The sporty, low-slung 2004 Chrysler Crossfire unveiled at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show last week is a much-changed car from the concept shown at the Detroit auto show last year.
The Crossfire - arguably the L.A. show's foremost debut - features a narrower grille, more narrowly raked A-pillars and a rounder rear than the original.
"We wanted it to look more like a Chrysler," said Andrew Dyson, design manager of the Chrysler group. "So we gave it the trademark grille with the winged logo across the top. "
The headlights, which were vertically stacked on the concept, are horizontal on the production model. The windshield does not wrap around the A-pillars as it did on the concept, either. Thus, the front end, which also has more overhang, has a faster, sleeker appearance.
Chrysler designers in the United States and engineers in Germany worked in small teams to bring the Crossfire to production-ready form in 10 months. The car, which is powered by a Mercedes-Benz 215-hp, 18-valve V-6, goes on sale next year.
Chrysler executives have refused to offer either a tentative price for the car or a sales and production forecast. But in a radio interview Thursday, Jan. 3, marketing chief Jim Schroer conceded that it will be priced "under $50,000."