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Retro PT Cruiser progresses

Extra salsa: The Mexican-made PT Cruiser gets more herbs and spices.

Chrysler updates its ageing retro hatchback, the PT Cruiser

2 Dec 2004

CHRYSLER is re-motivating its ageing PT Cruiser with a larger four-cylinder engine.

Compared to the outgoing 2.0-litre double overhead cam multi-valve unit, the similarly configured 2.4’s power output edges up 5kW to 105kW at 5200rpm.

More usefully, there is now 14 per cent more torque than the 186Nm previously on offer, with the 2.4 producing 214Nm at 4000rpm.

Chrysler says the 2.4’s balance shafts help deliver performance that’s both smoother and more refined.

Meanwhile, a sportier model has been added with the (very retro) GT – or Grand Tourer – model sliding in between the base Classic and well-equipped Limited.

It includes "performance" (firmer) suspension, wider tyres on 17-inch alloy wheels, roof-mounted spoiler, front and rear fog lights and extra silver and leather trim inside.

All 2005 PT Cruisers now have a padded soft-touch tailgate release, a new colour (Linen Gold) has been added, while cruise control appears in all models bar the cheapest manual.

More than 4200 PT Cruisers have found homes here since the model's mid-2000 release.

The last Chrysler sold in Australia with a GT badge was the 70kW 1968-1970 Hillman Hunter GT, a small rear-wheel drive sedan from Britain.

Prices for the five-speed manual 2005 PT Cruiser range are: $29,990 Classic
$30,990 GT
$33,990 Limited The four-speed automatic option increases the price by $2000.

* THE Chrysler Group is considering whether it will scrap the PT Cruiser or, if it enters a second generation, to tone down the retro design.

Chrysler group design chief Trevor Creed told Automotive News Europe the PT Cruiser’s future "is much hotly debated".

He also said that beyond a planned restyling of the car, "we are not sure what our next move will be".

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