The Chrysler Crossfire, which could be in South Africa by the end of the year, has gone into production in Osnabrueck, Germany.

The Chrysler Crossfire, which could be in South Africa by the end of the year, has gone into production in Osnabrueck, Germany.

CARtoday.com has been revealing details and pictures of the Crossfire since a production version was unveiled at last year’s Los Angeles Motor Show, and this production announcement makes the Crossfire “one of the fastest concept-to-reality decisions in the auto industry”, Chrysler Group chief operating officer Wolfgang Bernhard said this week.

The Chrysler Group accelerated the car’s launch by preserving key aspects of the concept vehicle and dentifying 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 with Mercedes-Benz, Bernhard said.

“The Crossfire, which is being built in conjunction with Karmann, represents the future of the Chrysler brand,” he added.

The Crossfire is powered by a Mercedes-sourced 3,2-litre 18-valve SOHC V6 engine that delivers 160 kW. The powerplant will be mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and produces 310 N.m of torque. It has a front independent double-wishbone and rear independent five-link layout, with coil springs and gas-charged dampers all round. There are 18-inch wheels in front and 19-inch wheels at the rear.

The sporty Chrysler will have electronic driver aids such as traction and stability control and a spoiler that automatically activates at 80 km/h and retracts again as speed drops.

The Chrysler Group has the capacity to build approximately 20 000 units, of which 15 percent will be earmarked for international markets.

Speaking to CARtoday.com on Friday, Chrysler and Jeep media officer Guy Kilfoil said that the Crossfire would “hopefully be launched on the South African market by late 2003 or the first quarter of 2004”.

”Production of right hand drive units will begin in August,” he said, adding “at the moment, both the 3,2-litre V6 automatic and manual derivatives have been earmarked for the South African market”.

Original article from Car