Hummer is getting ready to sling a bit of mud at Land Rover! This is the HX Concept, a small, open-air model which points towards the US brand’s plans for a compact SUV to compete head-on with the Freelander.
The newcomer – which is likely to be badged the H4 when it’s added to the line-up – debuted at the Detroit Motor Show. Clever removable roof panels enable the HX to adopt three different bodystyles. There’s a full hard-top and an exposed fastback, and by removing the rear C-pillars, it can be given the look of a military off-roader.
As you can see, the HX features a very aggressive design, with enormous blistered wheelarches, while minimal overhangs suggest a sporty driving experience on the tarmac. Trim has been kept to a minimum on the bodywork, so there is less to be damaged in the rough. The pared-back theme continues inside, as the cabin has lots of exposed metal. The seats are covered in wetsuit-style neoprene, while the floor is rubberised for easy cleaning.
Rather than a conventional stereo, Hummer has fitted a set-up whereby owners plug in their iPod, while the instruments can be reconfigured for on or off-road driving.
The HX is fitted with a proper drivetrain, which suggests it’s at a more advanced stage of development than most concepts. Under the bonnet is a direct-injection 3.6-litre FlexFuel V6. This runs on E85 bioethanol, so this Hummer is quite eco-friendly.
That hasn’t come at the expense of its off-road ability, though. Permanent 4WD and locking rear differentials mean serious all-terrain potential, while the anti-roll bars can be disconnected when covering really tricky ground. If it’s given the go-ahead, the Hummer could be in production in a year.