53 Cool Concepts… Part XLIV, The Next HMMWV
Forty four parts… Almost to the magic 53. of course.
Who doesn’t love HMMVs? OK, there are a lot of people that hate them for what they perceive as excess or wastefulness, but those of us that enjoy actually getting off of the well worn trails and onto roads with a little more challenge. And for some of those roads, the ultimate rig may be the Hummer H1. It isn’t perfect… especially here in the eastern part of the country. But it is still one of the more capable vehicles ever built… civilian or military.
The biggest issue with the H1 on the trail is its size. It is “mondo” wide. Coming in around nine feet wide, it is a couple of feet wider than a Jeep. And Jeeps fit the trail.
But that same width that keeps it from fitting on tighter trails is what gives the H1 its incredible stability. So, just trimming it down to Jeep Wrangler width wouldn’t make it a viable alternative to the Wrangler. It would make it a clone. A width of about 78″ would be a good compromise. Pushing the tires out slightly from that would help with the stability, as well.
The next weakness of the Hummer is the suspension. The independent design allows a little more clearance at the center of the vehicle, but it doesn’t flex very well. It is also fairly complicated, and has some weak links. The portal design, though, is pretty strong AND increases ground clearance. A good way to go might be to offer solid axles with portal boxes. An axle with a design like the Ford 9″, with larger axles shaft and portal boxes would allow reasonable ground clearance and loads of strength. Teaming that with a double triangulated 4-link suspension (front and rear) would promote having a LOT of flex.
Handling a 39″ tall tire without modifications would make it a segment killer. Power it with a flex fuel Turbo Diesel and a solid automatic transmission that can be controlled manually for maximum flexibility. Add a PTOand a fast electric winch.
Every manufacturer has most of the parts in the bin to build one of these beasts. Chrysler probably wouldn’t do it because it would lean into their Wrangler market (but it would be a fulfillment of the promise made by the Jeep Rescue concept). GM has already sold Hummer. That leaves Ford… or a foreign nameplate.
Who is going to do this?
- 53 Cool Concepts… Part XLI… (lanebailey.com)
- 10 Vehicles For The Coming Zombie Apocalypse (ridelust.com)
- 1999 Hummer H1 (sfgate.com)
- 53 Cool Concepts… Part XXXIX… (lanebailey.com)