The Chrysler ME-412 Walked So the Halcyon Could Fly
The Chrysler ME Four-Twelve (also written Chrysler ME-412), is a mid-engine concept car built in 2004. It never went into production, but it pioneered the idea of a cutting-edge sports car wearing the traditional luxury badge. Twenty years later, the same automaker unveiled the ME 412’s spiritual successor: the electric Chrysler Halcyon concept.
What did you say? A mid-engine supercar isn’t a very “Chrysler” vehicle? It is actually the most “Chrysler” vehicle in recent memory.
After two decades of the V8 powered, four-door Chrysler 300 it’s easy to forget this automaker’s origins. But Chrysler has historically been the engineering-forward high-end performance car brand. Walter P. Chrysler was a machinist and engineer first, an entrepreneur second. After buying Plymouth, De Soto, and Dodge, he enlisted Orville Wright’s help with the first wind tunnel tested car: the 1934 Chrysler Airflow. His company would also use his name for its best-performing car when it debuted a V8 with hemispherical combustion chambers in 1951.
During the Daimler-Chrysler days, Chrysler Corporation explored a mid-engine chassis with a Mercedes-designed 6.0-liter V12. The 850 horsepower engine had four turbochargers, thus the name ME (mid-engine) four-twelve. It had a seven speed dual-clutch transmission and targeted a 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds with a top speed of 248 mph.
Sadly, the ME-412 never went into production. But its spirit lives on in modern day Chrysler. In February 2024, Chrysler unveiled a dramatic new sports sedan: the Halcyon.
Like the ME Four-Twelve, the Halcyon has a fastback shape with a low hood. They both have luxurious interiors and even share glass roofs. But the Halcyon does not have a V12. In fact, it is an electric performance car.
Chrysler has not published much information on the Halcyon’s performance. I expect it to be an AWD with two electric motors that make a combined 880 horsepower. But there is a chance that the automaker will downsize the front motor to optimize range and it will land at 600 horsepower.
What the automaker is publicizing is the Halcyon’s infotainment system, “AutoDrive” software, and “SmartCockpit” layout. The Halcyon also has an interior that is made out of 95% recycled materials. Its glass roof even has an augmented-reality “stargazing” mode. It is good to see the spirit of innovation is alive and well at Chrysler. And maybe, in addition to the Halcyon, we can see something like the ME-412 finally go into production on the Maserati MC20 chassis.
Next, read why I think Chrysler should be Stellantis’ EV brand or watch Chrysler reveal its Halcyon concept in the video below: