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The PT Cruiser was on Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 2001 and won the North American Car of the Year award that year.
Officially, the "PT" stands for "Personal Transportation," but the initials also designate the car's platform. According to Consumer Guide and the PT Cruiser Club the "PT" stands for "Personal Transportation". It has also claimed the Neon was based on the Chrysler PL platform, or "Platform Low," while the Cruiser was based on the Chrysler PT platform, for "Platform Tall". "PT" was also the production code for the PT Cruiser. Unofficially, the name may stand for "Plymouth Truck", as it harks back to the 1930s line of Plymouth Trucks (known by the "PT" moniker). The original concept car was a Plymouth; the Chrysler brand adopted the production car when the Plymouth brand was discontinued. The PT also stood for "panel truck".
In a November, 2007 strategy move to help return the automaker to profitability, Chrysler first announced plans to discontinue the convertible version of the now slow selling vehicle. This announcement was followed later in the month by an official announcement that the company would cease production of the remaining versions of the vehicle after the 2009 model year.
It is a front-wheel drive 5-passenger vehicle, classified as a truck by the NHTSA for CAFE fuel economy calculations but as a car by most other metrics. Indeed, Chrysler specifically designed the PT Cruiser to fit the NHTSA criteria for a light truck in order to bring the average fuel efficiency of the company's light truck fleet into compliance with CAFE standards. A turbocharged GT model was introduced for the 2003 model year. A convertible was introduced for the 2005 model year.
The PT Cruiser is manufactured at Toluca Car Assembly in Toluca, Mexico. DaimlerChrysler announced on March 8, 2006 that it had built 1,000,000 PT Cruisers at the Toluca plant since February 14, 2000. The PT Cruiser was also assembled in Graz, Austria for global markets (outside North America) in 2002, using the production code PG. European PT Cruisers built in 2001 or from 2003 onwards are built in Mexico under the PT production code. The American version features a 2.4 L four-cylinder gasoline engine. In addition to this standard model, a 2.2 L diesel engine built by Mercedes Benz is also available in Europe, Asia, and South Africa. A 2 liter engine (D4RE) was available outside the U.S. It produces 140 hp (100 kW) SAE at 6500 rpm with 130 ft·lbf (180 N·m) of torque at 4800 rpm.
When initially introduced, demand for the car was, in many cases, higher than dealer supply, seeing customers put on waiting lists. Anticipation of the car was high, making for a debut that was among most successful.
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Check out the Chrysler PT Cruiser wallpapers and Chrysler PT Cruiser Pictures (pics) collection below: