Dodge  - Super 8 Hemi
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 9 The Dodge Super8 Hemi concept car is Daimler-Chrysler's newest execution of Passenger Priority design. Borrowing cues from Dodge trucks and sport-utilities, the Dodge Super8 Hemi is an all-American sedan -- yet one reincarnated with a tall stance that enhances visibility, comfort, space and ease of entry and exit for both driver and passengers.
"The Dodge Super8 Hemi embodies the culture and essence of American optimism," said Freeman Thomas, Vice President - Advanced Design Strategy, DaimlerChrysler Corporation on the occasion of the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
"The concept's bold, in-your-face design shows our ability to embrace our love for the sedan and meld it with invigorating execution and technological advancement," added Thomas, who oversaw the design for the Dodge Super8 Hemi.
"With its distinctive tall stance, Hemi powertrain and telematics applications throughout, the Super8 symbolizes everything we loved about sedans then, plus everything we need now."
Confident, expressive character lines accent the Super8's side view. Its chiseled body and tall-stance proportions suggest exemplary handling and stability substantiated by a long wheelbase (117.4 inches, 2982 mm) and wide track (62.5 inches, 1588 mm front, 62.8 inches, 1595 mm rear).
A prototype 353 cubic inch (5.7-liter) pushrod V-8 engine featuring hemispherical combustion chambers and two spark plugs per cylinder powers the Dodge Super8 Hemi concept. Its estimated 353 horsepower (263 kW) and 395 lb.- ft. (536 Nm) of torque are delivered to the rear wheels via a four-speed AutoStick(R) manumatic transmission, allowing the vehicle to reach 60 mph (97 kph) in less than six seconds and clock a top speed of 154 mph (248 kph).
The concept's independent suspension with modified MacPherson struts in front delivers precise steering, while the five-link coil-over-shock rear set-up further enhances the ride and handling.
"This custom suspension, coupled with the Hemi engine and Passenger Priority design, makes the Super8 the envy of the crowd and bad boy of the tarmac. This vehicle is all about Dodge DNA," added Thomas.
Designed with family in mind, American sedans of the past have primarilybeen defined by their spaciousness and passenger comfort.
While in recent years more attention has been given to vehicle performance, contemporary design and luxury, space and comfort are still key factors.
The Passenger Priority design utilizes panoramic seating for driver and passengers, allowing for higher seating to give them more of an in-control feeling compared to other sedans. In fact, the rear passengers sit higher than the front passengers, creating an automotive form of theater seating.
"In using the tall-stance concept, we created unique design proportions while remaining true to the classic image of the American sedan," said Kevin Verduyn, Senior Design Manager at DaimlerChrysler's Pacifica Design Center in Carlsbad, Calif., sharing credit for the Dodge Super8 Hemi's exterior design with Product Designer Robert McMahan, who sketched the original drawing.
"Although very much a road car, the visual language of the exterior is characterized by 'machined' truck-like surfaces that are simple and very powerful," said Verduyn. "Combined with more customer-friendly interior features and greater performance, this concept reaches a level of refinement that exceeds any other sedan, past or present."
The Dodge Super8 Hemi's interior pays homage to the legendary vehicles of the 1950s, featuring a combination of brushed and painted aluminum gauges and trim. The concept's ornate instrument panel recalls the era's characteristic shapes while adding sophisticated and high-tech appeal.
"The Dodge Super8 Hemi's interior conveys a certain nostalgic optimism expressed in a modern, purposeful design," said Bill Chergosky, who is responsible for the vehicles' interior design. "I not only borrowed design cues from cars of the '50s, but other evocative aspects from that era, such as jukeboxes and diners."
Adding emphasis to the concept's retro-look, the front and rear cabins feature bench seats, which are anchored to the floor at the ends and slide independently along a custom rail system. The bench seats, along with the absence of a B-pillar, enhance the concept's spaciousness and create an open, social interior atmosphere.
"At first glance, the seats appear to be floating in air," added Chergosky. "With support coming only from the rail system, the lack of a middle support creates a spacious, bridge-like form. Not only does this add to the interior storage capacity, but it also allows for easy folding and unfolding of the seats."
The concept's high-tech interior features stand in accord with its expressive exterior. The Dodge Super8 Hemi is equipped with an Internet-based, multi-passenger "Infotronic" system, which accommodates data and information needs for driver and passengers. The goal of the "Infotronic" system is to provide Infotainment, Edutainment and Entertainment services that meet the lifestyle of each individual driver or passenger.
