The M4S eschewed typical eight or 12-cylinder powerplants that were de rigueur at the time in favor of a compact 2.2-liter turbocharged four cylinder that would come to define Chrysler muscle cars and hot hatches of the 1980s, such as the Dodge Omni GLHS and Shelby Charger. In the M4S, this engine was tuned to approximately 440 horsepower, which pushed the car from 0-60 MPH in 4.1 seconds.
It was also incredibly aerodynamic, the result of relentless wind tunnel testing. The M4S’s slippery bodywork boasted an incredibly low drag coefficient of 0.236, which was a big part of its 194.8 mph top speed. To put that figure in perspective, a brand new Corvette at the time sported a drag coefficient of 0.34.
After displaying the M4S at the Detroit Auto Show in early 1986, Dodge shipped it off to Arizona where “The Wraith” was being filmed. There are conflicting opinions as to whether the real M4S actually appeared in the film at all, or just in posters and other publicity materials.
What is known for certain is that the film crew had several M4S replicas that were basically fiberglass bodies sitting on a very basic, dune buggy-style frame. These replicas were tasked with performing all of the dangerous stunts and racing scenes. Some sources claim that the real M4S was used for close-up “hero” shots and a single non-risky driving scene, but the truth will likely never be known.