GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Chrysler Crossfire

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white_crossfire.jpg

SPEX
Year: 2004 `````````````````````````````````````` Country: USA

Type: Sports Car ``````````````````````````````` Host: GT4

Price: $35,670


Length: 159.8" // Width: 68.9" Height: 50.7"
Wheelbase: 94.5"
Overhang: @5 feet 5 inches
Track: 58.3" [F] 58.2" R]
Ground Clearance: 4.9"
Construction: unit steel
Weight: 2,999 pounds
Weight distribution: 54/46% F/R
 
Layout: Front Engine / Rear Drive
Tires: 225/40ZR-18 [F] // 255/35ZR-19 [R]
F. Suspension: double wishbone / coils / anti-roll bar
R. Suspension: multilink/ coils / anti-roll bar
Brakes: vented discs [F] solid discs [R]

Engine: 3.2 liter SOHC V6
Aspiration: normal
Construction: aluminum block & heads
 
Final HP: ````226 @ 5,700 rpm
Fnl Torque:
240 @ 3,000-4,600 rpm
 
Fuel System: multi-point fuel injection
Valves / Cyl: 3
Bore Stroke: 3.54 x 3.31"
Compression: 10.0:1
 
Credits per HP: $157.83
Pounds per HP: 13.27
HP per Liter: 70.6
 
Idle Speed: 750 // Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000

Transmission: 6-speed manual

 0-60 mph: 6.166 seconds
0-100mph: 14.790 seconds
0-150mph: 52.17x seconds
 
400 M: 14.724 @ 97 mph
1 Kilom:
26.707 @ 126 mph
 
Test Track Lap: 2:29.230

Brakes 100-zero: 4.59 seconds
Top Gear RPM at 60 mph: 2,500

Top Speed at Redline
1st: 38 mph
2nd: 62 mph
3rd: 86 mph
4th: 110 mph
5th: 135 mph
6th: 158.30 mph @ 6,000 rpms
 
  
 

crossfire_duel.jpg


---------------EXTERIOR---------------

Okay, say it with me: CHICK CAR!!!

Much has been made in popular culture and literature about the "chick car". Is this concept a fable or is there any truth here? Going by what I see on the street everyday, there is plenty of truth; however, it's not just females who drive them by any means.

But let's explore this concept for a minute. We are all fascinated by women...even gay men can't help commonly interacting them, though in a fussier way than straights, of course. No straight man would ever attempt to start his own show on female beauty tips, for instance. But let's not get distracted. The reason is that we men and boys are fascinated by chicks is simple: we can't figure them out!

It's often not worth the time to try and guess what the ladies are thinking, is it? Often, it just leads down the much-travelled path of more confusion. Quite frankly, I prefer to be fascinated, awed, and even confused by them. A bit of mystery is good sometimes. Okay, but I'm a guy. And I'm writing about cars on this website. I feel SAFE doing so because I actually understand cars! A quick summary (in case you are even more clueless than I am) reveals there are some basic types of females, and so we have some basic types of chick cars to complement them (mostly engineered by men, of course). Here come the hate mail.


1. The Sorority Chick: She prefers small cars that are sometimes mildly sporty, can carry friends, and are easy to drive. The Mitsubishi Eclipse, Pontiac Sunfire, Dodge Neon, Chevy Cobalt, Honda Civic and del Sol, and pretty much anything by Kia or Saturn are perfect examples.

2. The Soccer Mom: In the '70s, it was the station wagon. The '80s? Minivans! As we've gone from the late '90s into the new millenium, Mom tends to prefer "safe" vehicles she can transport her kids with, so truckish SUVs were in vogue, but now this has morphed over to "sport-utility crossovers"....basically SUVs that are supposed to drive & handle like cars.

3. Mid-life crisis lady: She prefers being somewhat unattached in relationships, lacks children (or perhaps they've grown), and tends to drive cars that don't have much practicality and are (again) easy to drive. The Mazda Miata, Toyota MR2 Spyder, and Honda S2000 are perfect for her, along with pricier makes such as the Mercedes SL series, Jaguar XJ, and Lexus SC.

There are some "chick cars" that don't fall cleanly into any category: the New Beetle and MINI Cooper for instance. We got ladies of all kinds (age, social status, wealth, etc) driving these. >>>

Of course, we men don't exclude ourselves from the above lists. Roadsters and some front-drive coupes make perfect autocross/amateur race vehicles. But in general....that's a good guideline above for females and the cars they drive. Deny me? Go sit at a busy street for half an hour, watch the cars and the people driving them. Then comes back and say: "damn Parnelli, you were right!" ....Or not if you're still in denial. :-S I know what the hell I'm talking about here. I pay attention.

But back to our review. :rolleyes: The Chrysler Crossfire. How does it fit in? Why is it a chick car? What kind of "chick" actually drives one?

From what I can see, the lady behind the wheel is typically in mid-life crisis mode, so she's #3 up above. Middle-aged men? They've got the Corvette, the New Mustang, the Z-car. They've got the '60s-era muscle car (and the money to afford one now that they're getting more and more costly). But ladies? From the swoopy, curvy bodywork to the feline purr of the engine, the Crossfire seems very designed for femmes leaving their thirties, and priced perfectly, too.

In GT4, the Crossfire...is a bit of a sleeper. Its weight is something most can work with immediately since it doesn't feel heavy. It is also a great rear-drive car for the novice. Easy to drive, easy to command. Plus, it has one really nifty feature. In real-life, there's a small rear spoiler which rises when the car gets above 70 mph (about 130 km/h). I was completely shocked that in the game this spoiler actually works as you drive it! I figured Polyphonly Digital would have modeled the Crossfire so that the spoiler is always up or always down as we drive, but ...it is both. Gotta love small surprises.

