It was all joy and fun between Daimler and Chrysler. Dr. Dieter Zetsche was already appointed as the company's CEO and played a key role in advertising the advantages of the merger. Its line "After all, we invented the automobile" was well-known, and the new products confirmed the valuable alliance. The little roadster Crossfire was built on the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz SLK R170 and was a major step forward for the U.S. sport-compact market. Even though it wasn't sold in big numbers, it managed to make it into a world dominated by big American engines. Some named it the hairdresser roadster, but nevertheless, it was an agile, affordable sports car.
The car's look showed a unique front fascia with its headlights that resembled the ones installed on the Chrysler 300. Its bigger exterior and narrower interior lamps were specific for the little roadster. Its A-pillars were silver, regardless of the car's color. As required by the safety rules, the car featured arched roll-bars behind the seats, which popped-up in a roll-over crash situation.
Inside, Chrysler designed a cabin with American inspiration but with Mercedes-Benz quality control. It was a major step forward for any U.S. roadster in terms of materials, trims, and finishes. Its high-bolstered seats provided great lateral support during high-speed cornering.
Under the hood, Mercedes-Benz installed a 3.2-liter naturally aspirated V-6 carried over from the C-Class and E-Class range. It was paired as standard to a 6-speed manual, while a 5-speed automatic gearbox was on the options list.