Chrysler ME Four-Twelve:Amazing

Written by M.West on October 12, 2006

Chrysler ME Four-TwevleThe Chrysler ME Four-Twelve idea came about last January after the 2003 Detroit show, when Chrysler chief operating officer Wolfgang Bernhard aspired to dream what Chrysler could do at the ’04 show to gain the attention taken by the Viper-powered Tomahawk motorcycle that wowed at the2003 show.

Bernhard wanted something “exciting, motivational, and inspirational”—something “completely unexpected from Chrysler,” yet also an “engineering feat.” A mid-engined supercar was what he came up with. Bernhard then called his buddies at AMG to have an engine built—naturally, they welcomed the opportunity—and even contacted Pagani for guidance.

Chrysler set out to beat—not match—performance figures from existing supercars, including the Ferrari Enzo, Porsche Carrera GT, Pagani Zonda, McLaren F1, and Ford GT. According to Chrysler’s figures and estimates, they’ve done so.

The ME’s mid-mounted 6.0-liter V-12 features four turbochargers, aluminum block and heads, a dry-sump lubrication system, and four intercoolers. It’s mated to a purpose-built seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission from racing-gearbox-maker Ricardo. Horsepower is rated at 850 at 6250 rpm, with 850 pound-feet of torque anywhere between 2500 and 4500 rpm. According to Chrysler, the ME goes from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, 0-100 in 6.2, the quarter-mile in 10.6 at 142 mph, and a top speed of over 240 mph.

A race-car-style dual-control-arm suspension, front and rear, with stainless steel pushrods and adjustable shocks helps the ME achieve 1.15 g on the skidpad. Utilizing a body and tub made from carbon-fiber and aluminum honeycomb sandwich, the ME weighs in at around 2900 pounds. Bernhard said if the ME-412 does go into production he expects it cost anywhere between $250,000 and $1 million.
Chrysler would not say if the ME is destined for production; only that it is a “prototype” and not a “concept.”


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