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CORVETTE TODAY #154 - Meet Betty Skelton, First Woman Of Firsts

We honor the first woman inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame, Betty Skelton. Cindy Sisson, CEO of GSEvents and Pam Miller, Co-Producers of the documentary Betty Skelton, to highlight Betty's illustrious career.; The list of Betty's accomplishments are too many to list here. She broke barriers that no woman had crossed prior to her. After watching and/or listening to this episode of CORVETTE TODAY, you'll understand why Betty is the first woman to be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame. Enjoy this insightful episode about Betty Skelton on CORVETTE TODAY! Listen to the podcast, watch the YouTube video, join the Facebook group, sign up for email notifications and shop in the Merchandise Store at:
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2023 Corvette Info Including E-Ray, SR & Z06 Pricing, SR & Z06 Visualizers, 70th Anniversary Info, Press Releases for SR & Z06 & Their Build & Price, Order Guides & Visualizers

2023 Corvette Brochure:
E-Ray Visualizer:
Official E-Ray Press Release: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-press-release
Official GM E-Ray Pictures: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...and-visualizer
+ 25 KEY E-Ray Components/Factors:
E-Ray Leaked Info/Visualizer: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...tte-e-ray-leak
Z51 & Z06 GM Track Specs: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...ecommendations
Z06 Order Guide:
Z06 MSRP and Options Pricing: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...freight-charge
2023 SR Build & Price: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...up-and-running
*2023 SR & Z06 Official Owners Manual:; and,
* 2023 GM Bash Major Seminar with HQ video: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...ore-bash-video
*2023 Stingray Visualizer:
*2023 Stingray (ONLY Order Guide:
*70th Anniversary Combined Press Release For SR & Z06: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...iversary-model
*Z06 Press Release: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-press-release
*Z06 Reveal Pictures: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...eveal-pictures
*Z06 Visualizer:
Order Guide (unofficial): https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-action-center
*Z06 vs Z07 Aero Components: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...s-similarities
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The American Mid Engine, Just A Dream Until it's Thursday .

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  • The American Mid Engine, Just A Dream Until it's Thursday .

    CarBuzz logoAmerica's Supercar That Never Was


    The ME Four-Twelve had a mid-mounted V12 engine, 4 turbos, and looked like it could eat a Ferrari for breakfast.

    The Chrysler ME Four-Twelve concept isn’t a car we have to imagine: this one actually existed. What we do wonder is what could have been if the Chrysler and Daimler-Benz merger had gone well. In the book, Taken For A Ride, the author explains that the world's reaction at the time to the merger was one of excitement and positivity, and that: "DaimlerChrysler would be the new model for automotive synergies, a paradigm-busting leap forward in cost-efficient manufacturing and development of cars and trucks."

    That wasn't the case. The $36 billion merger took place in 1998 and ran until 2007 before it was dissolved and Cerberus picked up an 81% stake of Chrysler for a mere $7.4 billion. The magnitude of Daimler-Benz's mismanagement of the merger registers was, ultimately, an epic disappointment. Cars that came out of this period include the Dodge Journey, the Dodge Caliber and Chrysler Sebring, the Jeep Compass and Patriot, as well as the Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty. Under Dieter Zetsche, there was the potential for a big swing for the fences in terms of collaboration between Mercedes and Chrysler though, and the ME Four-Twelve could have been that.


    What was the ME Four-Twelve?

    In 2004, the ME Four-Twelve concept debuted at the Detroit Auto Show as a mid-engined V12 pumped up by 4 turbochargers. The engine was a 6.0-liter AMG-derived work of engineering art pushing out 850 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 850 lb-ft of torque at just 2,500-4,500 rpm. It powered the rear wheels using a specifically engineered 7-speed wet-clutch transmission using paddle shifters, and only had to move 2,888 pounds of weight. The lightness was added by using a honeycomb style carbon-fiber and aluminum chassis and a liberal helping of carbon-fiber through the rest of the car. Even the seats were made of a carbon-fiber structure and the brakes were made of a ceramic composite.

    Chrysler claimed the ME Four-Twelve could make it from 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds and to 100 mph in 6.2 seconds. The power to weight ratio was better than anything around the time, including the Ferrari Enzo, McLaren F1 and Bugatti Veyron. On top of all that, the suspension system was state of the art with adjustable shock absorbers using stainless steel pushrods matched with dual control arms front and rear. To top it all off, engineers recorded an eyeball straining 2 g being pulled under braking in testing.

    5 How did it look and drive?

    Chrysler’s design language was strong at the time and was incorporated into the ME Four-Twelve to create something elegant but aggressive that doesn’t look dated 15 years later. It was a concept, but it was clearly put together for possible production rather than as a pie in the sky idea. The interior looks of its time in places, but it also looks like a finished product that, again, wouldn’t look out of place today.

    The concept displayed didn’t run, but the engineers within SRT put a working model together, and even let journalists loose with it around the Laguna Seca track as a work in progress. At the time, Motor Trend declared that Chrysler had shown it could build something to take on the European supercars at the top of the game

    2 What actually happened?

    Zetsche was quoted as saying "We have a very clear and good definition of the technical specifications of the car. With that, we can do a [cost] calculation for building 10, 100, and 1,000 cars and figure out the price points.” Zetsche also said that there’s "no doubt” that if the numbers added up and people would be prepared to pay "between $250,000 and $750,000 for a 248-mph Chrysler,” that he would give the ME Four-Twelve the green light for production.

