The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Chrysler California Cruiser Concept Catches Next Wave

October 1, 2002

The latest celebration of the PT Cruiser's design, the Chrysler California Cruiser made its public debut at the Paris Motor Show Sept. 27. The California Cruiser builds on the blend of style and practicality seen in the production models of the PT Cruiser. According to Chrysler, a versatile vehicle with two large doors, a rear hatch and multi-functional interior, the Chrysler California Cruiser amplifies what owners love about their PT Cruiser. The concept has ample space for four people and their travel needs. The exterior of the California Cruiser concept vehicle conveys a "Next Wave" evolution in styling. With its "chopped top" profile and stance, Chrysler California Cruiser is a pure American design statement. Crisp fender set lines and linear elements convey precision and a modern feel that respects classic vehicle heritage. The grille features a chrome Chrysler winged badge with chiselled satin chrome horizontal bars. There are dual projector headlamps and new fog lamps to light the way as the 2.4-litre high-output turbocharged engine transports driver and passengers down the highway. At the push of a button, the California Cruiser's hard top transforms into an open-air cruiser. Eight panels of glass lower or pivot to create a unique driving experience. The full glass roof has a retractable sunroof in addition to a dropping door and quarter flip glass. In addition, the California Cruiser has dual chrome exhaust tips, 19-inch billet aluminium machined wheels, and new, hi-tech clear taillamps. Silver inserts on the door trim, quarter panels and hatchback trim replicate exterior trim panels, again, in true Cruiser fashion, bringing the "outside inside" while at the same time accentuating the interior's volume and contemporary design. An extended load floor with four individual "fold-flat" seats - including the driver's - creates cargo volume, versatility and flexibility. The point is driven home with an integrated "boom box" in the lift gate, in addition to the navigation unit in the center column. The Chrysler Group presented the first concept leading to the Chrysler PT Cruiser in the spring of 1998 at the Geneva Motor Show. The Pronto Cruizer concept was followed by the company's most short-lived concept car, the PT Cruiser concept. The Chrysler GT Cruiser and Panel Cruiser concepts made their world premiere in 2000, while in 2001 the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible Styling Study made its debut at the New York Auto Show. The GT Cruiser concept foreshadowed the recently launched 2003 Chrysler PT Turbo production model, while production plans for Chrysler PT Cruiser Cabrio were announced at the Geneva Motor Show 2002. The Cabrio will be available at Chrysler dealerships in early 2004. The 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser is manufactured at the Chrysler Group's Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico. From its launch as a production vehicle in February 2000 through July 2002, nearly 444,000 Chrysler PT Cruiser vehicles have been sold worldwide, with 65,000 of those in markets outside of North America.
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