What's New for 2000
Prowler Purple is discontinued, replaced by Prowler Silver for 2000. Chrome wheels are standard, as is a new leather shift boot and speed-sensitive volume for the stereo.
Chrysler has taken the drawing board directly into the manufacturing plant. The Prowler is simply a concept car that has magically seen the light of day, and though it's not the most impressive car performance-wise, it is a most impressive display of Chrysler's commitment to fun.
Modeled after traditional hot rods of the 1950's, the Prowler certainly looks the part, despite the federally mandated but truly dopey-looking gray front bumpers. Painted red, black, yellow or silver for 2000, Prowler is equipped with massive 20-inch wheels in back (fronts are 17s). New this year is standard chrome plating on the attractive alloys. With its extremely high sill, you'll feel like you're treading water in a pool, and with the top up, visibility is a joke. Trunk space is even more amusing -- there isn't any to speak of.
The retro aluminum bodywork is wrapped around an all-aluminum frame supported by an aluminum four-wheel independent suspension, but you can't wrap leftovers with the Prowler. You can't get a smooth ride either, as this roadster rides harshly. Lousy leather-wrapped seats don't promote comfort over the long-haul, but you won't care much because the interior, aside from some bargain-basement Chrysler parts-bin bits, is delicious. And if the styling isn't attracting enough attention, you can crank up the 320-watt Infinity sound system (with speed-compensated volume control for 2000) to garner even more attention.
Prowler's powertrain somewhat disappoints. A stout 3.5-liter SOHC V6 engine, capable of producing 253 horsepower and 255 foot-pounds of torque, powers this Plymouth from rest to 60 mph quickly, but without fanfare. It's mated to Chrysler's lame AutoStick automanual transmission, which is certainly no substitute for a real manual gearbox. So, no V8 and no stick: if this constitutes the hardware of the modern hot rod, we'll take a pass. The Prowler is just for show.
But what a show. This car is guaranteed to turn heads in traffic. If you're not a celebrity but you want to feel like one, here's the recipe: Buy a Plymouth Prowler. Drop the top. Cruise up and down your local strip. Wave at the gawking crowd. Just don't try to drag race any real muscle cars.