Dodge M4S (Dodge PPG Turbo Interceptor; 1981, 1984)
Best known for inspiring the movie car in The Wraith, an M4S/PPG Pace Car has a home at the Walter P. Chrysler museum in Auburn Hills. It had a Chrysler 2.2 block and five speed manual with a Cosworth 16-valve twin-cam head, dual Garrett T25 turbos, and Bosch fuel injection, making 440 hp with 0-60 in 4.1 seconds and a 12.9 quarter with 195 mph top speed (Road & Track figures).
The Dodge M4S / PPG Turbo Interceptor was mid-engined and loosely Daytona based, and was created to be an Indy pace car in 1981. There are reportedly four still around, one at PPG HQ, one at the Chrysler museum, and two others. For a time, a replica might have been made as a kit car with a different engine. Thanks, Derek Beland.
J.E. Hartman, who sent the photos, wrote, “this is a 1982 Dodge 2.2 turbo Charger concept car, an all out design modification built by SVI under contract for PPG as a pace car. Its cost is reported to be about $300,000. This is one of a kind, it saw service in 1982 and early 1983 Indy car races. Mine has gull wing doors also, it was donated to Harrahs in 1985 where it sat for 20 years.”
The name “Turbo Interceptor” was apparently applied after The Wraith was made, using modified replicas of the M4S. The name does not seem to have been officially applied to the actual M4S, but has stuck with the car.
The car below is the one acquired by J.E. Hartman; one of the others shown (Marc Rozman photos) is at the Chrysler Museum. The fate of the other, pictured by Stephen Maki, is unknown; he took his photos when the car was new.
Concept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.