Meet Chrysler’s first supercar: the ME Four-Twelve Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 10, 2016

This mid-engine Chrysler ME Four-Twelve supercar caused a sensation in 2004 with its V12, quad-turbo engine, promising to be the most exciting and most technologically advanced Chrysler ever. This rear wheel drive, mid engine supercar went from drawing board to completion in little under a year.

A 6.0-litre, all aluminium quad-turbo engine is the heart of this impressive beast. With a 9:01 compression ratio and electronic sequential multipoint fuel injection, the ME Four-Twelve can produce eye popping STATs. The engine developed by AMG Powertrain delivers 850 bhp at 5750 rpm, and 850 lb-ft. (1150 Nm) of torque with a range of 2500 to 4500 rpm using premium unleaded fuel.

This translates to a power output of 142 bhp a litre. With a mere curb weight of 2880 lbs (1310 kg), the ME Four-Twelve has an impressive weight to power ratio of 3.4 lbs/bhp, breaking sets of performance records and creating new benchmarks in the supercar class.

When put to the test, the ME Four-Twelve lived up to expectation and then some. The vehicle travels 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.2 seconds, and is capable of reaching bolt lightening speeds of 142 mph travelling a quarter of a mile in an unbelievable 10.6 seconds. But it doesn’t stop there, the ME Four-Twelve is able to attain top speeds of 248 miles per hour (400 km/h) if you are brave enough!

This is made possible thanks to a large thermal performance engine with an exceptionally efficient cooling system providing the necessary power, without excessive heat. This optimal thermal technology gives this supercar an obvious advantage.

The 7 speed Ricardo double Transmission was designed exclusively for the ME Four-Twelve. It uses the latest developments in double wet clutch technology and electronic control strategy. This enables consistent torque to the rear wheels with an impressive 200-millisecond shift time.

The body consists of lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb monocoque tub. The design is composed of chrome-moly sub frames and aluminium crush structures in a racing car style. To match its supercar status, the suspension, steering and brakes have been engineered for maximum performance.

The vehicle has a solid frame structure to protect the occupants in a collision but it uses lightweight materials to ensure maximum speed and performance. The carbon fibre design has passed standards set by US Federal Regulations on impact testing.

There is also a blade configured anti-roll bare; so it’s fast, but safe! The double wishbone suspension has aluminium controlled arms. The compression and rebound tuning are electronically controlled and has horizontally opposed coil-over dampers and stainless steel push rods.

This, when combined with a power assisted rack and pinion, enables steering with a ratio of 16:1 with 2.4 turns lock to lock and a turning circle of 36 feet. This makes the vehicle highly responsive. To match the speed of this vehicle, the breaking system has to be on par.

With an impressive 15 inch (381 mm) ventilated carbon ceramic composite disc brake rotors and six piston aluminium mono block callipers, you will have no problem stopping this machine! Because the composite discs weigh only 35% of comparable cast iron rotors, it became possible to reduce the un-sprung mass and by doing so the shock damping response has significantly improved providing instant feedback in any braking situation.

The design of the ME Four-Twelve screams out speed even when stationary. At a mere 44.9 inches tall, 78. Inches wide and 178.8 inches long, this mid-engine, two-seater vehicle is built to race. After significant testing and redesigning in the Chrysler Group wind tunnel in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the designers moulded the carbon fibre body to make extensive use of aerodynamics.

Side panels are chiselled to improve traction. The overall shape encourages air to flow easily over the vehicle without affecting the speed. Both rear and front wheels are housed in large vents to reduce lift and maximise traction especially at top speed. No need to worry about whether conditions require the rear spoiler to be deployed.

Vehicle’s computer activates the spoiler to 100 mm to increase down force to a total of 925 lbs (421 kg) at 186 mph (300 km/h) whilst reaching a significant drag (Cd) of 0.358. This allows for optimal stability at the fastest of speeds. So let the ME Four-Twelve do the thinking for you so you can concentrate on the driving experience.

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