H4: the Smallest Hummer to Arrive in 2010

By: Jerick Brooks

The Hummer is the result of General Motor's quest to come up with a vehicle that could rival the iconic Jeep brand of Chrysler. Compared to other automakers the growth of General Motors' Hummer brand is measured in pounds shed and inches lost as oppose to the usual increase in dimensions. But although this is the trend for the Hummer it still make sure that it maintains quality throughout the range by utilizing only quality auto components such as which includes Hummer brand mufflers.

The H1 which is the original Hummer, possess military heritage combined with technology and combat-proven durability. Although it was considered as an army's general best friend in duty it was still too big for urban use. After the H1 came H2. It was made smaller than the H1 but still considered enormous for urban dwellers.

Then came, the H3 which is further reduced in size as compared to its H2 brother but despite the size reduction it still takes up road space as compared to that of a Toyota Camry. But according to some sources inside GM, the automaker is developing a new Hummer that's smaller as compared to its predecessors.

The new Hummer will obviously be called H4 and designed to target the compact and crossover segment. According to Hummer's general manager Martin Walsh, the H4 is going to be paired in development with another GM product. Walsh said during an interview with GoAuto, "Our growth will be downwards in terms of size . . . opportunities will lie in smaller segments."

General Motors has not yet released any statement on whether the production of the H4 will be made into a global effort but judging by GM's desire to market the Hummer as a global brand it is not a remote possibility that Holden or Opel may also be involved in the project.

However there is one issue that the brand will have to face when it comes to the H4 and it's in term of its design which somehow softens its hard-core image. And if ever Hummer would decide to use a monocoque chassis and independent suspension, which mostly customers prefer since it provides better comfort and more car-like road holding, the brand would face backlash from Hummer enthusiasts as well as the off-roading community similar to what Jeep experienced when it launched the Dodge Caliber-based Compass.

In addition, a company insider said that in order for the automaker to maintain the strong image of the Hummer, the H4 would be made to ride on a separate chassis, showcasing a different approach, breakover and departure angles with copious amounts of ground clearance. The H4 will also possess some of the vital Hummer design cues. With the H4 made smaller, more efficient, and more affordable, Hummer predicts that it could sell between 30,000 and 40,000 units which are rather low considering the fact that Hummer sold almost 70,000 vehicles in 2006.

Hummer also plans to expand their H3 product range. And in addition to selling the current model globally with right-hand drive and diesel powertrain options, it is expected that an "SUT" truck version will also arrive next year. This is a smart idea, considering that the H3 wagon is based on GM's compact Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon pickups.

Insiders further say that it will initially be offered as a four-door crew-cab, and will be followed by a regular or extended cab, which would help the Hummer brand to gain a new market and access to the compact pickup arena. General Motors have opted to invest greatly in the Hummer brand a few years back, and with its expansion to smaller vehicles that are better suited to non-North American markets and environmentally conscious buyers, its investments are finally paying off.

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