DaimlerChrysler unveiled the Howler show car at the Specialty Equipment Market Association's (SEMA) annual show in Las Vegas in 1999. With the 250 bhp, 300 lb.-ft. V-8 Howler, the Company shows off a performance roadster pickup interpretation of Prowler, which pays homage to the rolling art of hot rods.
Howler is the result of two internal projects. In DaimlerChrysler's Advanced Packaging studio, designer Christopher Schuttera, who graduated just two years ago from the Úniversity of Cincinnati, created his vision based on a modern version of classic forms incorporating a pickup bed into the clean, pure Prowler design.
At the same time, Jon Rundels, Concept and Specialty Vehicle Executive, was looking for ways to meld the Prowler platform with the all-new Jeep® PowerTech V-8 engine and a Borg-Warner T5 manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
"Here we had two enthusiast projects going on in our own Auburn Hills studios that you would expect to see in an automotive specialty shop," said Tom Gale, DaimlerChrysler Corporation's Executive Vice President for Product Development and Design. "What better occasion than the SEMA show -- which is all about customization and conversion -- to link these projects and create another stunning show car."
Howler is an unprecedented combination of outrageous yet practical design and powerful performance. Technically, Rundels' team changed the
engine from the standard V-6 to the PowerTech V-8, replaced the rear transaxle with an engine-mounted five-speed manual transmission with 10.5 inch clutch and a Dana 44 rear differential, and fabricated a custom driveshaft and half-shafts. A pedal package with clutch was borrowed from the Neon to replace the standard two pedal package. Removing the rear transaxle provided the opportunity to reposition the fuel tank.
Source - DaimlerChrysler
"This in turn allowed us to open up the rear of the car and create space for a trunk while leaving the front end, doors, top and interior untouched," added Schuttera. "The result is a show car that remains true to the heritage of the home-built hot rod, yet offers true everyday convenience."