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Future models - Chrysler - Crossfire - Roadster

First look: Crossfire flips its wig

Cross-dressed: SLK-based Crossfire becomes even more faithful to its Mercedes convertible roots.

Chrysler's Crossfire roadster is coming to Australia with a Sydney show launch

13 Jan 2004

CHRYSLER surprised nobody at this year’s Detroit motor show by unveiling the 2005 Crossfire Roadster, a vehicle even more faithful than its coupe donor car is to the open-topped Mercedes-Benz SLK upon which they are based.

If the concept of a Crossfire convertible seems obvious, the big news is Chrysler Jeep Australia has confirmed it will launch the drop-top Crossfire Down Under at the Sydney motor show in October.

On sale in the US from around May, the rear-drive/two-seater Crossfire Roadster features tapered “boat-tail” rear-end styling, 19-inch rear alloys (18-inches up front) and a convertible fabric roof that opens electronically in 22 seconds after releasing the centre-mounted locking latch.

A retractable spoiler designed into the rear end activates at 100km/h and houses a full-width, high-mounted stop light. Satin silver-painted rollover hoops reside directly behind the front seats, while the soft-top features heated rear glass.

Featuring all of the low-slung coupe’s exterior body styling, the Roadster is powered by the coupe’s Benz-sourced 160kW 90-degree SOHC 3.2-litre V6, mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed Autostick automatic transmission.

Like the coupe, Crossfire Roadster offers ABS, traction control, stability control, twin front airbags, twin front side airbags, tyre pressure monitoring system, alarm and quad halogen projector headlights.

Similarly, inside there’s full leather trim, heated seats, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, four-way power adjustable passenger seat, power windows/mirrors, leather/telescopic steering wheel, a 240-watt six-speaker Infinity Modulus CD audio system, dual-zone climate control, remote central locking and universal garage door opener.

Another topless Chrysler production car launched at Detroit was the long-awaited 2005 PT Cruiser Convertible – a model CJA is yet to investigate for sale Down Under because of its uncertain right-hand drive future.

Priced from $US19,995 in America, the PT Cruiser Convertible is claimed to offer one-of-a-kind versatility, best-in-class roominess and unmatched comfort. It’s said to deliver 250mm more rear legroom than its nearest open-top rivals, plus nine different seat configurations and enough boot space to store two golf bags.

Chrysler also claims body structure enhancements make the rag-top PT Cruiser one of the quietest available, adding that it offers standard features not normally available at this price, such as a convertible soft-top, sport bar with integrated dome lamps, solar-tinted glass and heated rear glass.

Also standard are cloth sport seats with driver manual lumbar adjuster, 50/50 split-fold and tumble rear seats, pass-through cargo area, power exterior mirrors, touring-tuned suspension and body-colour fascias and body side mouldings.

Chrysler will offer three PT Convertibles this year, with the base model Standard powered by a 112kW 2.4-litre four-cylinder and the Touring model offering a 134kW turbo version of the same engine and adding 16-inch alloy wheels, speed control, security alarm, foglights, floor mats and CD player.

The PT Cabrio GT is motivated by a 164kW turbocharged engine with five-speed Getrag manual transaxle, plus performance-tuned suspension, ABS, low-speed traction control, chrome-accented grille and 17-inch Empire painted cast alloy wheels.

There’s also a 2.75-inch chrome-plated stainless steel exhaust tip, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, driver seat power height adjuster, unique silver painted shifter knob, "GT" embroidered floor mats, side airbags, AM/FM/CD/cassette audio system and twin front side airbags. The GT will cost $US27,565 in the US.

Finally, Chrysler revealed the stretched Jeep Wrangler Unlimited at Detroit, offering an extra 330mm of cargo space and 51mm more second row legroom, thanks to a 254mm wheelbase stretch.

Wrangler Unlimited extends towing capacity by 700kg to a best-in-class 1600kg. But don’t expect to see it Down Under soon.

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