It is well known that California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has had a very public change of heart when it comes to seeking out a greener lifestyle. Heck, he's gone from owning the very first civilian AM General HMMWV to talking up green environmental initiatives and start-ups like Tesla. He's even taken delivery of one of the company's Roadsters.
In an oddly compelling little piece of timing, two new American companies are working on taxi designs just after Checker Motors, the most famous of all bespoke taxicab companies, has filed for bankruptcy. We've seen the Standard Taxi before, but it has apparently been restyled a bit after cab owners complained about the initial concept's dowdy appearance. It's a slight improvement by the looks of things, though we certainly wouldn't call the machine attractive.
Rejoice GM, somebody wants HUMMER! In fact, AM General, the company that created the original mil-spec HMMWV for American troops back in 1983 is rumored to be in the mix of bidders, joining forces with China's Hunan Changfeng Motor Co. Despite earlier reports, Changfeng has remained interested in the brand since GM first put HUMMER up on the auction block, but had desired a bidding partner. It appears that it found one shortly after touring the automaker's facilities a few months back.
It sure ain't pretty, though beauty, in this case, is likely in the eye of the beholder. A few years back, a new take on the taxi was provided by Standard Taxi, a company based in Troy, Michigan. The design for the purpose-built people hauler uses GM running gear and is able to haul four passengers in relative comfort. We hadn't heard a peep from the company until today when we learned that Standard is now working on negotiations with AM General to build the vehicle in its plant in Mishawaka, In
It turns out that the spy shots of what we thought was an AM General prototype for the next-gen Humvee was anything but. After seeing the pics appear on the web, AM General contacted World Car Fans with an explanation of what we were looking at. The vehicle shot by Brenda Priddy & Co. was in fact the Evolutionary Concept Vehicle II (EVC II), which AM General's been exhibiting in public at U.S. Army events since last year. It doesn't seem to be an official next-gen prototype of anything, but
It's been called HMMWV, the High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, Humvee for short, or HUMMER for civilian use, but it's been twenty years since DoD chassis M998 was put into service, and the Pentagon wants something new.