Vince Pornelos / Holden Press | October 20, 2011 01:45
Back to the future
Sometimes we take concept cars for granted, dismissing them as over-the-top with technologies that border fantasy and science fiction.
Well, perhaps the designers of the Holden Hurricane had it right all along... way back in 1969.
Holden has restored their first concept car, a futuristic research vehicle described as an experiment "to study design trend, propulsion systems and other long-range developments". The work was undertaken by a dedicated group of Holde'sn designers and engineers.
What is remarkable about the the Holden Hurricane is how it predicted the future when it comes to vehicle technologies.
The Hurricane concept is powered by a then-experimental engine: a 4.2 liter V-8 with 262 horsepower. The car itself is a mid-engine layout, now a common architecture for many high performance supercars.
Inside, Holden envisioned the Hurricane with electronic digital instrument displays, a radio that seeks stations, automatic temperature control air conditioning, rear facing camera and an automated route finder. A lot of these features have just begun to make their way to mass production.
The automated route finder is particularly interesting, as it guides the driver along the way via magnets on the road. Nowadays, GPS takes care of navigation duties.
"There are some genuinely remarkable ideas and technology in the Hurricane," said Rick Martin, Holden's former Chief Studie Engineer. "From the automatic air-conditioning and magnet-based guidance system, to the inertia-reel seat belts and metallic paint, this was a car that was genuinely ahead of its time."