GM’s Design division has just hired some fresh new faces and minds (David Rojas, Min Young Kang and Robert Jablonski) and we are thrilled that they were the lucky ones to be chosen. Their first job assignment was to “provide a vision for the future design of off-road vehicles.”
Under the supervision of HUMMER design studio director Carl Zipfel, each young designer was assigned to either the wheelbase, approach and departure angles or stance – three core HUMMER proportions – and otherwise given liberty to design away. Though all three came up with their own visions, the won you see above was chosen by the suits to be transformed into an actual concept to be shown at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show.
“HUMMER appeals to young people globally and served as a perfect first assignment for our newest talent,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of global design and product planning. “Today’s graduates from top design schools are ready to hit the ground running. The HUMMER design challenge gave our newest designers an opportunity to sprint.”
The task presented numerous challenges to the new designers. While sketching and sculpting together in the HUMMER studio, these recent graduates drew upon the creative energy of each other, further improving their individual designs, as well as that of the final concept.
“We drew inspiration from one another,” said Kang. “As you’re designing and sketching you try to absorb what the other designer is doing and try to make it better.”
“While we took inspiration from the HUMMER heritage and DNA, we each wanted to evolve it in a new way,” said Jablonski. “We agreed it should be contemporary, compact and definitely open air. It came out great.”
After three months of sketching and sculpting theme work for the new HUMMER concept, each designer had the opportunity to present scale clay models to Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman and Ed Welburn, who chose which design would ultimately become the HX concept. In its final concept form, the E-85 FlexFuel capable HUMMER HX embodies the off road spirit of HUMMER in a fully customizable package.
The HX offers an open-air driving experience via a pair of removable roof panels above the driver and front passenger and a modular, removable rear roof assembly enabling a quick conversion from closed vehicle to open vehicle SUT. It also features a slant back assembly with removable doors and fender flairs.
“Working as a team, you realize it’s more than one person influencing the vehicle,” said Rojas. “You can see the inspiration from each of our designs in the final concept vehicle. We’re all proud to have the chance to see our sketches become reality.”
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