When the Chrysler PT Cruiser was first unveiled for American consumers in 2000, reviewers were hesitant to praise the vintage body design and 2.4L EDZ I4 engine. Some believed that Chrysler was grasping at straws to compete with other retro designs, while others claimed that the small engine was laughable and that it certainly was not paying homage to the sporty wagons of the past. Originally available in either a 2-door hatchback or 4-door wagon trim, the PT Cruiser has definitely been noticed. Blogs have been devoted to the vehicle, both for its innovative design and wealth of problems ranging from poor quality materials to complete engine failure issues.
Shortly after its release, the 5-passenger vehicle was given a sporty new convertible edition. Also, since its inception, the PT Cruiser has seen several limited edition versions like the Street Cruiser Route 66 and Street Cruiser Sunset Boulevard. Chrysler recently announced that they would be ending production of the PT Cruiser after the 2009 model year. This cessation is due to both poor sales and the maker's attempt to shed any of their vehicles that are not proving to be profitable. Recent visits from financial guru Lee Iacocca have furthered the rumor that Chrysler is facing severe monetary problems. However, the American manufacturer has yet to confirm or deny the allegations, but with the slimming down of their lineup, it will be difficult to convince consumers that there aren't any problems in the automotive corporation.
With the Chrysler PT Cruiser's bold design, it is no wonder that several films and television shows have chosen to feature the model on installments of their programs. Popular television shows that have shown a spotlight on the PT Cruiser include Ghost Whisperer, The Office, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In the 2004 season of the cable hit Entourage, one of the main characters was seen driving the PT Cruiser on several episodes. The films Cry Wolf and Monster Night also showcased the PT Cruiser on the big screen.
Recent gossip has claimed that AMG, a division of Mercedes Benz, will take over the PT Cruiser and develop a sportier high-performance edition of the vehicle. However, neither Chrysler nor Mercedes have validated the report. Some websites are reporting that Chrysler will not necessarily cancel the model, but will rather give it a completely new look and badge, but will be built on the same platform. However, Chrysler is sticking with their story that the PT Cruiser's time is up.