Undercar: Diagnosing And Repairing Wheel Bearing Noise
The spectacular quad-turbo, V-12 powered, mid-engine Chrysler ME Four-Twelve super car is obviously designed for round-the-clock driving excitement. Considered to be the most advanced Chrysler ever built, the ME Four-Twelve adds a new aura of performance to the Chrysler brand.
According to Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Chrysler Group Design, the idea for this super car was conceived as a spectacular follow-up to last year’s exciting Dodge Tomahawk. I wondered back then how long it would be for a car maker to top the Tomahawk – itself an exquisite piece of machinery (see September issue of Tomorrow’s Technician). From the looks of things, it appears the Four-Twelve not only tops the Tomahawk, but did it within only a year.
The ME Four-Twelve is expected to establish a real-world performance record for a rear-wheel drive, mid-engine super car. However, the real engineering feat was that it also may set a record for lightening-quick vehicle development. Working non-stop and taking less than one year to complete from start to finish, the Chrysler Group partnered with some of the best in the business to assist in its development.
“The ME Four-Twelve has been one of the most closely guarded secrets, not only to the outside world but also within our organization,” Creed said.
The heart of the mid-engine (ME) Four-Twelve is an all-aluminum, 6.0L quad-turbo V-12 engine (hence the name Four-Twelve). Using an electronic sequential multipoint fuel injection and a 9.0:1 compression ratio, the ME Four-Twelve powerplant engine delivers 850 bhp @ 5750 rpm, with 850 lb-ft. (1150 N-m) of torque between 2500 and 4500 rpm with premium unleaded fuel.
Betting that this machine will play comfortably in the super car league, the performance of the ME Four-Twelve is stunning. In Chrysler projections and modeling, the ME Four-Twelve goes from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.2 seconds and it will blister through the quarter mile in 10.6 seconds at 142.0 mph. The car has an estimated top speed of 248 mph.
To reach these performance levels, Chrysler said a 7-speed Ricardo Double Clutch Transmission was developed specifically for this vehicle and features the latest double wet-clutch technology and electronic control strategy. The exclusive ME Four-Twelve transmission delivers uninterrupted torque to the rear wheels with 200 millisecond shift times.
At just 44.9 inches tall, 78.7 inches wide and 178.8-inches long, the two-seat, mid-engine ME Four-Twelve has a striking presence – poised as if ready to pounce. The ME Four-Twelve carbon fiber bodywork has that “chiseled all from one piece” look, honed from hours of development in the Chrysler Group wind tunnel in Auburn Hills, MI.
This also includes a computer controlled active rear spoiler articulates rearward 100 mm to increase down-force to a total of 925 lbs. at 186 mph, achieving a competitive coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.358, and resulting in unwavering stability at ultra-high speeds.
So, will such a concept car get built? According to Chrysler officials, the green light is on. “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, COO, Chrysler Group. “It’s not really a concept car but is, in fact, a prototype that will be road ready by summer.”
This is one sleek, stylish and desirable car from Chrysler. It’s a good guess that anyone who owns a Four-Twelve will want to stay on the roads 24-7.