#Concept Car #Featured brand #Holden
Holden Hurricane is a futuristic research vehicle described as an experiment “to study design trend, propulsion systems and other long range developments”. Code named RD 001; the Hurricane is a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-seater sports car which incorporates a remarkable array of innovative features and technology, much of it way ahead of its time.
Features such as electronic digital instrument displays, station-seeking radio, automatic temperature control air conditioning, rear vision camera and an automated route finder were all showcased in this ground-breaking vehicle 42 years ago. Many of these technologies have only recently made their way into mass production, demonstrating Holden’s remarkable foresight into both design and engineering technology. The Hurricane stole headlines and dropped jaws nationwide when it debuted at the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show.
As its code name suggests, the RD 001 was the first product of the GMH Research and Development organisation, staffed by a small squad of engineers working in conjunction with the Advance Styling Group at the Fishermans Bend Technical Centre in the 1960s.
The team that designed and built the original Hurricane employed some advanced technologies and techniques when it came to the powertrain. Powered by an experimental 4.2-litre (253 cubic inch) V8, this engine was a precursor to the Holden V8 engine program which entered production in late 1969.
The Hurricane’s V8 engine featured many advanced design components such as the four-barrel carburettor – a feature which wouldn’t be seen on a production 253ci Holden V8 until the late 1970s. The end result was approximately 262hp (193kW), a towering power output in 1969 and one that ensured the Hurricane had the go to match its show.
But perhaps the two most innovative features were the “Pathfinder” route guidance system and the rear-view camera.
The “Pathfinder”, essentially a pre-GPS navigation system, relied on a system of magnets embedded at intersections along the road network to guide the driver along the desired route. A dash-mounted panel informed the driver of which turn to take by illuminating different arrows, as well as sounding a warning buzzer. The rear-view camera was also a ground-breaking innovation. Engineers using a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system with a camera mounted in the rear bumper feeding vision to a small black-and-white TV mounted in the centre console.
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