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Caught In The Crossfire 

         

2004 Chrysler Crossfire
Review

Performance Data

Michael Dye

       

A few years back, when Mercedes Benz acquired the Chrysler Corporation, many feared it would mean the end of the Mopar brand. At the 2002 North American International Auto Show, Chrysler displayed many cars that demonstrated to the world that this isn't so. Even while under the ownership of Mercedes, Chrysler still possesses that great attribute of transforming extraordinary concepts from fantasy to reality. Just like the Viper, Prowler, and PT Cruiser, the Crossfire is quickly changing from a one-off show queen to a full-on production car.

  

    

    

    

   

The amusing aspect about this whole ordeal is that Mercedes previously vowed to never share components with Chrysler. Mercedes felt that might link the two too closely together and downgrade their reputation as one of the best luxury manufacturers ever. Obviously that rule didn't stick, because the vast majority of the Crossfire's machinery is genuinely German. The engine, transmission, chassis, brakes, and electronics are all Mercedes Benz. And that's definitely not a bad thing.

In usual Chrysler fashion, the Crossfire has changed little from the original concept that debuted at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show. The most noticeable changes have been made to the front end and greenhouse. The concept's supercharged 275 horsepower V-6 has changed as well. By comparison, these changes cause the production version to look and perform with much less aggression. However, I doubt that this will hinder the pleasurable driving experience for most Americans.

  

    

    

    

    

   

If you find yourself drooling over this car and want one in your driveway, you'll have to wait until next year. Chrysler won't start building them until early 2003 and only intends to build 20,000 per year. Pricing for this Mercedes SLK-based sports coupe should top out in the mid-thirties for a fully equipped model. Hopefully, a high performance version will follow, but for now I feel the standard Crossfire will be a fun little car anyway. It will certainly go down in the record books as yet another great Chrysler vision that swiftly made the leap from concept to actual assembly.

   

      

Performance Data:

Best 0-60 mph:.............................................
Best 1/4 mile: ............................................... 
Best 60-0 mph braking:................................
EPA fuel economy rating:  ..........................
Common Driver observed mpg: .................
7.3 seconds (est.)
15.30 seconds @ 92 mph (est.)
118 feet (est.)
20/27 mpg (est.)
n/a 
 

Price:

Base price new:...........................................
Price as tested new:.................................... 

$34,000 (est.)
$34,000 (est.)

 

Specifications:

Drivetrain Layout:........................................ Engine Type:.................................................
Displacement:
............................................... Horsepower:..................................................
Torque:..........................................................
Transmission type:........................................
Tire size:........................................................
Airbags:.........................................................
Special Features............................................
Front engine, RWD
V-6, SOHC, 18-V
195.2 ci, 3199 cc 
215 @ 5700 rpm (Chrysler est.)
229 @ 4600 rpm (Chrysler est.)
6-speed manual 
F: P225/40VR/18, R: P255/35VR/19 
Dual front
Very unique- should be a fun driver.
 

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