A two-door sports car known for its distinct character lines running from the front to the rear body sides, the Chrysler Crossfire was a symbol of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz' collaboration. The design was developed by Eric Stoddard and was further improved by Andrew Dyson. The result was a daringly distinctive exterior that was somewhat similar to the Mercedes Benz. Its broad fenders at the rear and fastback roof prompted the automotive press to compare it to the Marlin, a mid-size fastback produced from 1965 to 1967. Aside from its distinct style, the Crossfire is also known for its recirculating ball steering system, a departure from the usual rack-and-pinion system used by most cars at that time.
During its brief production years, the Crossfire received several upgrades and modifications, and several versions were released. The last model rolled off the assembly line in 2007, although the last model year was officially recognized as 2008. Peak sales were achieved around 2003 to 2004, with about 36,000 units sold during its first year of production.
2004-2008: Base and Limited trims
When it was introduced in 2004, the Chrysler Crossfire was only available as a coupe with no trim levels. In the following year, six versions were made available to buyers: three trim levels for the Coupe, and another three trim types for the Roadster. Base models for both the Coupe and Roadster trims were equipped with a black windshield frame, fabric seats, and black filler plugs mounted on the front fascia. The base model was equipped with cloth upholstery and a somewhat limited list of standard components. As for the Limited version, the cloth upholstery was upgraded into leather seats, a more efficient sound insulation, and an Infinity stereo system. From 2006 to 2007, an SE Roadster base was introduced and came in only one color: Blaze Red Crystal Pearl. It was complemented with black, 15-spoke, SRT-6-like wheels.
2005-2006: SRT-6 trim
The SRT-6 trim (for both convertibles and coupes) included modified brake and suspension systems, an air dam on the front fascia, and an AMG supercharged engine that could deliver 310 lb/ft of torque and 330 hp. Its braking, suspension, and drivetrain components were similar to those used by the Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG. The SRT version was considered by some as a pretty powerful vehicle because of its stiff suspension and power-packed 330-hp Kompressor V6. In 2006, the SRT-6 became special-order vehicle, although no version is known to have been sold in the US.
Despite its brief production years from 2003 to 2007, the Chrysler Crossfire continues to serve as a testament to the amazing possibilities collaborations between different manufacturers can achieve. Today, the Crossfire attracts second-hand buyers looking for a reliable and uniquely styled sports car.