With gasoline surging toward $4 per gallon and massive SUVs falling massively out of favor, it would seem that GM's Hummer division would be entering the autumn of its years. But according to J. D. Power and Associates, the brand captures and retains owners better than most, so it's worth nurturing. The trick is making hugeness less of a calling card - a process that started with the demise of the H1 - but preserving extreme off-road ability. As anyone who has done any serious off-roading can attest, size is your enemy on the trail, so a smaller but still off-road-ready Hummer, perhaps like the HX concept (below), makes perfect sense. The HX gives us a good look at the upcoming H4, and if that new entry has all the off-road gear of the show car, it'll be a strong addition to the lineup. The HX sports full-time four-wheel drive (naturally) with locking front and rear differentials, 35-inch tires, a 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6, and an electronically disconnectable front antiroll bar - not to mention that unmistakable blocky styling.
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE HUMMER: And not a moment too soon, given the state of the economy. At last, proof that Hummer doesn't operate in a vacuum. Sort of.