Wheels24 drove the car in Europe a few weeks ago, and we can tell you it's a head-turner of note, while its ride and handling are top-class, courtesy of its series 1 SLK underpinnings.
"The new Chrysler Crossfire Roadster offers customers a combination of stunning, head-turning design with solid engineering," says Trent Barcroft, Divisional Manager: Chrysler and Jeep at DaimlerChrysler South Africa.
To retain the ride and handling of the coupe, the Chrysler Crossfire Roadster bodyshell has been engineered for its new role as a convertible to ensure the maximum retention of torsional rigidity and structural integrity.
With its additional strengthening, the Crossfire Roadster weighs just 36 kg more than the coupe.
The Chrysler Crossfire Roadster features fully independent suspension at the front and rear and powerful large-diameter disc brakes (300 mm front and 278 mm rear). Standard equipment includes ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, an all-speed traction control system (TCS) and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP).
High-performance, Continental Sport Contact 2 W-rated tyres are fitted, and the Chrysler Crossfire Roadster features a speed-sensitive rear spoiler set into the trunk lid, which deploys automatically when the vehicle reaches 105 km/h. The spoiler generates downforce on the rear of the car, increasing rear tyre grip on the road surface and enhancing vehicle stability.
"The ultimate measure of a roadster's engineering is how quiet the vehicle is with the top up, and the Crossfire Roadster is remarkably quiet at speed," continues Barcroft.
"We designed this vehicle to be a high-speed roadster, and the result is a stunning convertible that is tight, solid and well engineered ? and one which also looks great with the top raised."
For open-air motoring, the top goes down in 22 seconds. The driver simply has to pull down the centre-mounted handle on the windscreen header and turn the handle - which releases the convertible fabric top and lowers the side windows.
Press the button on the centre console, and the Chrysler Crossfire Roadster's fully automatic powered roof system then takes control, opening the hard tonneau cover, folding away the fabric top, and closing the tonneau cover.
When the top is down, no trace of the fabric top remains, and the car has a super-clean, attractive elegance. The Crossfire Roadster's glass rear window is electrically heated.
Under the bonnet is a 3.2-litre 90-degree V6 generating 160 kW of power and 310 Nm of torque.
Drive goes to the Chrysler Crossfire Roadster's rear wheels through a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission that also offers a sequential manual mode.
Like the Coupe, the Chrysler Crossfire Roadster is a genuine 240 km/h+ sports car, with acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds (at sea level).
Braking performance is also solid, with the Chrysler Crossfire Roadster going from 100 to 0 km/h in just 38 metres.
Prices: Chrysler Crossfire Convertible 6-speed manual R455 000, 5-speed automatic R465 000.
- 3.2-litre 18-valve SOHC V6 engine
- Rear-wheel drive with limited-slip differential
- Independent double wishbone front suspension with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers
- Independent five-link rear suspension with coil springs and gas-charged shock absorbers
- Speed-sensitive rear spoiler deployable at 105 km/h
- Dual centre-mounted exhaust outlets
- Front 18-inch P225/40 ZR tyres
- Rear 19-inch P255/35 ZR tyres
- Seven-spoke aluminium alloy wheels
- Power convertible fabric roof soft top
- Fully automatic powered hard tonneau cover
- Heated glass rear window
- Power eight-way heated leather driver and passenger seat
- Power windows with one-touch-down driver and passenger controls
- Telescopic steering column with leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Cruise control
- Infinity Modulus audio system with AM/FM/CD and 240-watt digital amplifier (six speakers including dual subwoofers) - based on Infinity's Modulus home theatre surround sound system
- Dual-zone semi-automatic air conditioning
- Remote keyless entry with central locking (including fuel filler door and centre console)
- Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Brake Assist
- Front 300 x 28 mm ventilated and rear 278 x 9 mm solid disc brakes
- Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)
- All-speed traction control System (TCS)
- Next-generation driver and passenger front air bags
- Door-mounted thorax side air bags
- TIREFIT system with tyre repair sealant and air compressor
- Sentry Key vehicle immobiliser
- Security alarm system
- Quad halogen projector headlights
- Tow-away protection