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Chrysler Crossfire

Chrysler Crossfire Published: 15th Oct 2014 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Chrysler Crossfire
Chrysler Crossfire
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An SLK but in more striking and exclusive clothing, is this Chrysler the answer for you?

AT A RECENT CAR SHOW I SAW A LOT OF CROSSFIRES – ARE THEY ANY GOOD?

The Chrysler Crossfire seems to be becoming an emerging modern classic thanks to its rakish looks and meaty performance.

WHAT ARE THEY?

Essentially, the Crossfire is a Mercedes SLK with an American body and interior. It was one of the rare fruitful results of the German buying the ailing American outfit. It made its début at the 2002 NEC show where a certain Jonathan Ross was presented with the first UK car, we seem to recall.

IS THE CAR AS GOOD AS AN SLK THOUGH?

Depends what you want. Certainly, the car looks much more distinctive in both coupé and the (fully) convertible guises while being an SLK under that Karmann-designed skin drives as well, too. However, the ride is a lot coarser due to the Chrysler’s bigger tyres and the Crossfire doesn’t feel as refined as the SLK and the interior, compared to the German, is more plasticy, flashier and of lower quality.

AND TO DRIVE?

Tests at the time said that the Crossfire possessed terrific grip due to the fatter tyres but criticised the ‘dull’ steering response. Performance was good enough from the smooth 3.2V6 but roundly criticised by all and sundry was the uncompromising ride while all round visibility in the coupé isn’t too hot either.

WHAT’S THE CHOICE?

Unlike the SLK there’s only a singleton mainstream engine option, but it’s the 215bhp 3.2V6. Top Crossfire is the SRT-6 shooting out 330bhp (310lbft of torque) care of a supercharger like the AMG SLK 32. To harness it all was a revised chassis plus some meatier brakes and wheels.It’s estimated 130 made it to our shores, more than half as a cabrio but it shouldn’t be hard to catch a Crossfire as around 5000 were imported overall. Also there’s a fair chance that you can unearth one of the rarer manual transmission cars.

HOW MUCH?

It shouldn’t be difficult to pick a ’54 plate version up for around £3000 or £4000 if it’s a convertible and let’s say £6-£7000 for one of the last 2009 cars before Mercedes jettisoned Chrysler. However, expect to pay a fair chunk more for an SRT-6 due to their sheer rarity.

ANY PROBLEMS TO WATCH OUT FOR?

In general it’s the American bits! The German mechanicals should present few problems so long as the car is maintained properly although the electronics on Mercedes auto boxes is known to play up and costly to right. However, apart from the usual worn suspension and brakes all should be okay, but make a note of what tyres are fitted as they are very expensive due to their size; have cheaper ones been substituted? Pay more attention to the interior and the added gadgets fitted, because the Crossfire was produced during a period where Chrysler wasn’t exactly renowned for its build quality.

IS THERE A CLUB?

Yes, the UK Crossfires, click on http://www.ukcrossfires.co.uk.

BUT WILL THEY BECOME A CLASSIC?

Anticipating whether a modern will become a classic worth owning is always difficult but we reckon, due to their rarity and style, that the Chrysler Crossfire stands a better chance than many other moderns…



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