DaimlerChrysler AG goes for drama with its intro of the PT Cruiser ragtop concept at the New York auto show.

Designers claim they spent only 4 months on the show car, which features longer, lower doors and a power-operated top.

Designers also lowered the body 1.5 ins. (4 cm), dropped the roof by an inch and lengthened the doors to give the new PT a more customized look. They also resculpted the rear wheel flairs to accommodate the concept's 19-in. wheels.

The ragtop gets the same powerplant as the real production versions — a 2.4L DOHC I-4 that develops 150 hp. Industry sources suggest that DC is considering a turbocharged version of the 2.4L engine for the near future.

PT convertible looks like a chopped-coupe fastback when the top is up, and exhibits a more modern appearance when the top is folded away.

The styling study “is the latest example of the sort of fun we can have with the PT Cruiser,” says DaimlerChrysler design chief Trevor Creed. “And there's more to come.”