This may be the perfect SUAVE (Stealth Urban Assault Vehicle). Thanks to its sport/utility vehicle disguise, few understand the Typhoon can leap intersections in a single bound.
Besides encouraging others to give the Typhoon an unneeded headstart in impromptu sprints between stoplights, this facade also allows Typhoon drivers to quickly affix a believable halo when such questionable activities inevitably attract unwanted attention. Not only will it dust that Carrera 2 in a s print to 45 mph, the Porsche driver will get the “display-or-speed” ticket.
Nothing in this test accelerates from rest to 30 mph quicker than the Typhoon . In fact , the only four-wheeled production vehicle with a chance of beating the Typhoon off the line may be the new Lamborghini Diablo VT, which also features all-wheel drive. And when you’re not racing for pink slips, it’s the only one in this test that will hold four full-size adults and a golden retriever.
Thanks to its com bination of viscous-coupling all-wheel drive, sticky Firestone Firehawks, turbocharged V-6 (with a massive 360 pound-feet of torque), and automatic transmission , little skill is required to achieve dragsterlike acceleration. The drill: Pin the brake pedal to the floor with your left foot, push the gas pedal to the floor with your right, and, when the boost needle hits the top of its travel , jump off the brake. But don’t forget an important step: Place your head firmly against the head-rest to avoid whiplash . In a previous test, we recorded a faster quarter mile time (13.9 at 100.7) in a driving rainstorm than we did in the dry; the cold rain allowing the intercooled turbo to make more than normal power.
On the gentle sweepers of smooth backroads the Typhoon’s all-wheel drive absolves all but t he most grievous driving errors, including that of not knowing about the water on the far side the blind corner. However, the enjoyment factor falls if the road contains many tight turns or any bumps. And bumpy downhill hairpins are a pain, especially if you turn while applying an appreciable amount of brake. Around our hairpin-packed road-racing circuit, its resolute understeer and slow steering made it easily the least enjoyable hot-lapper. Also, its electronic speed limiter gave the Typhoon the slowest top speed by a wide margin. And when not in attack mode, several editors complained about its harsh , choppy ride, unsupportive seats and aging interior.
“I love the all-weather stoplight lunge, but not much else,” noted one editor. “It’s a very sporty truck, but a very trucky sports car.” “Does the term ‘spinal compression’ mean anything to you?,” said another. Yet, for those who measure performance driving in city blocks, the Typhoon is hard to beat.