Production of the stunning new Chrysler Crossfire sports coupe is underway, the Chrysler Group has announced.
Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Bernhard marked the occasion this week (3 February) by driving the first Chrysler Crossfire off the assembly line in Germany. Members of the Crossfire engineering team were also on hand to celebrate the occasion.
The Crossfire is being built in Osnabrück, in conjunction with Karmann, a long-time DaimlerChrysler partner with more than 100 years of manufacturing experience.
Wolfgang Bernhard said: "Today, we celebrate the production launch of the Chrysler Crossfire, a vehicle that combines stunning American design with proven German engineering. In just 24 months, this vehicle has gone from a pure concept to the vehicle we are building today, because of the dedicated efforts at DaimlerChrysler."
Chrysler Crossfire was developed after a concept version of the car was revealed at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A production version was unveiled one year later at the 2002 Los Angeles Auto Show. This week’s production announcement makes the Crossfire one of the fastest concept-to-reality decisions in the auto industry.
Chrysler Group accelerated the speed to market by preserving key aspects of the concept vehicle, while identifying Mercedes-Benz components to be used in production. For example, the sleek design, wheelbase and centre exhaust system were maintained from the original Crossfire concept, and powertrain and axle components are shared from Mercedes-Benz.
The two seat sports coupe is powered by a 3.2-litre 90-degree V-6, 18-valve SOHC engine available with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
Chrysler Group has the capacity to build approximately 20,000 Crossfires a year, of which 3000 will be earmarked for international markets. The UK will have 600 units this year when it becomes available mid-summer.
Simon Elliott, Managing Director of Chrysler and Jeep in the UK said: "I’m really excited that the first Crossfire has come off the production line but I’m especially pleased for the 350 or so customers who have already put pen to paper and ordered this fantastic vehicle.
"Crossfire is a great car that’s not far away now, and I am convinced that our order books will soon be full."Published 5 February 2003