In the nauseatingly constant coverage of Paris Hilton, the bubbleheaded heiress said she was planning on buying a Hummer Hybrid, to which a GM spokesperson promptly went on record as saying doesn't exist. Perhaps not now. But could something as ridiculous as a vapid, uninformed statement by a celebutante prompt General Motors to reconsider?
As strange as it may seem, it might actually happen. Considering, tragically, how many people hang on Paris' ever word and want to emulate her style right down to hair, makeup and shoes, if Hummer dealers suddenly get overwhelmed with requests for hybrids, could the demand be too much to ignore? Maybe, maybe not.
Let's put a few things in perspective. First off, the imposing H2, at more than $60,000, is not exactly within reach of everyone. The H3, at about half that, is more accessible.
Secondly, the brick-like aerodynamics of both models, in addition to their porkier-than-most curb weights, would probably negate many of the benefits that would come from a hybrid drivetrain.
Cost no object, probably the best combination would be a two-mode hybrid diesel with the new 4.5 Duramax. But such a combination would probably push the H2's price dangerously close to six figures. No big deal for Ms. Hilton, but probably a potential barrier to entry for most customers.
There's also the issue of a two-mode system's robustness under harsh off-road conditions. Granted, few Hummer owners probably venture much further than the ski lodge in their behemoths, but Hummer nonetheless touts the off-road ability of its vehicles. Should the company sacrifice some capability to offer a Hybrid?
Finally, there's the chance that Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney's heads would explode from the cognitive dissonance of a Hummer Hybrid. After preaching the virtues of the self-consciously thrifty Prius, could they handle the prospect of a hybrid version of their arch-nemesis? I'd like to see Hummer build it if for no other reason than to see the reaction of the Celebri-lefties.
So, will the air-headed heiress get her way? I'm sure there's a custom shop out there willing to take a plasma cutter to a new H2 and make it a hybrid. But whether or not it's going to roll off the line in Mishawaka, Indiana, is a whole other matter.