2008 Hummer HX Concept

[cars name="Hummer"] has now given us a look at the HX concept ahead of its unveiling at January’s 2008 North American International Auto Show. The HX is a look at the brand’s next step, a two-door, four-passenger open-air SUV smaller than the H3.

Three recent Center for Creative Studies graduates were tasked with styling the vehicle. Working on their own, they created the three designs you see below. After GM chose its favorite, the team then collaborated on the final concept to be shown in Detroit’s COBO Hall. Design elements include a louvered hood, exposed billet aluminum hardware, large fender flares, and a version of Hummer’s standard seven port visage.

The HX looks like a direct competitor to the Wrangler, though Hummer claims it will be more upscale than Jeep‘s offering. Like the Wrangler, it features removable doors, roof panels, and fenders. The slant-back rear roof section can be taken off or swapped for a more conventional – not to mention practical – squared-off roof cap.

The interior takes cues from aircraft construction with its exposed structures and no-frills design. The designers created a host of accessories that can be stowed throughout the cabin, like a shovel, an emergency flashlight, and a first aid kit. The large shift lever looks like a plane’s throttle lever and has an integrated starter button with a safety catch–as if to remind you to think twice before launching this thing.

A reconfigurable instrument cluster displays different information depending on whether or not low range is engaged. The screens can show a navigation system, a trail-camera feed, vehicle speed, engine rpm, and wheel angle information.

A full-time four-wheel-drive system is driven by GM’s 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The concept’s engine will run on E85 ethanol, part of Hummer’s push to make all of its offerings biofuel-ready by 2010.

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