Since the Hummer brand will not be dying with some of the other discontinued GM brands, pending a sale to a Chinese manufacturing company, here’s a look at the Hummer HX Concept. The vehicle eschews the normal four-door mammoth SUV formula of other Hummer models in favor of a two-door utility vehicle that takes a few cues from the Jeep Wrangler.
The first thing to be said for the Hummer HX is that it makes an attempt at being fuel efficient, a description not normally associated with the brand. The powerplant is an E85 FlexFuel 3.6-liter V6 that can run on either eco-friendly E85 ethanol or regular unleaded gasoline. The designers didn’t sacrifice the power, though, as the engine still puts out 304 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission and the vehicle has full-time four wheel drive. Putting the power to the pavement (or the dirt, if you’re off-roading) are custom 35-inch Bridgestone Dueler tires.
As for the aforementioned cues from the Jeep Wrangler, they are most evident in the body design. The doors can be popped off with the easy removal of a few pins, and there are a variety of roof options. You can go completely topless, removing the panels over the driver and passenger seats and the slant rear roof assembly, or you can keep the rear roof side assembly and drop the roof panels, or you can get a boxy rear roof assembly that turns the HX into a mini SUV and provides more cargo room. And, to add to the HX’s off-road capabilities, the fender flares over the wheels have quarter-turn disconnect fasteners so that you can increase the ground clearance and avoid any body damage when off-roading.
And this is a vehicle that you really could take off-roading without many problems. There are high performance Fox Racing shocks at the corners and the front suspension features an electronically-disengaged stabilizer bar, which gives you more lateral roll for when you’re tackling really tough terrain gradients. And, since stopping is a very important part of driving off-road, there are Brembo brakes all around, with six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers at the rear.
The interior is purpose-built for tough times. You won’t find plush seats and DVD players in this Hummer. The HX, as explained by the designers when they premiered the vehicle in 2008, has an interior that was modeled after airplanes. There are sheet metal panels, a minimalist aluminum dashboard, a rubberized floor, and a nylon-variant covering for the instrument panel. All four seats are of a lightweight construction and mounted on exposed tracks, and the rear bucket seats can be removed to add cargo space.
The Hummer HX Concept provides a tantalizing glimpse of where Hummer could have gone had the economy not gone down, and gas prices not gone up. Big SUVs and off-roading vehicles aren’t in vogue at the moment, and it doesn’t look as though they will be for the next couple years. Will the HX, or at least some version of it, be revived once the Hummer brand gets a new owner? There’s a good chance since the inclusion of an E85 FlexFuel V6-powered car would certainly help their fleet fuel economy average.