The Seriously Impressive Chrysler Supercar Concept We Wish Made It To Production

Chrysler (now owned by Stellantis) has had a hand in the production of dozens of impressive cars. The company's Dodge brand unleashed the Dodge Viper unto the world in the early 1990s, and showed the performance car world what happens when you design a car around a massive engine. While the sun is quickly setting on the current Challenger, the Hellcat is a 200-plus mile per hour barge that's able to put older supercars to shame. Even the Chrysler Pacifica is worth noting; it's not fast, but it's a seriously capable machine.

But the brand has never made a proper supercar from the ground up. It has helped develop a few cars like the Lamborghini Diablo when the brand was under Chrysler ownership. Even so, there has never been a production, Chrysler-branded supercar to show the rest of the world it was serious. It was not, however, for lack of trying. In 2004, Chrysler unveiled its plans to make a mid-engine performance monster called the Chrysler ME Four-Twelve.

Obsessively engineered

The "ME Four-Twelve" moniker may seem like a mishmash of numbers and letters, but it's about as apt a descriptor as you can get. It was an acronym: the car was mid-engine, had four turbochargers, and was powered by a V12 (per Stellantis). Just those factors alone would have made supercar manufacturers do a double take. In 2004, the Bugatti Veyron was still in development (per Bugatti) and the idea of putting four turbochargers on a car was absolutely unheard of.

Every single facet of the ME Four-Twelve is impressive now in 2023, and was earth shattering in 2004. It was powered by a 6-liter V12 supplied by the AMG division of Mercedes. With the help of four turbochargers, the engine pumped out 850 horsepower, and threw down 850 pound-feet of torque. According to a press release, the ME Four-Twelve had custom made seven-speed dual clutch transmission — a technology only seen on large scale production from performance Volkswagens and Porsches.

The car had a stated top speed of 248 miles per hour, and could go from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds flat (per Stellantis). Prior to getting beaten out by Bugatti, those specs would have made the Chrysler one of the fastest cars in the world if it ever saw production.

Beating the Enzo at its own game

Unlike the Dodge Tomahawk "motorcycle" from Chrysler's backlogs, the ME Four-Twelve was a serious car inside and out. In addition to the monstrous V12 powerplant and four howling turbos, the car utilized a carbon fiber and aluminum body that made the car incredibly light. According to Stellantis, it weighed just 2,880 pounds. The Porsche Carrera GT, another supercar from the era, weighed 3,146 pounds (via Car and Driver).

In 2004, MotorTrend drove the prototype ME Four-Twelve around the track at Laguna Seca in 2004. The car outperformed the Ferrari Enzo, and if the car saw production, getting beat by a Chrysler from Detroit would have nullified Ferrari's entire existence.

The car was close enough to production that Chrysler went through the effort of making sure it complied with crash testing. According to MotorTrend, Chrysler executives and engineers were hellbent on getting the car to market where it would have had an MSRP of upwards of $750,000 — making it by far the most expensive car Chrysler ever made.

Fortunately for Ferrari, and sadly for Chrysler fans, the ME Four-Twelve never saw production. At the time, Chrysler's production lineup was lacking, and it may not have made sense to make a six-figure supercar in lieu of a car normal people can drive. Regardless of business sense, the ME Four-Twelve would have been a supercar icon.