January 5, 2004
Chrysler unveils V12-powered mid-engine super car
Detroit, Michigan – Chrysler joined the ranks of Ferrari, Bugatti, McLaren,
Lamborghini and Ford with a new prototype V12-powered mid-engine ME Four-Twelve
super car. With 850 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque from its all-aluminum
quad-turbocharged 6.0 litre V12 engine, the ME Four-Twelve rockets from 0 to 60 mph
in 2.9 seconds, 0 to 100 mph in 6.2 seconds and will blister through the quarter
mile in 10.6 seconds at 142 mph. The estimated top speed of the ME Four-Twelve is
248 mph (400 km/h).
With a power output of 142 horsepower/litre, and with a curb weight of just 2880
lbs. (1310 kg), the ME Four-Twelve has the weight-to-power ratio of 3.4 lbs/bhp – a
new benchmark in the super car category.
A 7-speed Ricardo Double Clutch Transmission was developed specifically for this
vehicle and features the latest double wet-clutch technology, electronic control
strategy, and paddle shifters.
“The ME Four-Twelve has been one of the most closely guarded secrets, not only to
the outside world but also within our organization,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice
President – Chrysler Group Design. “The idea for this machine was conceived as a
spectacular follow-up to the Dodge Tomahawk shown last year. The big difference is
that Tomahawk was a design statement. ME Four-Twelve, however, is as much an
engineering statement as it is a design statement.”
The ME Four-Twelve’s aerodynamic carbon fibre bodywork was developed in the Chrysler
Group wind tunnel in Auburn Hills, Michigan. A computer controlled active rear
spoiler increases down-force to a total of 925 lbs. (421 kg) at 186 mph (300 km/h),
creating stability at high speeds.
The suspension is comprised of double wishbones, aluminum control arms,
horizontally-opposed coil-over dampers with electronically controlled compression
and rebound tuning, stainless-steel push rods and a blade configured anti-roll bar.
The ME Four-Twelve braking system features massive 15.0-inch (381 mm) ventilated
carbon ceramic composite disc brake rotors with six-piston aluminum mono block
calipers. The composite discs are sixty-five percent lower in weight than comparable
cast iron rotors resulting in significantly reduced unsprung mass and improved shock
Cast aluminum wheels are 19×10-inch front and 20×12.5-inch rear. Michelin
high-performance radials are 265/35ZR19 in the front and 335/30ZR20 in the rear.
“In terms of advanced materials, aerodynamic efficiency and vehicle dynamic
performance, the ME Four-Twelve represents the ultimate engineering and design
statement from Chrysler,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, Chief Operating Officer – Chrysler
Group. “It’s everything we’ve learned about creating exciting, desirable
automobiles. And, as such, it’s not really a concept car but is, in fact, a
prototype that will be road-ready by summer.”