The Dodge M4S, a high-performance prototype sports coupe, first captured the imagination of automotive enthusiasts when it appeared in the 1986 supernatural film “The Wraith.” The sleek black vehicle, known as the Wraith Interceptor, featured futuristic design elements and impressive performance capabilities. Recently, a unique opportunity arose for collectors and fans as the only street-legal Wraith Interceptor went up for sale on eBay. With a starting bid $290,000 USD, the listed “Buy It Now” price of $499,000 USD, the car remained unsold with no bids.
Engineered, designed, and built by Dodge in 1981, the Dodge M4S was initially conceived as a technology demonstrator vehicle. Under the supervision of Bob Ackerman, the then Chief Designer of Dodge, the car was created to showcase cutting-edge automotive technologies. Its name, M4S, stood for “Mid-engine, 4-cylinder, Sport,” signifying its unique configuration and performance focus.
Chrysler played a significant role in the design of the Dodge M4S, investing extensive effort in wind tunnel testing to achieve a remarkable drag coefficient of 0.236. Although Chrysler designed the vehicle, the construction was entrusted to various subcontractors. The semi-monocoque race car chassis was sourced from Huffaker in California. The body modeling and mold creation were undertaken by 3-D Industries in Madison Heights, Michigan, while Special Projects, Inc. in Plymouth, Michigan, assembled the body, interior, and applied the distinctive “root beer brown” paint color through a layering process. Specialized Vehicles, Inc., located in Troy, Michigan, handled the final assembly, fabrication, and maintenance of the completed car.
The breakthrough moment for the Dodge M4S came with its prominent appearance in the 1986 supernatural film “The Wraith.” Starring Charlie Sheen, Randy Quaid, and Sherilynn Fenn, the movie featured a mysterious black-clad figure driving the equally enigmatic Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor. The film’s thrilling action sequences, combined with the car’s futuristic design and impressive performance, catapulted the Dodge M4S to fame. Its sleek lines, aggressive stance, and impressive speed made it an instant hit with audiences.
Underneath its sleek exterior, the Dodge M4S housed a potent powertrain. The mid-engined vehicle boasted a 2.2-liter Cosworth-headed 16-valve four-cylinder engine, equipped with twin-camshafts and dual Garrett T25 turbochargers. With more than 440 horsepower (328 kW) at its disposal, the Wraith Interceptor delivered exhilarating performance figures. It could achieve a top speed of 194.8 mph (313.5 km/h) and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in a swift 4.1 seconds.
Although specific details regarding this particular street-legal Wraith Interceptor remain undisclosed, there is no denying that the Dodge M4S stands as one of the most remarkable American automotive designs of the 1980s. With its sleek and futuristic appearance, the car continues to captivate enthusiasts and collectors alike.
Photos & Video: MWI Supercar