Chrysler has priced its 2003 PT Turbo, due in dealerships this autumn, at $US22,290.

Based on the Touring Edition, the PT Turbo model features a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine that makes 215 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 245 lb.-ft. of torque at 3600 rpm, with more than 90 percent of peak torque available between 2300 and 5000 rpm.

The PT Turbo is the sixth factory-customised version of the retro-look vehicle but the first to get a performance boost. Next comes the convertible, due on sale in early 2004.

More than 395,000 Chrysler PT Cruiser vehicles have been sold worldwide from launch in January 2000 to the end of May. European versions have a two-litre petrol engine or a 2.2-litre Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel.

The PT Cruiser Turbo also gets a Getrag heavy-duty five-speed manual transaxle (an automatic transaxle with AutoStick is optional), performance-tuned suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and ABS with traction control, 17″ silver painted 5-spoke cast aluminum wheels, P205/50HR17 tyres, body-colour monotone front fascia with larger, lower openings, new rear fascia with larger exhaust opening, large diameter chrome exhaust tip, body-colour bodyside moldings, restyled front seats with unique cloth interior, driver seat manual lumbar adjuster, unique silver-faced cluster gauges with 140 mph speedometer, tachometer with “2.4L Turbo” badging, unique instrument panel accents, GT embroidered front floor mats and silver painted shift ball or shifter bezel.

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