Yes. And yes.
Yes, they could well have been trying to solve the shutter vulnerability problem before.
After all, they had been since the mid-1950s. (The focal plane shutter never disappeared from Victo Hasselblad's agenda, and as soon as the 1000-series was continued, he had people (one at first) working on creating a less vulnerable shutter. He discounted the solution they came up with in the 200-series - rubberized cloth - because Victor Hasselblad knew about and didn't like how the sun would burn holes in the cloth shutters in his Leica).
The story of the focal plane shutter at Hasselblad is long. And it is quite possible that they had planned a shutter retraction feature from the moment they decided to go with metal foil curtains again.
But more likely, perhaps, is that this camera was upgraded by the factory when at one time it had returned to Hasselblad.
So "yes" too, to that transitional bodies would appear closer to the introduction of the FC/M.
It's possible, by the way, that 1978 is not the second year of production. The camera was announced years ealier, and it only first appeared in 1977. Doesn't necessarily mean (in spite of date codes that appear on the products) that they were first made in that year as well.