PT Cruiser R.I.P.

Chrysler/Fiat has announced the end of the PT Cruiser run. From 145,000 units in 2001 to less than 18,000 this year.

First of the “retro” movement (as far as I can recall).

Fine by me, I’m burn-out on the whole retro thing … R.I.P.

Does the updated VW Beetle count because it predated the PT Cruiser by a few years? Or the Plymouth Prowler, but I’m not sure if concepts count.
I had one of these as a loaner last year and it was all exterior styling. The interior was uncomfortable, the space seemed oddly misproportioned, and so many blind spots.
They were never able to really update it so I have to conclude it was a one trick pony/ one hit wonder. Although the convertible wasn’t bad, the turbo was uninspired at 180 hp.
It’s interesting to think of its antecent, the Airstream. It came out as the Depression was bottoming and the American Century was beginning. The worst of the modern era was going to be resolved with efficiency, acceleration, and evolution. By the time the PT Cruiser came out, the new age was totally exhausted and so was the concept.
I suppose it probably brings to mind the worst tendencies of retro - retreading tired ideas. That’s not what retro is really - subversive seizing of control of the deterministic ratio, tipping the scales of the vector to our side, writing the history of our own future.

The thing I think that was great about the PT is that it reintroduced the midsized hatch to America, these are typically called “Cross Overs” now, and sure the Rav 4 and CRV predated it, but look at the Scion xB, the Honda Element, The Toyota Matrix, there is a little PTin there… they just didn’t invest in it, it had an underpowered engine, and most of the factory packages were aesthetically geared for a more nostalgic consumer, but I have seen all blacked out ones with black rims, and I’m sure modded engines that looked pretty hot.

From a platform perspective, this makes sense as I’m sure Fiat has some great platforms in this segment that would be better suited. When a Dodge based on the Alfa MiTo pops up I’m there!

Did you know the PT Cruiser was classified as a truck for CAFE purposes, despite being based on the Neon platform?

I was fortunate enough to own one of these during my time in Canada, and I absolutely loved it. The aesthetic was so iconic and despite its gene pool (chrysler) it was a real pleasure to drive. The 2.4 engine was the perfect size for getting through snow but still being tight on gas. It was quite funtional also with power outlets in the rear and some clever cargo configuation with the rear parcel tray. I still think the original model 2001 was the best as the later integrated bumpers took away from the character a little. Still an awesome front grille.

I think the appealing aspect of this car was that it was not just another ‘clone’ coming out of the factory. It had something different… personality, and I liked that :slight_smile: I think the Mini promotes the argument FOR retro cars, but I agree with examples like the new beetle, that some have been excecuted poorly.

Scott: That makes more sense now.

Lew: What do you think of the Fiat 500 (more retro design) taking over the plant that the PT was being made in?

914 ,I hadn’t heard that! Interesting!

Bring back the FiatX19!.. was my first car. No doubt an early indicator of my ID future :smiley:

What do you think of the Fiat 500 (more retro design) > taking over the plant that the PT was being made in?

Waste not, want not … . ???

Seriously, if they made this, would have been hot. This pronto cruiser is 11 years old BTW. Originally it was pitched as being on the stratus platformI recall, which is a much larger car. But ended up on the neon platform as the sad panda that it is.

( my trusty commuter car is a 04 neon, it’s been a decent, reliable car for what it is :unamused: )

Always loved the Pronto Cruiser

Never really liked that car. My idea of good retro design is the mini or fiat 500, they look modern but still have that antique touch. And the PT cruisers with the exterior wood trim was a bad idea…

yes i remember the pronto cruiser from gran turismo 2 was it??

I give props to the PT for being unique when it came out, but yea i think it wasnt unique enough to keep chugging along nearly unchanged for 10 years.

I can’t believe that no one’s brought this up:

I think that Chevrolet did them one better with the HHR… Certainly a modern take on the small van idea. I really like the panel van version, and they’ve been surprisingly OK when Avis have handed me the keys to one. I remember getting 28mpg from Hartford to Worcester and back one night. Not bad for a brick.