By Guest Blogger Xfire Cliff
Chrysler Crossfire Questions? The great debate amongst Crossfire newbies and veterans alike. “Is the SRT-6 worth it?” “Can I make my NA faster?”
Very long post ahead.
Answer: yes to both but there’s a catch. Allow me to explain.
You’re already owning/driving a low volume production car. Doesn’t matter the year, color, options, engine, transmission, it’s a rare vehicle. To put it into context, there were less crossfires made in its 5 year production run than Corvettes, Mustangs, Audi TTs, Nissan 350Zs, and virtually any other car in its price range at the time of production. You own something unique. Despite being a sales flop when they were new, they’ve held up quite well over the years and there are still nice examples running around.
Now, factor in your color, your transmission (especially if you’re a manual driver), and the year of your car, and now you’ve got an even rarer version of a rare car. For context, I owned one of 254 Aero blue roadsters with a manual transmission and gray two tone interior for 2005 (or so Chrysler told me via email). That’s a neat little bragging right to throw around at car shows!
Finally, let’s get to the elephant in the room, the great debate, the SRT-6…. A very low production number, made for two model years with 98% of them made for 2005. The 2006 models are the rarest, and hardest to find, and the Uber elusive Alabaster White SRT that’s hiding somewhere in Europe is like the unicorn poop of the crossfire world, never to be seen by our eyes but I digress.
What do you get for your money, sometimes doubled the cost of a NA? You get power and a lot of it comparatively, a hand built supercharged AMG engine, a beefier automatic transmission, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, ￼nicer seats (unless it’s the cloth seats which are the nicest), a 200MPH speedometer, the fixed rear wing or “whale tail” as some call it, larger diameter exhaust which adds some sound to the car (and into the cabin), and the scooped front bumper. How much more is all this worth? Well, it’s up to you. For me, it’s worth a few thousand dollars more, but not double the cost of a nice NA.
It’s for the people who:
1. Wanna go fast at any moment
2. People who want to modify and make more power. This car excepts modifications easier and produces more power than the NA ever could and that’s just facts.
3. Exclusivity, that feeling you have something special-ish.
4. The potential worth down the road, as a collectors piece.
It’s not for people who:
1. Can’t afford the extra maintenance and the ever looming fear that the ALREADY low production car with its low production parts go bad, and you find out that some things cost astronomical amounts of money. For instance, the power steering pump costs over $800 new. An NA power steering pump is less than $150.
2. Couldn’t care less about the power. It’s just not worth it if you aren’t going to use it.
3. The exclusivity again, because it draws even more attention, good and bad.
4. Not For the manual elitists. You won’t drive it because it’s missing a pedal. I get it, but you’ll forget about it after a couple miles.
Ok, now the flip side. How about the NA cars? A stock, manual crossfire is an absolute blast to drive. It’s a tad quicker than the auto but gets worse fuel mileage. Can you make it faster? Yes, but be aware: the gains made from modifying your NA will not give you much in the way of power. 10-25HP at the most. In my opinion, the best mods for an NA is platform and handling. Good tires, good brakes, better shocks and springs. This turns an already fun canyon carver into a canyon slayer. When the road gets twisty, these cars shine. In fact, you’ve all heard about the Tail of the Dragon right? If you’re a good driver, you can make a SRT driver sweat a bit seeing you on their tail through 318 turns. My very best driving experiences have been behind the wheel of an NA. The other big factor that makes the NA a great buy is the cost of ownership. Right off the bat it’s a cheaper car to obtain, and it’s missing all the exclusive parts that come on AMG cars. For some, even myself, that’s a plus. Not needing to worry about a wearable part going bad and not being able to find it is a huge plus for many people.
Side note: I haven’t spoken on the roasters at all but it should be known that roadster ownership, regardless of trim level, comes with its own issues. Top sensors, the top itself, leaky seals, etc. But the fun you get with the top down makes all that worth it.
I’m a diehard crossfire enthusiast and live, breathe, and crap these cars on a daily basis. So much so my obsession has rubbed off on my wife and she bought a rescue NA to play with. No matter the Crossfire you own, you’ve got an awesome car. Don’t think because it isn’t the top dog on the trim level sheet that you have a lessor car. If you’ve stuck with me through this insanely long post, you’re probably an enthusiast and are pretty happy with your car.
At the end of the day, my personal experience has told me that I can have fun in any version of the crossfire. Best seats in a crossfire are the cloth buckets in the base model, FACT.