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Buggy version of Hummer reportedly in GM's future.
General Motors' future product plan includes a back-to-basics, go-anywhere Hummer H4 - a rough-and-tough competitor for the Jeep Wrangler. The fourth Hummer could be on sale by 2008 or 2009.
A GM source confirms the company is looking for ways of making a small Hummer on its various sport/utility vehicle and pickup platforms. GM engineers and designers are working on the project, but a chassis for the vehicle has yet to be selected. One possibility is a two-seater, focused on the most rugged off-roading possible, similar to the Hummer dune buggy.
"It's a matter of finding the right combination of rugged components and how we can package them into a vehicle smaller than the H3," says the source. "The main design factor is that any vehicle with a Hummer badge has to be the most capable off-road, period."
One possibility is to use a shortened version of GM's small pickup platform, which underpins the new H3.
GM product czar Bob Lutz is believed to be a big supporter of the H4, and as a former boss of Jeep he knows the competition intimately.
Hummer is also unlikely to launch a second range of soft-roaders, a move that Jeep is taking to exploit sales with owners who don't need its "Trail Tested" off-road abilities.
"It's not the right time to be rounding off the corners of the Hummer range yet," our source says.
(by Julian Rendel of Autoweek.)
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