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The Chrysler PT Cruiser Turbo "GT Cruiser"— 2002 to 2009

Chrysler GT CruiserClick here for our hands-on review!

On March 27, 2002, Chrysler introduced the PT Cruiser Turbo, referred to by most people as the GT Cruiser.

Originally, this model, powered by a turbocharged 2.4 liter engine, had 215 horsepower and produced 245 lb-ft of torque at a low 3,600 rpm, with more than 90 percent of peak torque from 2300 to 5000 rpm.

On June 16, 2005, Chrysler introduced a power boost up to 230 horsepower (171.5 kW) and 245 lb.-ft. (332 N•m) of torque; this boost was more substantial than it sounds, because the engine was retuned in other ways to provide a much more serious feel of power, even with the automatic.

To increase reliability, the block, head, and crankshaft were modified; racing-style oil squirting mechanisms also cool the pistons, which allows for higher output. Oil and water cooling for the turbocharger was optimized from the start of development, adding to the engine's reliability and durability. Proper calibration of the turbo's wastegate and integrated turbo/exhaust manifold resulted in quicker boost, while providing better control of the turbo for reduced emissions and improved driveability. Acoustic dampeners on the turbo's intake system all but eliminate turbo whine.

A 180 horsepower version of the engine, tuned to run on regular gas and within the constraints of the standard automatic, was added later.

turbocharged engineThe Chrysler PT Turbo's standard heavy-duty five-speed manual Getrag transaxle provides the same quality, reliability and precision that Chrysler and Dodge turbo-2.2 buyers have enjoyed for years. In addition, a four-speed automatic with AutoStick is available for those who want the sluggishness of an automatic combined with the labor of a manual. The turbo models also include a specially tuned suspension and performance-tuned exhaust system with a large diameter chrome exhaust tip and a pronounced exhaust note. Performance four-wheel disc brakes, ABS, 17-inch painted five-spoke cast aluminum wheels and all-season P205/50HR17 tires round out Chrysler PT Turbo's standard suspension equipment.

At the PT Turbo's launch with 2003 models, standard features included:

- Performance 4-wheel disc brakes and ABS with traction control
- 17" Blade Silver painted 5-spoke cast aluminum wheels
- P205/50HR17 all-season performance tires
- Body-color monotone front fascia with larger, lower openings
- Body-color monotone rear fascia with larger exhaust opening
- Large diameter chrome exhaust tip
- Body-color bodyside moldings
- "GT" badge on left liftgate, "2.4L TURBO" badge on right liftgate
- Performance front seats with unique cloth interior
- Driver seat manual lumbar adjuster
- Silver-faced cluster gauges with 140 mph speedometer "2.4L Turbo" badging
- Unique instrument panel accents
- "GT" embroidered front floor mats

The Chrysler PT Turbo (note Chrysler's inane decision not to call it a GT Cruiser) will be made at the Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico, the only place PT Cruisers are made.

The GT Cruiser 2000 Concept Car

Chrysler GT Cruiser front carsThe Chrysler GT Cruiser concept vehicle has a more muscular look which accents its 205 hp, 225 lb.-ft. turbocharged engine - an engine which can actually perform the way the PT Cruiser looks.

The main engineering issues are the space and heat required by a turbocharger. Others have created aftermarket kits that fit under the hood, but Chrysler needs to ensure that any system sold through their dealers will last as long as owners expect - well over 100,000 miles - without major repairs, peeling hoods, etc., that enthusiasts might be willing to endure. We are not sure why they are not considering superchargers, which would make the heat issue irrelevant.

Kenneth Carlson, the designer responsible for the GT Cruiser, said: "Lowering the vehicle by one inch and widening the track by two inches resulted in its athletic stance. Removing the badges from the hood and deck and integrating the bumpers in the facias give the vehicle a clean front and rear appearance. In addition, the badges are incorporated in the grille and rear license plate brow, in effect minimizing the number of design elements."

Flares on the fenders make space for bigger wheels.

The 2.4-liter turbocharged engine is coupled to a five-speed manual transaxle. The lowered suspension uses KONI struts and upgraded sway bars. The vehicle rolls on 17" chrome wheels with 215/45 tires.

We have lots of Chrysler PT Cruiser car information. Site directory. PT Cruiser Forums. Repairs.

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