Maybe the belt-tightening at troubled DaimlerChrysler AG isn't going to completely choke new models, just like perpetually upbeat Chrysler Group boss Dieter Zeitsche says.

Chrysler says it will build the curvaceous Crossfire, which was unveiled at the 2001 Detroit auto show. Although the car was acclaimed by the press and public, austere-talking Chrysler sources — stunned by enormous operating losses from calendar-year 2000 — at the time seemed downbeat about Crossfire's potential to be approved for production. The company also heads off concern about the still-hot PT Cruiser's withering on the vine: two new 2002 models — although only cosmetically different — have been OK'ed by Chrysler brass. The first is the long-rumored “Woodie” version, which employs “a simple, flowing wood-grained graphic” on all four doors.

The other new PT, the Dream Cruiser Series 1, celebrates Detroit's annual Woodward Dream Cruise. This one sports a special Inca Gold paint job, chrome wheels and neat-o chrome badges for $23,995.