news this year is the arrival of the arresting new Chrysler Crossfire sport coupe,
a sexy two-seater that they have been teasing us with for a couple of years now
but are finally delivering right about the time that you read this.
A two-seat Chrysler? It's true. And one look is all you need to see that this
ain't no Cordoba. Rather, it's an eye-catching hardtop sportster that brings back
certain design themes and devices we loved from the art deco years (such as silver
metal strakes on the sides, as well as a sassy "boattail" rear end)
while at the same time introducing what we will come to know as the "new
face of Chrysler."
a handsome face it is, to be sure. Even more interesting from a design standpoint,
however, is the crossing of positive and negative surfaces that happens on the
doors, just under the mirrors, thus giving the Crossfire its name. Other nifty
details include a silver windshield surround, 18-inch front/19-inch rear wheels,
an elegantly straked hood and a center "spine" that runs the length
of the car. There truly is no bad angle from which to view the Crossfire, but
if you are near one, be sure to examine the complex and hard-to-manufacture rear
quarter panel, which from the windshield to the rear bumper is a single piece
of stamped aluminum. Impressive.
mechanical bits and certain interior pieces come directly from none other than
the stellar Mercedes-Benz SLK320, including its suspension and its gutsy 3.2-liter
V-6. Inside, the dramatic two-tone interior features luxury up the wah-zoo and
a continuation of the center spine all the way down to the gearshift knob.
As you might guess by looking, the interior is quite encapsulating and private
(to rectify that, a convertible version will be introduced next year). But cargo
space is stellar, making it the perfect car to take on a weekend road trip. Just
do yourself a favor: don't take the interstate. Rather, just aim for the twisties
and get ready to get caught in the Crossfire.