Prototype Chrysler ME-412 Supercars Now Testing

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, May 20, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Nine lives for Chrysler's ME Four-Twelve supercar; mules being tested

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    By KEVIN A. WILSON
    (08:30 May 20, 2004)

    Testing is under way on Chrysler ME Four-Twelve mules based on the '04 Detroit show car.

    The Chrysler ME Four-Twelve supercar lives. For now, anyway. Eric Ridenour, executive vice president for product development for the Chrysler Group says mules are now being tested while the company examines the potential business case for a midengine quad-turbo V12 exotic wearing the winged badge. Press drives and road tests, he said, should come “within the calendar year.”

    That’s a little later than we anticipated when the car was shown at Detroit in January (AW, Jan. 12), but Ridenour says “we’re right on schedule with the plan I developed with Wolfgang (Bernhard, former chief operating officer) before he left. There may have been some misunderstanding,” about what was meant when Bernhard said the car would be driveable in four months. “It is being driven now, but it’s not ready for press tests.”

    Bernhard, former CEO of AMG, was COO of the Chrysler Group during development of the ME Four-Twelve. He has since been promoted, and then un-promoted, to head of the Mercedes-Benz Group, where he was due to replace Juergen Hubbert May 1. Instead, after Bernhard bucked chairman Juergen Schrempp’s authority, he saw the reins pulled from his hands. Although still a member of the DaimlerChrysler board, he has no job assignment and is expected to leave the company. Some speculated that the ME Four-Twelve’s strong association with the 43-year-old car guy—who once rode a motorbike powered by a Viper V10 onto the show stand at Detroit—might spell its demise. Ridenour says that’s not so.

    “We’re going forward on the original plan, and it will stand or fall on its own merits.”

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    Ridenour says he has seen no sign of interference or objection to the project from the Mercedes-Benz side of the company, although the ME Four-Twelve—if it hits it design targets—would be faster than even the McLaren-built SLR. “That’s not one of our worries. We’re just looking at the things that go into a business case—how many could you sell for how much? There are people who buy cars like this to drive, some who buy them just because of the specification, the performance numbers, and others who buy them based only on the prestige of the badge on the nose, and we have to work out where we fall among those potential customers.”

    Odds seem to be against its eventual production, but Chrysler could still earn some favorable recognition if it can demonstrate that the car meets its extraordinary performance goals, including a 0-60 mph time of under 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 240 mph and a quarter-mile time of 11.0 seconds flat, or better.

    “With the kind of performance we’re aiming for, you really have to be careful,” Ridenour said. “We need to prove it out with mules and make sure it’s all solid before we offer the press a chance to drive it. Heck, I’m eager to drive it myself, but it’s not ready for that yet.”

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  2. Melvin_91GT

    Melvin_91GT New Member

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  3. I Lub You

    I Lub You Guest

     
  4. Section8

    Section8 .

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  5. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

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  6. NeonWally

    NeonWally Guest

    I actually made that face
     
  7. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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  8. AMOK

    AMOK New Member

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    Looks pretty good aside from those lines on the hood.
     
  9. We_Todd

    We_Todd I'm a naughty squirrel.

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    that thing got a hemi?
     
  10. ChosenGSR

    ChosenGSR Mama always said you'd be the chosen one

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    NSX :eek3: - the reliability of a wonderful honda product
     
  11. Tamedgerbil

    Tamedgerbil Guest

    :wackit: x 11ty billion x infinity
     
  12. NeonWally

    NeonWally Guest

    1.5
     
  13. psykosis

    psykosis Go placidly amid the noise and the haste

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    I would help nail Jesus to the cross for that car.
     
  14. Kelvin96GSR

    Kelvin96GSR OEM>YOU

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    :bigthumb:
     
  15. mucky

    mucky .

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    :cool: but it will NEVER make it into production.
     
  16. Vendetta

    Vendetta New Member

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    ouch! that car just popped my cherrry
     
  17. MikeYOX

    MikeYOX Guest

    The Viper nonwithstanding, I really don't think people are going to slap down that high a dollar for a car made under a generic name badge.
     

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