|The Hurricane's turning and transmissions explained.|
The most excellent HowStuffWorks.com web site recently posted an article on the Jeep Hurricane concept vehicle - the one with 2 Hemi engines and 4 wheel steering. The multi-page article is full of new information and some great photos. Here's a snippet:
In standard steering mode, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, which tightens the turning radius and makes for more accurate steering. In a second mode, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels, meaning the Hurricane can "crab-steer" -- move to the side without changing the direction that it faces.
A third mode, utilizing the "T-Box Zero Steer" mechanism, allows all four wheels to "toe-in" and changes the drive direction to each wheel so that they alternate. The result? The Jeep Hurricane has a turning radius of zero. The Hurricane can actually rotate in place.
You won't find many luxury features in the Jeep Hurricane. It was crafted to be a vehicle concerned only with performance. The one-piece body is made of light-weight structural carbon fiber, which offers amazing rigidity for its strength. That strength allows the body to serve as the chassis, instead of using a traditional frame. All the engine, transfer case, and suspension components are mounted directly to the body. The Hurricane's skid plate is an aluminum spine that also connects the body/chassis to the underside of the vehicle.
Check out this excellent article.