    Unfortunately, in 2005 it was reported that an internal study had demonstrated it would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop the concept fully during a time when Chrysler needed to be rebuilding. It was also pointed out that the car would have been faster and cost more than the Mercedes SLR McLaren, and some people at the top of the Mercedes chain of command didn’t appreciate that idea at all.

    What could have been?

    It could have been a world-class American luxury supercar, albeit with a German heart. It would have been a great sibling for the hardcore Ford GT. While many, including the people in charge, didn’t see a business case for it we wonder if rich American enthusiasts might have had something to say about that. America has always had a lust for both supercars and American road monsters, and this could have been both at the same time.

    If the merger hadn’t been so horribly mismanaged and Chrysler had been allowed to develop such a magnificent halo car with cutting edge technology, the brand's status could have been so much more than it is today. Zetsche appeared to understand that. "Even though Chrysler doesn't have much of a race history," he said, "it was an engineering-led brand. That's where we want to go back to, and there's no better way to prove the capability of our engineers than going to the edge. I'm convinced that, if we can make the car work, it'll be good for the brand."

    Ultimately, that never happened and 15 years later its GM that could take it to the Europeans with the mid-engined C8 Corvette having sharpened their swords with the current generation of supercar embarrassing front engined Corvette. What it probably won’t have, if history is any indication, is the level of luxury supercar owners want and the ME Four-Twelve was shaping up to deliver. GALLERY

    Last edited by SheepDog; 07-14-2019, 06:34 AM.

  • #2
    Thank you SheepDog. Very interesting information.
    2023 Z06: Hypersonic Gray HTC, two tone blue interior, CCB’s, 3LZ, E60, and with every visible carbon fiber option order-able including wheels. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 25 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


    • #3
      What could have been.


      • #4
        Was this a Tom Gale design?
        ZORA patron, Forum Founding Member, Senior Contributor, proud owner of an early 2020 HTC and general nice guy!


        • #5
          Originally posted by ltomn View Post
          Was this a Tom Gale design?
          From Wikipedia: There were two ME Four-Twelve vehicles produced.[2] The first was an auto show version using performance expertise from Daimler, but with limited operational capabilities. It was designed behind-the-scenes during 2003 by a small team.[3] The auto show vehicle, unveiled at the 2004 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, took less than one year for design and development. The exterior design was done by American Brian Nielander.[3]

          Faster design than the Ford GT?

          Must be easier to design and produce an $expensive$ super car. It is apparently extremely difficult to do a modestly priced supercar, like the C8 will hopefully be. The proof is that it has not been done on mass production scale. Until now.

          Last edited by SheepDog; 07-12-2019, 08:52 AM.


          • #6
            Thank You Sheepdog. That Mercedes/ Chrysler merger never made much sense to many.


            • #7
              And, the illegitimate red headed step child from that merger had to be the Crossfire. It seemed to lead a lot to the conversation of who was building what?? What Mercedes building a Chrysler or worse , Chrysler was NOW building Mercedes. To me it cheapened the Mercedes Brand. But , hey. Is Fiat today, building the Chrysler, Most obviously. ????


              • #8
                You are saying that Fiat is now building one of America's great trucks! While I own and totally appreciate my Chevy truck, the newest Ram is quite a rig.
                ZORA patron, Forum Founding Member, Senior Contributor, proud owner of an early 2020 HTC and general nice guy!


                • #9
                  There have been some mid-engine American cars, though not in mass production. The Saleen S7 one of the most interesting:

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	560px-SAG2004_181_Saleen.jpg Views:	0 Size:	65.7 KB ID:	45747

                  And, of course, the Ford GT (not the current homologation special, but the 2005 - 2006 edition.

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	1024px-Goodwood_Breakfast_Club_-_Ford_GT_-_Flickr_-_exfordy.jpg Views:	0 Size:	134.7 KB ID:	45748

                  Then there have been a couple of Moslers, and the Hennessy Venom GT.
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                  • #10
                    Too bad the new vette doesnt look more like that 412


                    • #11
                      I like that there's been dreams of pushing the boundaries and being bold with designs, however this just shows how the bottom money line and egos can stop progress.

                      And maybe it's just me, but in the wider context of this forum, the post title should probably be: The American Mid Engine, Just A Dream Until it's Thursday.


                      - Just when you think you can't dig your hole any deeper, they throw the shovel in at you -


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by khanmark View Post
                        I like that there's been dreams of pushing the boundaries and being bold with designs, however this just shows how the bottom money line and egos can stop progress.

                        And maybe it's just me, but in the wider context of this forum, the post title should probably be: The American Mid Engine, Just A Dream Until it's Thursday.
                        I changed it from True to Thursday.


                        • #13
                          .... just a dream until it's sitting in my driveway ....


                          • #14
                            Click image for larger version  Name:	D8EA8331-B334-431F-82EF-9C3837D117E6.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	142.3 KB ID:	45996Click image for larger version  Name:	9CFE9DAD-59E4-4660-B8D8-8694156129CD.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	2.20 MB ID:	45997 The C8 not a dream car just another mid engine car that won’t kill you in depreciation IMO
                            Last edited by MikeC8; 07-14-2019, 10:01 AM.
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