Chrysler understands this pitfall. Before the car could expose itself to public and critical scrutiny at Detroit, its automaker provided an impressive volume of technical and design information on it. We offered a first taste of it here last month, but felt it worth a longer look in advance of that first ride.
Wolfgang Bernhard, Chrysler Group chief operating officer and former AMG CEO, was a leading force behind the car's development. Last year's interesting but useless Tomahawk "was a design statement. This is an engineering statement," Bernhard says. The ME's AMG-developed 6.0-liter V-12 has an aluminum block and heads, two throttle valves, four catalysts, and dry-sump oiling. Each turbo has an intercooler, and boost is 1.4 bar, or roughly 20 psi. Compression ratio is 9.0:1. Its 850 horsepower was measured during extensive dyno testing in Germany, and its 850 pound-feet of torque is good from 2000 to 6000 rpm. "We started with an engine, and allowed no compromises to the engine whatsoever as we built a car around it," Bernhard explains. The quad-turbo V-12 is backed by a paddle-shifted seven-speed Ricardo double-clutch transaxle. On paper, the ME has a better power-to-weight ratio than any other supercar. The exotic powerplant makes one horsepower for every 3.4 pounds, versus Chrysler's projections of 3.9 pounds for the McLaren (BMW) F1, 4.1 for the Bugatti Veyron, 4.2 for the Ferrari Enzo, 5.4 for the (also AMG V-12-powered) Pagani Zonda, and 6.6 for the Ford
top speed 400 km/h, 248 mph
power & torque 850 hp, 625 kW
1150 Nm @ 2500 rpm
0-100km/h, 0-62mph. 2.9 seconds