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Jeep demonstrated its radical off-road 4×4 at the opening of the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this week.
The off-road machine with two 5.7 litre V8 engines has a turning circle of zero, with both engines – one in the front and one in the back – together delivering a total of 670 hp and 740 lb-ft of torque. On the roads it can deliver enough power to move from 0-60 in under five seconds.
The Jeep Hurricane is the only vehicle on the auto-show circuit that features a turn radius of absolutely zero, thanks to skid steer capability and toe steer: the ability to turn both front and rear tyres inward. In addition, the vehicle features two modes of automated four-wheel steering.
The first is traditional with the rear tyres turning in the opposite direction of the front to reduce the turning circle. The second mode is an innovation targeted to off-road drivers: the vehicle can turn all four wheels in the same direction for nimble crab steering. This allows the vehicle to move sideways without changing the direction the vehicle is pointing.
“Jeep Hurricane is simply the most manoeuvrable, most capable and most powerful 4×4 ever built,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Chrysler Group Design. “It pays homage to the extreme enthusiasts’ Jeep vehicles in form and off-road capability, but is a unique interpretation of Jeep design. Simply stated, it is the extreme example for the Jeep brand.”
The one-piece body is shaped of structural carbon fibre and forms the chassis that would be offered through a traditional frame with the suspension and powertrain mounted directly to the body. An aluminium frame runs under the body to both connect the underside and to function as a complete skid plate system.
The minimalist design is lightweight with high strength, boasting functional appearance with two seats and no doors. On the inside, occupants will be surrounded by exposed carbon fibre and polished aluminium with Black Thunder and Tiluminum accents.
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