Group shatters the hopes and dreams of many auto buffs, as it makes the final decision not to build a production version of the ME Four-Twelve high performance sports coupe concept it debuted at the Detroit auto show in 2004.
The auto maker says it “didn’t see a fit right now” for the car within thebrand, nor could it build a “financially viable” business case for the vehicle.
“Cost of production and return on investment really were the two factors that didn’t add up to a successful business case,” a Chrysler spokesman tells Ward’s. “Some of the technology and styling from it may appear in future vehicles, however.”
The 12-cyl., 850-hp Lamborghini-fighter was crafted under the guidance of former Chrysler Chief Operating Officer and product-development guru Wolfgang Bernhard. Chrysler engineers went so far as to conduct simulated crash and thermal testing to move the car along in the evaluation process. (See related story: Chrysler Shows Extreme Sports Car)
That doesn’t mean all the engineering work was for naught. Some of the lessons learned from developing the ME likely will benefit Chrysler’s high-performance Street and Racing Technology product-development group, the spokesman says.
ME’s influence on Chrysler’s future design will be on full display at the Detroit auto show next week, when Chrysler debuts its Firepower coupe concept. (See related story: Chrysler Provides Glimpse of Detroit Concepts)
Many of the Firepower’s front- and rear-end styling cues were derived from the ME.