My previous car was an 03 Mustang, a tough act to follow. The Crossfire is a brilliant case study in design. The cab-back stace reinforces the art deco feel of the car which starts at the spine along ...
My previous car was an 03 Mustang, a tough act to follow. The Crossfire is a brilliant case study in design. The cab-back stace reinforces the art deco feel of the car which starts at the spine along the roof, oozes down through the strakes in the long hood and out of the giant styling rims. I really cannot think of another current car which so effectively exudes this type of style, save for the Crossfire Roadster. There is no question that Chrysler went "all in" on the styling, which rightfully begs the questions "Is there substance?"
In my opinion, there is. Most people looking to buy this car have all heard the same speal, "It's not as fast as a Z, it doesn't handle like a boxster, the Mercedes frame the car was built on is quite dated." These things may all be objectively true, however this car isn't necessarily built to be on a track. The car inspires confidence as the wide rear tires grip in most cases can keep up with any amount of acceleration the engine can throw at them. The ride is tight but not uncofortable. Long-distance trips are immensley comfortable as the leather bucket seats have great bolsters for both one's hips and shoulders. The manual transmission is capable of shifting smoothly and actually does a good job of giving driver feedback, though the cluch seems to be very "big" so there is some "ca-clunking" that goes along with learning the car's shift points/revs. Once these melt away, you are left with a beautifully styled car built on a frame that has never drawn critisism until it was placed in this car, and even then it was more people pointing out that it was "old" rather than bad. This car is extremely ridged and the suspention works dillagently in the small amount of travel that the large wheels afford it. The car was indeed an expensive proposition for someone cruising a Chrysler dealership, but in 2010 they have depreciated to a point bordering on cheap, which is amazing for any coach-built sports car that isn't riddled with reliability issues.
This car is one of the first and perhaps the only, good example of Daimler-Chrysler partnership. The engine and many of the parts are Mercedes ans the Detroit-penned body-panels were manufactured by the coachbuilder Karmen in Germany, where the car was assembled. Although there weren't a large volume of these cars built, the engine is identical to that in the SLK of slightly earlier vintage, making parts and service options readily available. Properly maintained, this car has better realiability than average cars. One thing that must be noted is that things on this car are unmistakably "German" in that specialized through over-thought "German" sort of way, which can make things slightly more expensive, not a shock to people who have owned European marks before, but may shock people expecting a thoroghly Chrystler experience. For example, the engine takes 8 quarts of 0W-40 oil, a brand new set of tires rus about $700, and the windshield wiper blades have little spoilers on them to keep them penned to the windshield at speed. Luckily the car is neither a garage queen or loosely built, so these costs are mitigated through reliability.
Overall this car is very unique and styling that evokes the art-deco era is unlikely to look dated any time soon. The car is unapologetially stylish, which means that there will be people who do not like it. I say, "Who cares about these people!" if they want safe or conservative let them be! Everytime I climb into my Crossfire I am smiling and have never thought, "I wish I had bought..." For a car who style champions the machine, harking back to an era of steel and glass, it evokes an an amazing amount of emotion. You cannot go wrong with this future classic.