makes the Crossfire in both left and right-hand drive, and plans to build 20,000 a year.

About 15 percent will go to markets outside North America.

The car was designed and developed by Chrysler's US-based Advanced Vehicle Engineering team, and is built in Germany by Karmann. The production Crossfire is based on the show car unveiled at the Detroit motor show in January 2001.

Chrysler says press and public reaction there was so positive, it quickly brought together a team of DaimlerChrysler engineers to find ways to build a production car within two years, drawing on existing DaimlerChrysler components and using some entirely new ones. The main brief was to ensure the Crossfire looked as much like the show car as possible, and have the performance and handling the concept car's looks promised.

The main change to the production car was to move from a split windscreen to a one-piece unit.

The production car retains the long ribbed bonnet, hunkered-down roofline, sweeping rear pillars, boat tail, and massive, sculpted rear fenders.

The body side crossover line (which inspired the concept's nametag) also remains.

It starts as a concave, indented crease behind the front wheelarch and crosses over the car's flanks - crossing to a convex crease mid-door - then sweeps back to highlight the edge of the rear fenders and delineate the taillight clusters.

The grille is the new face of Chrysler: a chrome Chrysler winged badge forms the bonnet's leading edge.

Chrysler says extensive wind tunnel testing has ensured the Crossfire is aerodynamically balanced at all speeds.

An extendable spoiler is mounted in the tailgate below the rear window. 

Powered by an electric motor it deploys automatically in less than five seconds when the car hits 90km/h.

The Crossfire's all-steel shell has exceptional torsional rigidity and has been specially reinforced to bear the loads and forces generated by the unusually large wheels and tyres.

The Crossfire is available in five exterior colours - Alabaster, Black, Blaze Red Crystal, Graphite metallic, and Sapphire Silver metallic.

The Crossfire uses a 3.2-litre Mercedes-Benz V6 engine.

It's all-aluminium, SOHC, 18-valve unit and produces 160kW and 310Nm of torque.

Peak torque is generated at 3000rpm, but more than 90 percent is available from 2600 to 5300rpm; 98 percent remains available up to 4500rpm.

Chrysler says the car will accelerate to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds. It has an electronically limited top speed of 242km/h. Gearbox choices are a six-speed manual and a five-speed auto.

The auto has a driver-adaptive shift logic, and fully automatic or AutoStick manual gear selection.

The front suspension uses double wishbones mounted on the bodyshell, with coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers and a 25mm anti-roll bar.

The 155mm suspension travel - unusually high for a sports coupe - contributes towards the car's supple ride.

The rear suspension and final drive mount to a pressed steel subframe. The five-link suspension has coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers and a 19-mm anti-roll bar.

The power steering is a Mercedes-Benz recirculating ball system with 3.1 turns lock-to-lock. Front brakes are 300mm ventilated discs with single-piston floating callipers. Rears are 278mm solid discs with opposed-piston fixed callipers. 

There's no spare wheel. To deal with a puncture, the Crossfire is equipped with a TIREFIT service kit - a can of pressurised tyre sealant and an electric compressor to re-inflate the tyre.

Inside the cabin, a central spine runs through the headliner, the top of the dashboard, the centre console and the gearshift knob. Each side of the spine, Crossfire follows a twin-cockpit theme, with the curved passenger airbag panel mimicking the instrument cluster on the other side and the large satin silver finish centre console and transmission tunnel clearly demarking the two cabin sides. Bright satin finish also highlights the steering wheel spokes, doorsill plates, door pull handles, speaker grille rings, and instrument surrounds.

There are three interior colour schemes matched to exterior paint. The colours are dark slate throughout the cabin, or dark slate contrasted with medium slate, or dark slate with cedar.

The standard sound system features an AM/FM [DC7]radio and single-disc CD player with a six-channel 240-Watt amplifier and four door-mounted and two rear bulkhead-mounted speakers.

Safety equipment includes front and side airbags for driver and passenger, a knee bolster for the driver and special deformable padding in the headlining.

Auto Trader New Zealand