Chrysler has confirmed key specifications of the U.S.-designed, German-built Crossfire coupe due for launch next year as a 2004 model.

The low-slung low-slung, rear-drive two seat coupe has a Mercedes-Benz 3.2-litre, 90-degree, V-6, 18-valve SOHC engine with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

Coachbuilder and assembly contractor Karmann (which, among many other projects, builds the Kia Sportage for Europe) will start Crossfire assembly in 2003.

Other features on Chrysler's latest concept-to-ptoduction vehicle include: antilock brakes with front power 300 x 28 mm ventilated disc brakes and rear power 278 x 9 mm solid disc brakes; electronic stability programme which integrates single brake application and throttle intervention for yaw control, ignition and throttle intervention for wheelspin control; all-speed traction control which senses drive-wheel slip and individually brakes the slipping wheel and/or reduces excess engine power until control is regained; independent double wishbone front suspension with coil springs and gas-charged shock absorbers; independent five-link rear suspension with coil springs and gas-charged shock absorbers; tow away protection; manually telescoping steering column; speed-sensitive deployable rear spoiler; six speaker sound system with dual subwoofers; front 18-inch P225/40 VR tyres; rear 19-inch P255/35 VR tyres and alloy wheels.

"Chrysler Crossfire symbolises what [the merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz] is all about," Chrysler Group president and CEO Dieter Zetsche said. "It's a great example of what we call disciplined pizzazz, or the ability to bring a got-to-have-it vehicle to market profitably by working together, combining strengths, and effectively leveraging resources."