H2 EXTERIOR DESIGN: BUILDING ON A LEGEND
You couldn't have bigger shoes to fill than when you have
to design a stablemate to the original HUMMER H1. H1 is the icon
of off-roading, the military-bred, ultimate all-terrain vehicle.
H2, while being functional and refined in its design, had to
above all strike instant recognition as a HUMMER.
"Being identifiable as a member of the HUMMER family
is a must," said Marc Hernandez, H2 brand manager. "Clearly
H2 does that. But it also carries itself in a rugged manner,
with a very striking yet clean design."
To capture the look, feel and capabilities of the original
HUMMER and reshape them for more mainstream appeal, GM designers
took a "clean sheet" approach to the exterior body
design. By starting virtually from scratch, designers were able
to capture the essential proportions of H1 and the signature
features of its fiercely utilitarian design. Its form vocabulary
is one of square shapes, flat chiseled surfaces, hard peak lines
and flat glass planes.
THINKING OUT OF THE BOX ABOUT THE BOX
H2's extremely boxy body and very straight windshield and
windows, which resemble H1's forms, combine to create a significant
amount of interior room. The vertical glass opens up a broader
front and wider side view. In a nod to the functional aspect
of design, exposed components, like hood lift handles, hood latches
and fasteners, give H2's appearance an individually component-assembled
quality. Exposed components, as they do on H1, shout ruggedness
and exemplify yeoman-like functionality and workmanship.
Typically thick, hefty and massively sized components, such
as the reinforced steel bumpers and outside rearview mirrors,
provide extraordinary strength and convey an appearance and feeling
of near indestructibility-a tenet of the HUMMER brand.
The wide tread, long wheelbase, short overhangs, huge tires
and wheels at the extreme corners, designed for extraordinary
stability, ground clearance and climbing, quickly signal H2's
unparalleled off-road capability. The upright side windows, large
hood handles and tow loops, round headlamps-even the signature
louvered grille-all reflect H2's military heritage, which is,
again, directly descended from H1.
While somewhat scaled down in size and weight, H2 is hardly
what some have loosely characterized as a "baby HUMMER."
It's actually taller, at 77.8 inches (82 inches with the optional
roof rack), and longer, at 189.8 inches, than H1. Its dimensions,
like its proportions, provide the optimum in passenger comfort
and safety, as well as off-road capability.
HIGH-STRENGTH, EASY-TO-OPEN HOOD
H2 features a forward-tilting hood with integral fenders like
that of H1. The hood and the fenders are made of dent- and rust-resistant
sheet molding compound. The hood also uses metal reinforcements
for added strength. As a unique feature, H2's optional brush
guard has been designed to attach to the hood, so that both tilt
up together when the hood is opened. With its spring-loaded assist
hinges, the hood requires less than 20 pounds of force to open.
It opens about 110 degrees, providing full access to the engine
compartment. The hood also provides extra safety with inside
and outside hood latches. Heavy-duty, exposed outside hood latches
on either side near the cowl panel tie the whole front end down;
they provide extra safety during severe off-road maneuvers. An
inside middle hood latch, or lock, provides additional security.
Visually distinctive lighting is a functional design element
that complements the entire vehicle. H2 sports HUMMER-style seven-inch
halogen headlamps as part of its lighting system. Unlike conventional
modular systems, there are actually six separate lamps used for
the headlamps, park/turn signals, daytime running lamps (DRLs)
and side markers. All the bulbs are easier to access and service
than those of conventional systems. The headlamps and amber park/turn
signals are part of the grille assembly. DRLs are imbedded in
the black composite fascia of the upper bumper section, which
also accommodates the optional halogen projector beam fog lamps.
Side marker lamps are part of the hood and fender assembly.
Additional roof marker and clearance lights signal H2's width
and help drivers to be seen more easily. There are three marker
and two side clearance lamps on both the front and rear of the
roof, along with the rear Center High Mounted Stop Lamp (CHMSL).
Flush, vertically stacked taillamps also clearly signal H2's
heritage. Running and stop lamps light up at the top of the taillamps,
turn signals in the center and the back-up lamp at the bottom.
Two lamps also light up the license plate.
Like other H2 components, the bumpers are unusually large
and hefty. But they have a two-sectional design to help reduce
weight while still providing optimum protection. They accommodate
H2's high approach and departure angles during off-road operation,
but still fall into a range of other vehicles' bumper zones on
the highway. The lower, critical two-thirds of the bumper section,
designed to take actual impacts, is constructed of high-strength
The front bumper also includes large, military, HUMMER-style
retrieval loops; the rear bumper includes tow loops (which can
also serve as tie-downs). Both bumpers have access holes for
the hitch receivers attached to the chassis. The front receiver
accommodates a winch, which can be plugged in, locked (just like
a trailer hitch) and hooked up with an electrical connection,
allowing H2 to free vehicles mired in mud or otherwise helplessly
grounded. The front receiver also accommodates a regular Class
3 trailer hitch, providing additional flexibility for such tasks
as pulling a boat out of the water or backing your trailer into
a tight spot.
EXCEPTIONAL BODY STRENGTH
H2 has an extremely strong, rigid and dimensionally accurate
body structure, significantly enhanced by an integral, welded-on
front end and heavy-gauge steel panels and structural components.
The entire front portion of its body, from the radiator back,
is directly welded to the dash panel and body side frame. This
extends the front end and ties it into the whole body. It provides
exceptional stiffness for virtually squeak- and rattle-free operation
and contributes to occupant safety in front-end collisions.
All of H2's outer door panels, including the lift gate, use
thicker than normal steel, increasing dent resistance as well
as overall body strength. And, as part of its enhanced structural
supports, some components, such as the backcross sill, use steel
gauge as thick as 2.5mm. All exterior body panels, including
the roof when the optional sunroof (GM's largest ever) is ordered,
use two-side galvanized steel as part of extensive corrosion
protection. The galvanized zinc coating prevents surface rust
due to minor chips and scratches, and helps prevent holes that
start from inside. The inner and outer panels are also coated
by submersion in an electrocoat zinc primer before application
of the primer surface and top coat.
The bodies are painted with high-quality base coat/clear coat
electrocoating paint process, which makes the paint more resistant
to fading and chipping and further helps prevent corrosion. It
produces a long-lasting, high-gloss finish. There are seven exterior
color choices, including Pewter Metallic, Black, Yellow, Medium
Sage Green Metallic, White, Sunset Orange and Redfire Metallic.
LARGE WHEEL OPENINGS AND EASY, HIGH-LIFT JACK LIFT POINTS
H2's exceptionally large wheelhouses anticipate what those
seeking the best off-road vehicle on the market will want: huge
tires and lots of wheel travel. They allow plenty of wheel travel
during off-road use or when the suspension is articulating to
help prevent the tires from hitting the body. H2's wheels and
tires are the largest production size of any GM light-duty truck:
17.0 x 8.5-inch forged aluminum wheels and B.F. Goodrich LT315/70R17
all-terrain tires are standard.
Standard black composite wheelhouse liners, a premium feature,
protect the body from stone throws and help dampen tire noise;
black molded wheel flares provide splash and stone protection.
In addition to full skid-plate protection, H2 also provides
unique rocker protection. A standard large, black-painted steel
tube, running along the driver side and bolted to the frame,
protects the lower body and door panels against being struck
by rocks and stumps from beneath and on side angles. The vehicle
can be easily jacked up from square in the middle of the rocker
protector, if necessary, lifting two wheels off the ground.