BY CODY FACTEAU
I spent this past Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Northeast Street Rod Nationals Plus, held at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Burlington, Vt. And, to be quite honest with you, I don't think I have ever seen so many great cars, all together at one time. It was totally awesome! Only being able to go over for one day with my step-dad and Halo-Reach arch nemesis, Rod Facteau Jr., I didn't even come close to seeing all the cars that were there. Everything from classic cars to modern sports cars to muscle cars were lined up as far as the eye could see. One thing I did not see though, and didn't expect to see, but would love to see, was the Jeep Hurricane.
Just what is the Jeep Hurricane, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. It's a concept vehicle built by Chrysler and is entirely unlike anything available on the market today. I totally love concept cars. It's like, you have this dream for a car, a really radical vehicle like nothing else and then some design guy draws it and some engineer guy builds it and now it is not a dream, but a reality. That is so cool!
The Jeep Hurricane was unveiled at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. Its principal exterior designer was Aaron Pizzuti and his concept went on to win the IDEA Silver Award, a Popular Science "Best of What's New" award, and an AutoWeek Editor's Choice award in the "Most Fun" category.
Now, concept vehicles that go to the extreme aren't new to Chrysler. Dodge had its Tomahawk and Chrysler, the ME Four-Twelve. But the "Jeep Hurricane is simply the most maneuverable, most capable and most powerful 4x4 ever built," says Trevor Creed, senior vice president of the Chrysler Group LLC Design. For lack of better words, it's a Jeep on steroids! What the Hurricane looks like isn't foreign, not to some of us ... us Halo players. The M12LRV, better known as the Warthog from Halo, looks very similar to a Hurricane ... or is it the other way around?
The Hurricane concept begins with not one but two, count them two, 5.7-liter HEMI engines, one in the front and one in the back. Talk about having a potent power train! Both engines deliver 335 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque-for a grand total of 670 hp and 740 lb-ft of torque. Sound like too much? Well consider this; the Hurricane can be powered by 4, 8, 12 or all 16 cylinders, depending on the driver's needs. All of this equates to lots of torque for climbing where other 4x4's fear to tread and yet, it has the power and traction to move from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. Responsible excess, imagine that!
The power is delivered through a central transfer case and split axles with a mechanically controlled four-wheel torque distribution system. The front and rear suspension is short/long arm independent with a full 20 inches of suspension travel all controlled by coilover shocks and remote reservoirs. What this means is that it has four wheel steering. In a nut shell, this thing is radical, and yet somehow, just what the doctor ordered.
The design of the Jeep Hurricane is lightweight with high strength and has a very functional appearance. Honest yet minimalistic and still comes with the Jeep signature seven-slot grille, two seats and no doors. Inside this vehicle is loaded with carbon fiber and tons of polished aluminum. What could be better than that? The Jeep Hurricane, my kind of vehicle. Unfortunately, this was a concept vehicle, and isn't available to the general public. What a shame ... Guess I'll have to stick with the Warthog instead!
If you would like to see the Jeep Hurricane in action, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5_sHqKIlMI&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Cody Facteau is a 16-year old homeschooler from East Burke. He enjoys anything to do with cars, particularly the Classics. He loves Le Mans racing, his favorite TV shows are Gearz with Stacey David & Top Gear (BBC), and hobbies are Legos, PlayStation and Xbox 360. He's also a cadet with Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force Auxiliary. Career goals? What else, cars!