Forget the Rivian and its Tank Turn, the 500kW/1000Nm 2005 Jeep Hurricane Concept could spin itself on the spot and is kickstarts the first of our Throwback Thursday series. Enjoy.
Three years before anyone had heard of the GFC, Chrysler Jeep (as it was then known) whipped the covers off the twin-engine Hurricane at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Oh, and those twin engines were both 5.7-litre Hemi V8s. The smoke that had been pumped onto the stage was whipped into an, er, hurricane as it drove out onto the stage and started spinning.
And if packing two V8s into a Wrangler/beach buggy hybrid wasn’t enough, the Jeep engineers also gave the Hurricane an innovative four-wheel steer system that allowed it to “turn on a dime” – 14 years before Rivian unveiled its far more rudimentary tank-turn setup.
Each of the Hurricane’s Hemi V8s made 250kW of power and 500Nm of torque. Do the maths: that’s a whopping 500kW and 1000Nm, that gave the Hurricane a claimed 0-60mph (96km/h) time of less than five seconds.
While this one-off show-pony likely never drove an off-road track in anger, it definitely had the hardware to be a rock god, including a mechanically controlled four-wheel torque-distribution system, fully independent suspension with coil-over shocks and remote reservoirs providing 20-inches (500mm) of wheel travel, 37-inch rubber, a more-than-handy 14.3 inches (363mm) of ground clearance, and a 64-degree approach angle and 86.7-degree departure angle.
Unlike the yet-to-be-released Rivian electric ute’s skid-steer setup, the Hurricane’s turning circle of zero was achieved via the ability to turn both front and rear wheels inwards. In addition, front and rear wheels could be angled in the same direction which provided crab-steering for off-road manoeuvrability.
The Hurricane’s body was made from lightweight carbon-fibre atop a traditional separate chassis, and there were plenty of aluminium skid plates protecting the underside. The styling was unmistakeable Jeep with the brand’s trademark seven-slot grille, flat fenders and an absence of doors.
With almost unlimited budgets, there’s no denying pre-GFC concept cars really were awesome.