2005 Chrysler Crossfire Roadster. Artist: Unknown. (Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
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The Reason Chrysler Discontinued the Crossfire After Only 4 Years
The Chrysler Crossfire, made from 2004 to 2008, was an odd vehicle – a sports car from an automaker that wasn't known for sports cars. Why would Chrysler make a sports car? It was partly due to Chrysler's partnership with German automaker Mercedes-Benz, and the Crossfire borrowed several components from the successful Mercedes' SLK roadster (via Car and Driver).
The Crossfire looked like it would be a hit, borrowing a 3.2L V6 from the Germans, making over 200 horsepower; Chrysler even made a sportier version called the Crossfire SRT6 that boasted a supercharger and 330 horsepower. The Crossfire had mechanical components squared away, thanks to its partnership with Mercedes, but the exterior was a different question.
The Crossfire SRT-6 had a factory wing that looked cheap, and out of place, so the exterior styling was divisive, but the interior was where the Crossfire fell apart. MotorBiscuit reports that the interior was cramped; it had all the space-age accouterments of a German-engineered sportscar but was laden with the comforts of a LeBaron from a quarter-century earlier.
The Crossfire is an example of trying too much and failing at all of it. Over its lifespan, Chrysler sold just over 34,000 Crossfires in the United States, and although publications at the time may have liked the Crossfire, customers who wanted to drive a sports car seemed to know what they were doing and shied away from the Chrysler Crossfire.