The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 December 2005

The fauxtility of it all

Ed Batista introduces the poster child for "fauxtilitarian design":

Hummer is taking out full-page ads for the Alpha, which features the "Duramax 6600 Turbo Diesel" engine and the "Allison 1000" transmission, making it "the new benchmark in off-road exotic vehicles." It's a new benchmark, alright — the very latest in phony utility. It's fauxtilitarian!

The Alpha, I should point out, is the latest version of the original H1, the Hummer spun off from the military HMMWV, which in its civilian guise serves mostly to stick a thumb in the Sierra Club's eye; it is too big and too unwieldy (yet, amazingly, too cramped) to serve as a good suburban-assault vehicle). Worse, it costs around $130,000. You can be certain that no one is buying this for its rock-pounding prowess:

[W]hen Hummer's touting the "Duramax 6600" on the back of the Wine Spectator (see the Dec. 15 issue), well, fauxtility has officially exhausted itself as an aesthetic. I'm expecting a return to flashy superficiality any day now.

We'll know the cycle is complete when we see Robert Parker ratings for diesel fuel.

(Via Doc Searls.)

Posted at 9:10 AM to Dyssynergy


The H1 may be too big and unwieldy, but the H2 always reminds me of a morbidly obese lap dog.

Posted by: McGehee at 9:47 AM on 19 December 2005

No doubt this is why there is now an H3, which is the most reasonable of the Hummers, though its Chevrolet five-cylinder engine isn't enough to haul around its bulk with any degree of alacrity. (For that matter, it's not enough to haul around the Chevy Colorado, upon whose platform the H3 is built.)

Posted by: CGHill at 10:06 AM on 19 December 2005