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The Chevy Corvette and the Chrysler PT Cruiser Have 1 Big Thing in Common

The phrase itself is a bit jarring. What in the world could these two actually have in common? The Chrysler PT Cruiser was one of a kind, certainly. The Chevy Corvette is an iconic Chevrolet sports car. How are they alike? Well, it turns out that each of these special vehicles won MotorTrend’s Car of the Year award.

A PT Cruiser on display at an auto show won the 2001 MotorTrend car of the year award
A PT Cruiser on display | JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

You probably remember the PT Cruiser. It hit the scene with some serious love it or hate it attitude. This was back before FCA when DiamlerChrysler still conceptualized and produced cars for the market. The Chrysler PT Cruiser took us by surprise in 2001. It showed up with what MotorTrend described as “rod-inspired” body features.

Customers look over a Chrysler PT Cruiser
Customers look over a Chrysler PT Cruiser | Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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This weird little hatch with a 2.4-liter inline four got up to 150 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. This powerplant paired with a 6-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic transmission. According to MotorTrend, it was stellar at performing the duty of its name. Oh, you didn’t know what PT stands for? It couldn’t be simpler: Personal Transport. Overall, this quirky city car doesn’t have much in common with the Chevy Corvette.

The MotorTrend auto enthusiasts saw the Chrysler PT Cruiser as an exciting disruption in what the market offered consumers at the time. We definitely agree. These nostalgic people movers even released as a convertible from 2005 to 2008. What’s not to like? Surely you’ve seen the post-facelift Cruisers, too. You may wonder what the point of the facelift was for a car that’s already so modern and beautiful. But that’s not the point. The point is that the Chrysler PT Cruiser won MotorTrend’s Car of the Year award in 2001. Here’s where the similarity between the Cruiser and the Chevy Corvette comes out.

A PT Cruiser with a woody package sits by the water
Chrysler PT Cruiser | FCA

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The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette

This year, the MotorTrend Car of the Year is a far cry from the likes of the Chrysler PT Cruiser. So, in 2001 the Chrysler PT Cruiser had what it takes to impress the folks that matter. Today, it takes something like the 2020 Chevy Corvette to earn the spot. The new Corvette is sleek, modern, and relatively affordable.

A Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is seen at the 2020 New England Auto Show Press Preview
The 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray | Paul Marotta/Getty Images

In fact, MotorTrend’s Johnny Lieberman writes: “Simply put, never before has so much four-wheeled exoticism been attainable for so little money. Or I should say, so much good exoticism.” We’ll agree there, the 2020 Chevy Corvette is an American icon that brings both sport and value to the table.

MotorTrend raves about this ground-breaking mid-engine Corvette. Apparently, this fresh new eighth-generation emergence of the legendary Chevrolet Corvette did enough to impress the people over at the MT auto enthusiasts’ publication. Then again, so did the PT Cruiser. Not to say that the Cruiser didn’t earn its title, or that it isn’t a good car. We’ll leave those opinions up to you. However, when you think about the 2001 winner it kind of puts things into perspective in a whole new way.

A blue 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray races around a desert racetrack, exemplifying the reasons for its MotorTrend car of the year award
2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray | Chevrolet

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MotorTrend Car of the Year

This year the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette took the title. In 2001 it was the Chrysler PT Cruiser. This fun fact really speaks for itself in more ways than one. Either way, the Chevy Corvette and the Chrysler PT Cruiser have one major––and unexpected––thing in common.