The Hummer HX concept was one of the surprise hits of this year’s Detroit show. Penned by three young designers, it is pure concept-car madness. But it is also an admission by General Motors that Hummer needs to downsize if it is to survive.
High fuel prices mean the brand is struggling in its home market, and the tough new fuel economy regulations there and the likely CO2 limits in Europe mean radical action is necessary. Even the baby Hummer H3 looks vast on European roads and exports will only grow with smaller model in the range. That’s what this Detroit concept is all about.
The new Hummer H4?
Like Land Rover’s LRX concept, the Hummer HX aims to bundle the brand’s trademark design cues and off-road credibility into a smaller (4.3-metre) package. It’s still hugely aggressive, with very short overhangs, the familiar Hummer grille and lamp treatment, vertical screen and lots of functional detailing, like the winch and vast underbody bash-plate.
The two-door, four-seat body starts as a fastback – a style offered on the now-defunct, daddy Hummer H1 – but individual roof panels can be lifted out, or the whole thing stripped off. The doors and wing flares can also be removed, showing off the vast 35-inch-tall Bridgestone Dueller rubber.
It’s green, not khaki
The cabin looks sensational but is pure fantasy; the seats are covered in wetsuit material and there’s real attention to detail in features like the Hummer-branded torches in the doors. There’s no stereo; just a speaker system to which you can hook up an i-Pod.
The engine is a 3.6-litre V6 running on E85 ethanol, making 304bhp and 273lb ft and powering a six-speed auto transmission; Hummer says all its models will have a biofuel option by 2010.
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