Customers were wowed when startup electric carmaker Rivian recently announced a “Tank Turn” function for its R1T pickup and R1s SUV models. This feature enables the left-side wheels of the vehicles to spin in the opposite direction from the wheels on the right side, allowing them to spin in place like a tank.
But what seemed to be a unique feature for the brand can now be found in GMC’s Yukon for the 2021 model year as the company introduced the “Hurricane Turn” for its SUV.
Lest GMC be branded a total copycat, it made sure there are a few key differences between its system and that of Rivian’s. The Tank Turn is made possible by four individually controlled electric motors, which can rotate around a central axis on a low-friction surface. GMC’s Hurricane Turn, on the other hand, is powered by a single engine for each of the wheels with the ability to drive either the rear wheels or all four wheels (when 4wd is engaged).
Asked how the GMC Yukon’s conventionally driven wheels help the vehicle spin, the automaker’s engineers opted to remain mum on the information. But they did share relevant details at the official reveal of the 2021 Yukon.
“[The] Hurricane Turn functionality is engaged when the Yukon’s electronic brain detects that the driver intentionally has done the following: Deactivates stability control, cranked the steering wheel hard to either the left or the right, and floored the gas.”
The system also jumps into action if the truck is on a low-friction surface such as snow or gravel by manipulating the brakes, particularly on the direction the driver is steering toward.
GMC refused to disclose if the Hurricane Turn feature will be exclusive to the off-road AT4 trim of the Yukon for the 2021 model year, but experts believe its Active Response 4WD system can work in conjunction with fancy brake applications and the new electronic limited-slip rear differential to manage individual control over the four tires and pull off a near-stationary spin.
This means the GMC model can replicate Rivian’s feature using only a V-8 engine and some four-wheel-drive capacity.