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Crossfire here in April 2003!

Target TT: Chrysler's new Crossfire is designed to take on Audi's sexy TT coupe.

Chrysler says its new coupe shows off the best of American and German automotive engineering

7 Jan 2002

CHRYSLER has unveiled the production version of its Crossfire coupe and it is expected to go on sale in Australia April 2003.

Originally revealed as a concept at the Detroit show last January, Chrysler chose the emerging Los Angeles show on the other side of the continent to pull the sheet off the production car nearly 12 months later.

Chrysler parent DaimlerChrysler touts the Crossfire as a blend of American styling and European engineering, where "Route 66 meets the Autobahn".

The car was designed in the United States by American and German engineers but will be built in Germany at the Karmann works from early 2003. It is expected to compete with the Audi TT and BMW Z3.

"Chrysler Crossfire is the sports coupe of the future, it's an American dream machine come true," said Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of the Chrysler Group.

"Following the footsteps of Dodge Viper and Chrysler PT Cruiser, it's a great concept-to-reality story that combines head-turning design with world class engineering.

"Chrysler Crossfire symbolises what this merger is all about," continued Mr Zetsche. "It's a great example of what we call disciplined pizzazz, or the ability to bring a got-to-have-it vehicle to market profitably by working together, combining strengths, and effectively leveraging resources.

"Chrysler Crossfire represents the future of the Chrysler brand as it incorporates proven quality and technology in a stunning wrapper."The production Crossfire is powered by a 3.2-litre 90-degree single overhead camshaft V6 engine, whereas the concept had a 2.7-litre supercharged powerplant. It is mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

Other changes include a much more conservative grille and headlight arrangement, simplified windscreen treatment and smaller 18-inch rubber up front and 19-inch rubber at the rear - the show car had massive 21-inch wheels.

Suspension is by double wishbones at the front and is independent five-link at the rear. The Crossfire is rear-wheel drive, has four-wheel anti-lock brakes, traction control and ESP (Electronic Stability Program), a speed-sensitive deployable rear spoiler and alloy wheels.

The interior treatment includes a chrome-rimmed dash and two-toned leather.

Speaking at the Detroit show this week, Chrysler Australia managing director Judith Wheeler confirmed the Crossfire would come to Australia and that April 2003 was the expected on-sale date.

She would not discuss pricing or expected sales volumes.

Ms Wheeler has previously confirmed her desire to sell Crossfire: "This is certainly a vehicle that we would love to have in our dealerships. The Crossfire embodies the passion and excitement that our company is famous for building."* Don't miss our full wrap-up of the Detroit show in automotive e-news this week. It's free and easy to subscribe, just check out the advertisement on the home page and follow the prompts.

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