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First look: Jeep Hurricane blows into Detroit

Capable: Jeep says Hurricane concept is the most powerful, most capable vehicle it's ever built.

Jeep wows Detroit with a twin V8-engined, four-wheel-steering off-roader

Jeep logo11 Jan 2005

BESIDES proving there’s plenty of life left in weird and irrelevant Detroit shows cars, Jeep’s wacky Hurricane continues the Chrysler Group’s trend of jaw-dropping concepts as illustrated by the Dodge Tomahawk and Chrysler ME Four-Twelve in recent years.

The answer to a question nobody asked (according to Jeep: can you have responsible excess?), Hurricane is claimed to demonstrate the Chrysler Group’s creative and mechanical expertise, primarily by being powered by not one, but two 250kW 5.7-litre Hemi V8s – one at each end.

"Jeep Hurricane is simply the most manoeuvrable, most capable and most powerful 4x4 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."Featuring Chrysler’s Multi-Displacement System (MDS), Hurricane can be powered by four, eight, 12 or 16 cylinders, depending on the driver’s needs. Oh, and it’s also claimed to be capable of 0-60mph acceleration in less than five seconds.

9 center imagePower is delivered through a central transfer case and split axles via a mechanically controlled four-wheel torque distribution system, while the independent front and rear suspensions each offer 20 inches of travel to provide 14.3 inches of ground clearance.

In addition to skid-steer capability and toe steer (the ability to turn both front and rear wheels inward), Hurricane features two modes of automated four-wheel steering: a traditional system in which front and rear wheels point in opposite directions to reduce the turning circle and an off-road crab-steer mode in which all four wheels turn in the same direction.

"Out in the wilderness, changing direction in minimal space can mean the difference between an afternoon of adventure and a distress call back to the trailhead," said Mr Creed. "The multi-mode four-wheel steering system on Jeep Hurricane is designed to offer enthusiasts the next level of performance and unexpected manoeuvrability."Hurricane’s one-piece carbon-fibre body is also its chassis, with suspension and powertrain(s) mounted directly to it, while an aluminium spine runs under the body to connect the underside and function as a skid plate.

Finally, Jeep’s minimalist approach sees Hurricane feature a signature seven-slot grille, just two seats and no doors.

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