To prototype the Dodge Super8 Hemi Infotronic system, DaimlerChrysler's Research and Technology Center (RTC) in Palo Alto, Calif., teamed up with the DaimlerChrysler Liberty & Technical Affairs division in Rochester Hills, Michigan, the DaimlerChrysler Design Office in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and Sun Microsystems, Inc. in Southfield, Michigan.
The team that designed and implemented the prototype for the Dodge Super8 Hemi Infotronic system was lead by Dr. Wieland Holfelder, Manager of the Smart Vehicles Group at the RTC. Holfelder said: "At DaimlerChrysler, we believe our vehicles provide more than just transportation: they provide personal mobility to reflect our customers' lifestyles. Therefore, when a change in lifestyle occurs -- such as the ubiquity of the Internet -- we try to reflect that change in our products. With the Infotronic system on the Dodge Super8 Hemi, we prototyped how we at DC RTNA envision such lifestyle changes could affect our future products."
The electronic design effort was lead by Steve Buckley, Manager Electronic Product Innovation at DaimlerChrysler Liberty & Technical Affairs, who said he envisioned an environment that balanced luxurious heritage with modern technology.
"The concept's use of technology adds acclaim to our commitment to innovation excellence," said Buckley. "Emulating our pioneering design team, we constantly strive to initiate bold technological concepts that deliver meaningful appeal. With the Super8, form truly does follow function."
The vehicle-internal computing architecture consists of four Single Board Computers that each run a certified standard Java Virtual Machine (JVM) on top of a Linux operation system. The software architecture for the in-vehicle computers is based on a 100 percent Java device platform called "deviceTop" from the Espial Group.
The Infotronic system is directed by a voice recognition system or through its liquid crystal display integrated into the instrument panel. The use of JavaCard technology allows for personalized access to the system. Voice commands allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road while controlling the vehicle's audio system, climate control, phone and security systems as well as allow access to the driver's smart home appliances or home security system.
Said Buckley: "When you're driving and remember something that you should have done at home or work, you can verbally remind yourself and tell your computer to e-mail that message to your home or office all without touching a keypad."
For rear occupants, two LCD touch screens on articulating arms are mounted to the backrests of the front seats, enabling a fully Internet-accessible in-car environment. Among the many features, rear passengers have access to an "Are we there yet?" application that gives real-time trip status information, such as a map display, estimated time of arrival or distance to the destination. Rear passengers can also play a custom location-based on-line trivia game with other vehicle occupants or even with players in other vehicles. In addition, rear occupants can retrieve pictures from the family's Internet-enabled home security camera, for instance, to check up on a pet left home alone.
Further emphasizing its grasp of modern technology, the Dodge Super8 Hemi comes equipped with a Sirius Satellite Radio. This offers digital quality radio, ensuring clear reception coast to coast from more than 100 unique news, sports and entertainment channels, of which 50 music channels are commercial-free. Additionally, a media beaming application enables wireless transfer of digital audio (MP3) and video (MPEG) files between a home entertainment system and the car while the car is parked in the driveway or garage.
With the Dodge Super8 Hemi Infotronic system, drivers and passengers can seamlessly access time-critical information, do convenience shopping, listen to MP3 music or digital quality radio and interact with the home environment, while children play games in the rear seats -- all personalized, all in real time, all on demand, and regardless of location.
Dodge Super8 Hemi Preliminary Specifications
Engine: Prototype 353 cu. in. (5.7-liter) Hemi V-8
Estimated Power: 353 bhp (263 kW)
Estimated Torque: 395 lb.-ft. (536 Nm)
Transmission: 4-speed AutoStick manumatic transmission
Drive: Rear-wheel drive
BODY & SUSPENSION
Structure: Unitized body with B-pillarless body side aperture
Front: Independent with modified MacPherson struts
Rear: Custom independent five-link with coil-over-shock setup
WHEELS & TIRES
Wheels: 22" x 10"
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
Length: 186 in. (4724 mm)
Width: 73.9 in. (1877 mm)
Height: 56.2 in. (1427 mm)
Wheelbase: 117.4 in. (2982 mm)
Front: 62.5 in. (1588 mm)
Rear: 62.8 in. (1595 mm)
Weight: 3600 lbs. (1633 kg)
0-60 mph (0-97 kph): 5.7 sec
Top Speed: 154 mph (248 kph)
Standing Start 14.1 sec @ 101.5 mph (162 kph)