Well like I said I think the Crossfire is a sleeper--there's more to explore. Let's do so now.
 
---------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN-------------

In real-life, the Chrysler Crossfire was produced in small numbers. The game won't tell us much (actually, GT4 won't tell us anything about this car nor any other!), but Crossfires are actually designed by Karmann in association with Daimler. Yes, that means it's basically a German car. The Crossfire actually shares many parts with the Mercedes SLK matter of fact, including its old-fashioned recirculating-ball steering and the 3-valve 3.2 liter V6 we'll soon discuss.

Despite all this, the Crossfire has been a slow seller, so it's a good thing it was produced in limited numbers, eh? I hate to say it, but perhaps if Chysler was a bit more vocal about the car's Germanic heratige, more folks would be interested in it. It is also a bit bulldogish. Crossfire owners are as loyal to their car as Aztec or Previa owners, but to the rest of us, the Crossfire is a bit of an ugly breed.

But forget looks, we're now talking about the engine. Since in many ways we have a Benz here, we've also got a smooth powerplant which doles out horses evenly over a wide range for the most part. No surprises when near-stock. This is one of those motors which expels torque over a wide plateau; yet features decent high-end horsepower, making the Crossfire potent early-on in your GT4 career whether you're a chick or not. Again and again, I'd hear those pistons zinging towards redline....I'd go to shift and find myself perhaps 500 rpms below redline, for the engine constantly sounds like it's revving higher than it actually is! Kinda like a Honda S2000, but with 2,500 rpms less on the tach.

Mated to a 6-speed transmission, the all-aluminum V6 is extremely flexible, and rarely plants down too much to the rear wheels, which are never upset on a dry road. ....And it's a Benz tranny, all right. The real-life unit is a sequential. All I have to say is during my early Crossfire driving, I never found a need for a close-ratio box. Until I was at the confusing Motorsport course, because it always seems easy to find the right gear when driving a Crossfire. I suspect an automatic would be just as perfect.

For those who don't wanna rock, max-driven wheelspin won't be an issue 'til you've got alot of power under that hood. Even with TCS off, the Crossfire almost always behaves so far as oversteer is concerned. At least early on. But for those who want to be naughty, there are 3 stages of natural-aspirated tuning. Stage 3 is heavily pricey, though. And no turbos....
 
------------CHASSIS / HANDLING------------

I hinted a bit at Crossfire behavior in those last few sentences. Now, I'll elaborate.

Yes, the rear-drive Chrysler Crossfire tends to keep itself clean like the salon-addicted ladies who drive them. Spin-outs, fishtailing, and other rear-drive concerns will not be on our watch if we've got a bit of experience in GT4; instead, keep away from understeer. It's the one truely annoying habit this car displays. Remove the driving aids, and it's not as present, but still there! What a bummer.

No worries, though. Learn to brake accurately, and this car easily passes Ai cars with a smile, because it is otherwise easy-to-drive. Maneuverability is one of the report-card bonuses, thanks to rigid steel construction and what seems to be a set of stiff coil springs in action. The car just feels firm, and after a while I didn't miss the lack of power-oversteer in my 218 hp Crossfire as I baked the Beginner's FR Challenge.

Go ahead and toss this baby into that corner...it won't slide. Personally, I would have welcomed just a bit of steppin' action from the rear. But it just isn't there, unfortunately, until some money is spent on power.

In real-life, the Chrysler Crossfire is packed with a long list of features which are supposed to make it handle better. We can blame it on chick car-marketing, perhaps (safety first!), but really it's Mercedes Benz that is at fault. ESP (stability control), "brake-assist" (a system which takes ABS a step further, and traction controls are standard here, along with anti-squat and anti-dive technology to help keep the Crossfire from behaving too deviantly. These systems may be welcome in a heavy autobahn-cruising Benz sedan or SUV, but are they really necessary in the Crossfire???

....good thing we can turn them off in our game!!


PROS

1). A rear-drive car with a total lack of rear-drive issues! Great for an inexperienced driver.

2). Great manuverability. The Michelin Pilots do a great job. I often found myself with the confidence to pass AI cars on the outside of some corners, especially when the Crossfire was equipped with soft sport tires.

3). Free and flexible power with all 3 NA upgrades. Torque kicks in around 3,000 rpms, and stays with us till the redline.

4). 6-speed tranny stock! With engine's wide torque, there are many ranges of power to explore, especially as we leave corners.

5). Rear overhang nearly non-existent. Instead, the Crossfire relys on a small rear spoiler to induce a bit of downforce.

6). ....and check out that rear wing, dude! Go fast, and up it goes! Slow down, and it hides to keep the car's shape intact. Does it work? I DON'T KNOW, BUT IT'S COOL!
 
CONS

1). Very understeery. Drifters and others looking for some rear-drive excitement, this car is not for you. Stomp the power, and you've got a plow to handle, especially with any of the normal tires.

2). Just a few colors available. I expected more.

3). The high soprano song the engine sings isn't for everyone. Weeeeeeeeeeooooooooo. Quick, hand me the keys to my manly Buick Regal GNX, pronto!

4). Engine upgrades available, but stage 3 is costly. No turbos involved here...and this small-block V6 seems as though it would just love a bit of spoolin' action. It's actually begging for it.

5). That grille. It's the same grille you'd find on a Pacifica minivan. I mean I've heard of brand identification but this is taking it too far...
 

Originally Published: sometime in spring of 2007

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