It's cold outside, but spring is on the way. And, hopefully, so is the new ragtop version of Chrysler’s PT Cruiser.
We say ‘hopefully’ because Chrysler’s US brass still haven’t decided whether or not to offer this versatile four-seat cabrio in the UK in right-hand-drive form, despite Britain being Europe’s biggest convertible market. That decision depends largely on reaction to the 50 left-hookers Chrysler will bring to the UK later this year to test the waters.
To us, it’s a no-brainer. This new PT is a proper four-seater with the most rear legroom in its class – a whopping 254mm more than the VW Beetle Convertible.
It also comes with a standard power hood that drops in 10 seconds flat; a pass-through between the boot and rear seats for carrying long objects; and here’s the best part – an optional 220bhp turbo motor giving 0-62mph sprinting in 7.6 seconds.
Chrysler says the PT was designed as a convertible from the outset, so there’s plenty of strength built into the body. But for good measure, they added extra stiffening around the doors and behind the rear seats. They also kept the wide, hydroformed steel roll-over bar behind the front seats that was a feature of the concept shown at the 2001 New York Motor Show. Chrysler says that not only does it add rigidity and provide roll-over protection, it also directs airflow over those sitting in the rear.