2006 Chrysler Crossfire

The Chrysler Crossfire – so interesting to look at, yet such an abject failure.  Perhaps that’s too strong of a term – after all, over 75,000 of them moved through dealerships in its first three years of existence.  Problem being, only 12,000 of those were in the third year, dropping below 5,000 in year four and only 2,000 in the final year of the run.

But really, it is a cool looking car.  Check out the details – if Wikipedia is to be believed, the Crossfire name comes from the interesting character line that goes from negative to positive in the mid-door area.  Such a cool little touch, so simple, yet so strangely unused on other designs.

Yes, I know.  There are certain aspects of this design that are… shall we just say, overwrought.  The hood strakes are a bit ridiculous (you’ll notice the angles of my photos avoid that feature) and the front end is an uninspired bit of corporate photocopying.  Paint that A-pillar body color, though and I think it could be quite nice.

Then there is the fact that this car is not only based on Mercedes architecture, it is nearly entirely built of Mercedes parts.  It is probably the most high-end Chrysler product ever built.  Performance is even impressive if you spring for the supercharged SRT-6 version – 0-60 comes in less than 5 seconds and top speed for the base and supercharged version is electronically limited to 155 mph.

So why did the Crossfire die a slow and ignominious death?  Sales dropped precipitously after a couple of pretty good years at the beginning.  The problem with a high-style vehicle such as this is that once that initial demand wears off, a revision must be in the pipeline.  Such was not the case here as the Crossfire was a victim of Chrysler’s impending bankruptcy.

It really is too bad – an evolutionary second generation with some of the oddball details cleaned up could have been a real looker.


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