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Me & My Car

Mark Leaper’s Chrysler Crossfire is impractical and guzzles gas. But its gadgets and powerful engine are enough to keep him going over the many business miles he covers every year

My Chrysler Crossfire makes doing a lot of business miles that much more acceptable. As managing director of Vesta Packaging and Vesta Money I do more than 40,000 business miles a year.

This means I spend a lot of time behind the wheel of a car and so I always try to make sure that the model I select is one I can look forward to driving.

There is nothing worse than having to do thousands of miles a year behind the wheel of something that is less exciting than rice pudding. I can think of a lot of cars that must make their business users break into a cold sweat at the prospect of a long drive.

Unfortunately, a lot of these cars tend to be the most popular models with fleet managers. However, one of the advantages of someone in my position is that I have a bit more flexibility with the models I chose than most.

My current car is a Chrysler Crossfire 3.2 litre V6, which still manages to quicken my pulse even though I have had it for two years. Its performance has got a lot to with it. It has an 18-valve engine that produces 215bhp and gives me acceleration of zero to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.

I don’t want to sound like Jeremy Clarkson, but it is a lovely car and is built in Germany in collaboration with Karmann. It combines a stunning American design with proven German engineering and is built around the Mercedes Benz SLK platform.

I love the look of the car and its distinctive sports styling. It has a number of gadgets, including a rear spoiler powered by an electric motor that deploys automatically in less than five seconds as the car’s speed rises above 60mph (it can also be deployed manually at any speed at the touch of a button) and heated leather seats.

On the downside, it is not that practical because it is definitely meant primarily as a two-seater, so it is not exactly child-friendly. Also its consumption is not that brilliant at around 28mpg.

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