Panoz Roadster Registry

Panoz Roadster vs. Panoz AIV Roadster vs. Prowler

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Overview
The Panoz AIV Roadster has often been compared to or confused with the Plymouth (Chrysler) Prowler. Although there are some important similarities, there are many more differences.

In 1993, a year after the Panoz Roadster was marketed, Chrysler showed the Prowler concept car in Detroit.  It was not until 1997 that a production version was offered to the public. The car was "upgraded" in 1999 with a more powerful engine and other changes. This model was sold through 2002. Unlike the limited production Panoz AIV Roadster (176), over eleven thousand Prowlers (11,578) were manufactured and sold.

Both cars have two-seat hot rod roadster design, aluminum construction, cycle fenders, and wide tires. However, in most other ways the cars are different. The Prowler is, according to road tests conducted at the time, considerably underpowered. It has a 3.5 liter six cylinder motor with automatic transmission. There are more luxuries in the Prowler such as power roll-up windows and attached (rather than erected) soft top with glass rear window. There is no trunk in the Prowler, but a towable luggage trailer was available.

In contrast, the early Panoz Roadster and the Panoz AIV Roadster were V-8 powered with 5 speed manual transmissions. They are a true sports car hot rod rather than a boulevard tourer. The following table provides a review of the stats for the three cars.

92-95
Panoz Roadster

97-99
Panoz AIV Roadster

99-02
Plymouth / Chrysler Prowler

# produced for sale

44

176

11578

Construction
Frame

triangulated stainless steel tube frame

extruded aluminum space frame

extruded aluminum space frame

Body

SPF formed aluminum body panels

SPF formed aluminum body panels

aluminum and composite plastic body panels

Front suspension

unequal length A-arms, coil-over shocks

unequal length A-arms, coil-over shocks

upper and lower A-arms with pushrods, coli-over shocks

Rear suspension

4 link trailing arms, quad shock traction, coil-over shocks

independent: unequal lenght A-arms, coil-over shocks

independent: multilink, modified double wishbone, coil-over shocks

Steering

rack & pinion, power assist, 2.4 turns lock to lock

rack & pinion, power assist, 2.4 turns lock to lock

rack & pinion, power assist, 3.13 turns lock to lock

Brakes F/R

11" vented disc / 11" disc

13" vented disc / 10" vented disc

composite 11" vented disc / 13" vented disc

Wheels F/R

16"x7" / 16"x8"

18"x8" / 18"x9"
(1999: 18"x8.5" / 18"x10")

17"x7.5" / 20"x10"

Tires F/R

205/55ZR-16 / 255/50ZR-16

245/40ZR-18 / 295/35ZR-18

P225/45HR17 / P295/40HR20 runflats

Engine

Ford 5.0 liter V-8, iron block & heads (OHV 2 cam, 2 valve)

Ford 4.6 liter V-8, aluminum block & heads (DOHC 4 valve)

Chrysler 3.5 liter V-6, aluminum block & heads, (SOHC 4 valve)

Fuel system

electronic port fuel injection

electronic port fuel injection

electronic port fuel injection

Horsepower - bhp

225 @ 4200 (later: 215 @ 4200)

305 @ 5800

253 @ 6400

Torque - ft. lbs.

300 @3200 (later: 285 @ 3400)

300 @ 4800

255 @ 3950

Compression

9.0:1

9.9:1

10:1

Transmission

Borg-Warner T-5

Borg-Warner T-45

Automatic transaxle with Autostick

Differential

Ford 8.8 solid, 3.27 Traction-Lok (later: 2.73)

Ford 8.8 independent, 3.27 Traction-Lok

Chrysler transaxle, 3.89

Dimensions
Wheelbase

98.5"

104.5"

113"

Length

156"

159"

165"

Width

73"

76.8"

76"

Height

47"

48"

51"

Track F/R

66" / 64"

66.9" / 63.7"

62" / 63"

Curb weight

2315 lbs.

2595

2838

Weight distr. F/R

49 / 51

50 / 50

45 / 55

Performance
0-60

5.3 seconds

4.5 seconds

6.5 seconds

Quarter mile

14.2 @ 97 mph

13.3 @ 102

14.9 @ 93

Top speed

130 mph

135 mph

120 mph

Lateral accel.

.92g

.97g

.83g

Braking

194 ft. from 70 mph

110 ft. from 60 mph

154 ft. from 60