Looks like GM might dust off an old Hummer concept and bring some competition to the perennially popular Jeep Wrangler. Back before the “Great Carpocolypse,” GM’s Hummer division was riding high as the corporation’s answer to the iconic Jeep brand. They were on a roll and showed off the Hummer HX concept at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show featuring a 302 hp V6, removable panels, and 24-inches of ground clearance. It was a cool little rig and it looked like it might have been green lighted for production.
Little did anyone know just a year later GM would be on its knees financially and would jettison Hummer as well as Pontiac, Saab, and Saturn. Nutty eco-terrorists anointing Hummer automotive enemy #1 didn’t help things either.
The Carpocolypse also saw Chrysler shuttled off to Italian ownership with Fiat absconding the globally recognized Jeep brand which is selling like hotcakes. Last year, Jeep sold 234,579 Wranglers worldwide, with sales up 13-percent in the United States.
So now GM is eying the hot Wrangler market once again and they have a Jeep-like blueprint sitting on a shelf in the corporate archives. They even spoke to GMC dealers about the idea of resurrecting an HX-like vehicle for the division.
We think the HX is cool, but it’s also a six year old concept now and would need updating to go head to head with a new Wrangler. We say base it off the new Colorado/Canyon platform with same power train options (including diesel) and revise the styling. Ditch the now defunct Hummer grille and replace with corporate front end styling from the Acadia or Terrain. Then, put the rig on a diet without sacrificing off road capability or watering down the concept’s coolness.
If that sounds familiar, that’s because the Wrangler will be getting a similar rethink along the same lines with rumored aluminum body and weight loss. If GM is serious, it better get on the stick with development soon, as the new Wrangler debuts in 2017.
All images General Motors