Plymouth hoped to evoke the past and brighten its future with the 2000 Prowler. The aluminum-bodied sportster was a hit with drivers and collectors. Plymouth was less fortunate, however, and Prowler rode out its last season wearing a Chrysler badge.
By the 1990s Plymouth was selling only minivans and economy-priced versions of other Chrysler Corporation cars. Prowler was a chance for Plymouth to improve its stodgy image.
The 2000 Plymouth Prowler was a strong-lined and
"fun" alternative to Plymouth's usual lineup.
The show-stopping Prowler appeared in 1997, almost identical to the 1993 concept car. Prowler was an immediate hit. Limited supply and early demand fueled reported selling prices in excess of $100,000 over the Prowler's $39,000 sticker price. Just under 400 1997 Prowlers were built, all in any color you wanted, as long as it was purple.
Early problems at the factory resulted in a shortened 1997 production run and an extended 1999 season, skipping 1998 completely.
Prowler's appeal was more than skin deep. The chassis was formed of precision-welded aerospace-quality aluminum alloy and most of the body was aluminum as well. Use of lightweight materials helped keep the nimble Prowler under 2900 pounds.
The 3.5-liter V-6 made the 2000 Plymouth Prowler as strong as it was flashy.
All Prowlers came with Chrysler's 3.5-liter V-6. Transversely mounted in other Chrysler cars, the V-6 was turned "North-South" to accommodate the Prowler's rear-wheel-drive drivetrain. Prowlers featured a unique one-piece transmission/axle "transaxle" set back in the car for excellent weight distribution. All Prowlers were equipped with Chrysler's AutoStick automatic transmission with manual-shift feature.
Horsepower was 214 for 1997 models and 253 for later versions. Prowlers were quick, with the higher-output cars running from 0-60 mph in about 7 seconds.
After the all-purple first season, Plymouth had fun with color, rolling out much-anticipated new hues, one at a time. Limited-run editions included the red and black "Woodward" and the black and silver "Black Tie."
The interior of the 2000 Plymouth Prowler combined a
futuristic feel with an almost "retro" look.
Plymouth folded in 2001, but Prowler enjoyed a brief run badged as a Chrysler for the 2002 model year. Fewer than 1500 "Chrysler" Prowlers were built. The last Prowler, the only one painted High Voltage Blue, was sold at a charity auction for $175,000.
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