A combination of 1930s-inspired styling, wagon-like practicality and affordability, the Chrysler PT Cruiser existed as one of the most unique vehicle sold in the first decade of the 21st century. Originally intended to be brought to market by the defunct Plymouth division, the PT Cruiser entered production under the Chrysler brand in 2001.
Introduced as a four-door wagon, the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser was built on a front-wheel drive platform. Propulsion for the 2001 PT Cruiser came from a 2.4-liter engine that produced 150 horsepower. The powerplant was mated for either a standard five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, the five-passenger interior of the Chrysler PT Cruiser could be augmented up several different configurations. With rear seats folded, cargo space extended to 62.7 cubic feet. Available in base, Touring and Limited model, the top-equipped 2011 Chrysler PT Cruiser included aluminum wheels as well as a power sunroof. In 2003, a turbocharged model of the car was introduced as the PT Cruiser GT.
The 215-horsepower 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser GT also included 17-inch wheels mounted to Goodyear Eagle tires and a more aggressively tuned suspension. In 2005, a two-door convertible body style was added to the PT Cruiser line-up. Fitted with a power-operated soft-top, the 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible also featured a large sport bar between the passenger area. In addition to usual trim levels, a multitude of special edition models of the PT Cruiser were released between 2004 and 2009.
The Platinum Series, Walter P. Chrysler Signature Series and the Dream Cruiser Series were all specialized versions of the car sold in limited quantities. Always existing as a polarizing design, the Chrysler PT Cruiser remains an item of ridicule by some but also enjoys a strong cult following.