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Hit the Road, Jack
2005 Chrysler Crossfire Roadster
By Alain Gayot

In short: A fun, road-loving, stable and sexy roadster.

Don't worry about what she says. Be good to yourself and hit the road with this fun and stable roadster, and you'll hear yourself singing. All right, it's not the most practical car out there, but from the start you know what you're getting. You'll find that this cross engineering between German and American manufacturers is actually working.

The coupe is highly maneuverable and highly stable. With a short wheelbase, large wheels equipped with performance tires and an electronic stability program with traction control, it's difficult to find yourself sliding. You’ll have to register for the track if you want to push it to its upper limit of 150 mph. Once you get used to the automatic transmission's manual mode, you'll want to play with it. We caught ourselves shifting gears just for the heck of it. You'll also need to find a comfortable position, which is not easily achieved for larger operators. The ride is a bit stiff, as it should be—this is a nifty speed machine, after all.

The car is actually assembled in Germany with a Mercedes-Benz engine and drive train (who would have thought?), while the design remains American. Overall, the little rear-wheel drive sports car is quite attractive and turns many heads. We can't say that it was love at first sight with the interior, but we adapted over time. Still, we would suggest that Chrysler tone down the chrome treatment. As well, the controls on the left of the steering column are old in design and the blinker is at an odd angle. The power top needs some manual help to achieve its open/close cycle, but it seals the back with a sleek hard top. Also, you get an automatically operated rear spoiler that deploys around 60 mph and retracts under 30.

On the road, the car is absolutely pleasing. It's a complete joy to drive in the city and you can manage to go grocery shopping, but for the weekend in the country, you'll have to give up your set of golf clubs.

Warranty/Service: 7-year or 70,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty with towing assistance, 3-year or 36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty

Price as tested: $39,995

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

- 3.2 liter V6 SOHC 18-Valve
, 215 hp

Five-Speed Automatic Transmission with User-Selectable "Autostick" and Lockup Torque Converter

Driver and Front Passenger Airbags, Supplemental Side Airbags, LATCH-Ready Child Seat Anchor System

Top Speed: 150 mph

Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 6.5 sec.

60-0 in 114 ft., Antilock Four-Wheel Disc Brakes with Emergency Brake Assist

Fuel Economy:
21 city / 28 highway

Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control, Touring Suspension

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Photography: Walter Mladina

(Updated: 07/24/08 HC)

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