The real crown jewel
is a unique system serving both front and rear passengers individually,
called "Cone of Sound." This system is composed of integrated ultrasonic
transducers based on the "Audio Spotlight" technology developed by the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. Cone of Sound features
individualized listening without the use of headphones.
Spotlight produces high-pressure sound waves with a frequency
above human hearing utilizing the ultrasonic transducers. Audible
sound is created by modulating the high frequency sound
using a non-linear property of air. A very tight column of sound,
comparable to the beam of light from a
is produced by the short wavelength of these high pressure waves.
The sound beam may then be directed to a particular passenger
without other passengers hearing that sound. Currently, up to
four passengers may receive the customized sound beams without
interfering with the listening enjoyment of others. The MAXXcab
is the first vehicle to incorporate the Cone of Sound technology.
Power for the MAXXcab
comes from the Next Generation 4.7 liter MagnumŽ V-8 engine mated to an
electronically controlled, multi-speed (four-speed with an alternate second
gear capability totaling a five-speed range) electronic transmission from
the Durango. The balance of the running gear is based primarily on the
Dodge Dakota Quad Cab, except for the independent rear suspension, which
is a custom-designed version similar to that found in the Viper. The engine
produces 238 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque and is capable of
propelling the MAXXcab from 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds. Top speed is 114
Driving the Dodge
MAXXcab concept is enough to instill in one, a superiority complex. Turn
the key and the engine rumbles to life with a healthy and pleasing exhaust
note. Move the vertically operated, console-mounted gearshift into Drive,
press the throttle and launch forward. This is supposed to be a truck,
but it feels much more like a sedan in terms of its handling characteristics.
Acceleration is brisk, steering is responsive and precise, gear changes
are smooth and braking is positive.
Visibility is outstanding
and the ride quality is extremely comfortable and compliant. Concept vehicles
are generally not as refined in terms of actual operation as I found this
Butane Blue Pearl metallic finished MAXXcab to be -- a most pleasant surprise.
I'm ashamed now of my first reaction to the MAXXcab -- I was wrong, this
is definitely a vehicle to aspire to in a very BIG way.