DETROIT - Don't expect any major styling departures from the concepts already shown when the 2003 Hummer H2 sport-utility debuts, the vehicle's chief designer said here last week.
At the Detroit auto show in January, General Motors unveiled a four-door H2 baby Hummer concept. And in a preview of its concept lineup for the upcoming Detroit show, the automaker on Nov. 8 unveiled a mock-up of an H2 with a short pickup bed called the H2 SUT, for sport-utility truck.
Except for the pickup bed, chief designer Terry Henline says the production H2 will look nearly identical to the SUT concept.
'Unlike many show trucks, the SUT concept evolved from the production-intent H2 SUV,' Henline said. 'Without saying too much, it is quite close.'
GM bought the Hummer brand from AM General last December. Under the agreement, AM General will assemble up to 40,000 H2 sport-utilities annually at a new $200 million plant in Mishawaka, Ind.
Though it has a short pickup bed, the SUT features a gate behind the rear passenger seat that lowers into the pickup bed. With the gate open and the second row of seats folded down, the cargo-hauling space is increased to 7.5 feet.
Henline called the SUT concept a 'logical extension of our sport-utility vehicle.'
The H2 goes into production in 2002 and will be built off GM's GMT800 truck platform. The new vehicle's size will be more in line with a Chevrolet Tahoe than the big Hummer used by the military.
According to specifications released for the H2 SUT concept, the vehicle is 188.3 inches long, 80.6 inches wide and has a 122.6-inch wheelbase. The Tahoe is 10.5 inches longer, 1.8 inches narrower and the wheelbase is 6.6 inches shorter.
At the concept preview, Wayne Cherry, GM's vice president of design, said the automaker plans to 'push the boundaries of design' with its concept and product-vehicle styling.
'GM has put a lot of effort into becoming a very innovative company,' said Cherry, 'and innovative companies take risks.'