Show-stopping concepts and extreme expressions of the Chrysler Group brands aren’t new: Dodge had its Tomahawk and Chrysler, the ME Four-Twelve. But when the Jeep®Hurricane blew onto the 2005 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) stage, it raised the bar for the Jeep brand.
“Jeep Hurricane is simply the most maneuverable, most capable and most powerful 4×4 ever built,” said Trevor Creed, then 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.”
Hurricane represented the continued success of bold concept vehicles for the brands as a means of demonstrating the Chrysler Group’s creative and mechanical expertise. It’s powerful powertrain performance is an understatement considering the Hurricane wasn’t just HEMI-equipped, but HEMI squared. There were two 5.7-liter HEMI engines in the vehicle: one in the front and one in the back. Both engines delivered 335 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque – a total of 670 hp and 740 lb-ft of torque.
Can you have responsible excess? To test the theory, we equipped both HEMI engines in the Jeep Hurricane with the Chrysler Group’s Multi-Displacement System (MDS). Depending on the driver’s needs, the Hurricane could be powered by 4-, 8-, 12- or 16-cylinders. All of that translated into buckets of torque for climbing obstacles other 4×4 vehicles can’t even comprehend. In addition, it had the power and traction to move from 0-60 in less than five seconds.
The power was delivered through a central transfer case and split axles with a mechanically controlled four-wheel torque distribution system. The front and rear suspension was short/long arm independent with 20 inches of suspension travel, controlled by coilover shocks with remote reservoirs.
The vehicle had 14.3 inches of ground clearance, and incredible approach/departure angles of 64.0/86.7 degrees. Those were nearly vertical angles – combined with 37-inch tall tires, so the Hurricane wouldn’t meet much that it couldn’t climb. The Jeep Hurricane was the only vehicle on the auto-show circuit that provides its own turnable feature. The vehicle featured a turn radius of absolutely zero, thanks to skid steer capability and toe steer: the ability to turn both front and rear tires inward. In addition, the vehicle featured two modes of automated four-wheel steering. The first is traditional with the rear tires 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 allowed the vehicle to move sideways without changing the direction the vehicle is pointing.
“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,” Creed said. “The multi-mode four-wheel steering system on Jeep Hurricane is designed to offer enthusiasts the next level of performance and unexpected maneuverability.”
The one-piece body was shaped of structural carbon fiber, and formed the chassis that would be offered through a traditional frame. The suspension and powertrain were mounted directly to the body. An aluminum spine ran under the body to both connect the underside and to function as a complete skid plate system.
The design was lightweight with high strength, and it boasted functional appearance. Jeep Hurricane is an honest, minimalist approach to its design augmented with the Jeep signature seven-slot grille, two seats and no doors. On the inside, occupants are surrounded by exposed carbon fiber and polished aluminum with Black Thunder and Tiluminum accents.
2005 Jeep Hurricane Concept Specifications:
- Weight (estimated): 3,850 lbs. (1,746 kg)
- Length: 151.8 inches (3,856 mm)
- Wheelbase: 108.1 inches (2,746 mm)
- Front Overhang: 25.0 inches (635 mm)
- Rear Overhang: 18.7 inches (475mm)
- Width: 80.0 inches (2,033 mm)
- Height: 68.2 inches (1,732 mm)
- Track, Frt/Rr: 67.5/67.5 inches (1,715/1,715 mm)
- Engine: two 5.7-liter HEMI® engines
- Transfer Case: Custom multi-mode with 1:1, 2:1 and 4:1 ratios
- Transmission: 5-Speed automatic
- Front and Rear Suspension: Long-travel, short/long arm independent
- Ground Clearance: 14.3 inches (363 mm)
- Break-Over Angle: 31.5 degrees
- Approach/Depart Angle: 64.0/86.7 degrees
- Tire Size: 305/70R20
- Wheel Size: 20×10 inches
2005 Jeep Hurricane Concept Sketches:
2005 Jeep Hurricane Concept Image Gallery: