Call it what you want and remember it how you will, but SRT is recognizing the Plymouth Prowler as a significant forefather to much of its current line.
Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO), predecessor to SRT, built the Prowler, which wore the Plymouth badge before carrying over to the Chrysler brand. While the Prowler might not seem to have much in common with today’s performance cars, its production process taught Chrysler lessons it used while developing the 2013 SRT Viper.
“For SRT vehicles, we decided to take the weight out of those vehicles and use Prowler technology,” Prowler engineer Saad Abouzahr said. “We created our suspension components using aluminum, and SRT vehicles also have unique aluminum hoods.”
As fuel consumption becomes an increasing concern, aluminum is finding its way into more and more vehicle components.
“Back when we were building the first SRT vehicles, aluminum technology at the time was still new. For us, it was taking what we learned from the Prowler in terms of lightweight construction and implementing it on the SRT vehicles,” Abouzahr said. “All SRT vehicles today, as a signature, have aluminum hoods and suspension — which can be traced directly to the Prowler. With the Prowler, we had the recipe for these SRT vehicles.”
The car originally debuted in 1993 during the Detroit Auto Show and was unveiled as a production vehicle three years later.
“There were very few applications for aluminum,” Abouzahr said. “We decided the Prowler was an opportunity for us to actually develop some of this technology on a vehicle. The technology was new – how do you do an all-aluminum frame? We knew a lot about how to join steel, how steel manages energy, but in regards to aluminum, it was all-new.”
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