Known throughout the industry for its distinctive retro-style that harkens to decades back, the Chrysler PT Cruiser was introduced in 2001 and has since established itself as one of the most recognizable models under the Chrysler banner. The Chrysler PT Cruiser was originally set to be released as a descendant of the Plymouth Prowler. Chrysler took over the PT Cruiser when it became apparent the Plymouth name would be discontinued. With a few minor adjustments, revision of the underhood Chrysler PT Cruiser parts, and a name change, the car set sail on what has turned out to be an impressive run of success.
The Chrysler PT Cruiser is listed as a light truck, but all other physical attributes point to it being a wagon, and that is how it is marketed. The base PT Cruiser uses a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine. However, the turbocharged PT Cruiser Limited and Dream Cruiser 5 can both generate up to 180 HP, or approximately 30 more than the base model. The base PT Cruiser also comes standard with a 5-speed automatic transmission with 4-speed automatic as an option, while the Limited, Dream Cruiser 5, and Touring editions are available in automatic only. The PT Cruiser can also be seen as a 2 door convertible. Debuting in 2005, the PT Cruiser convertible exists in base, Touring, and Limited trim levels. Production of the convertible PT Cruiser was halted in 2007, but it still remains a popular version of the model, especially in terms of aftermarket accessories.
Assembled in Mexico, the PT Cruiser is available in a wide variety of trim levels, giving drivers many different styling options and list of standard parts to choose from. The standard 5 door PT Cruiser has been manufactured in nine different trim levels, including the Touring Signature Series, Street Cruiser, GT, Walter P. Edition, and perhaps most famously, the Dream Cruiser series. The various series specialize mostly in exterior style as opposed to different performance parts and features. The Street Cruiser series showcases different exterior painting, such as “Burnt Topaz” or “Sunset Crystal.” Chrome accents, larger wheels, and 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes are also used. The Dream Cruiser Series is available both in standard 150 HP and turbocharged. An aluminum grill, SRT Design wheels, chrome plated stainless steel exhaust, and a spoiler highlight the other factors that make the Dream Series so exclusive.
While most other automakers try to come up with reasons why a particular model is so versatile, Chrysler has never hidden the fact that the PT Cruiser was designed as much for style as it was for reliability. The PT Cruiser enjoys a unique body design that has become its calling card, allowing Chrysler an easier time of marketing the vehicle. After discontinuing the convertible PT Cruiser, Chrysler initially decided to do the same with the standard 5 door wagon, as well. But within seven months, Chrysler reconsidered. The model had sold impressively despite a noticeable drop in advertising and still continues to more than pay for itself. Thanks to a re-energized sales strategy along with plenty of possibilities, the Chrysler PT Cruiser still has chapters left to be written.
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