The electric mini-Hummer
It has to be the ultimate expression of automotive irony – an electric Hummer.
The behemoth four-wheel-drive that was born to be an army warrior rather than an ecological one isn't an obvious poster child for the green movement.
Click photo at left for more views of the Prindivile electric mini-Hummer.
That didn't stop English coachbuilder Prindiville, which has set out to turn around the reputation of the now-defunct car company with a limited run of electric-propelled mini-Hummers.
Prindiville already offers performance and visual enhancement packages for the Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari 458 and Range Rover Evoque, but the Hummer project appears to be its most ambitious yet with wholesale changes to the basic Hummer H3 package.
The H3's standard 3.7-litre, five-cylinder engine is replaced by a 72-volt electric motor that delivers about 65km of driving range and a slightly underwhelming top speed of 65kmh.
The upside is that the cut-down H3 – which features a bespoke fibreglass body – has a turning circle of just 3.5 metres, can be recharged from any standard power socket, and is an officially licensed product of General Motors, the owner of the Hummer brand.
The revised two-seater is just three metres long and includes a digital dashboard for accurate monitoring of the car's range and charge capacity, heated seats and Hummer-branded floor mats.
Airconditioning sits on a long options list that also includes leather trim, a sunroof, DVD, hands-free telephony and a lithium battery.
The Prindiville Hummer is aimed squarely at image-conscious central London commuters, where its electric motor ensures free road tax and parking, low insurance premiums, and exclusion from the choked city's congestion taxes.
It could also pique the interest of actor and former California ''governator'' Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has struggled to reconcile his love for military-style vehicles with a desire to promote cleaner, greener transportation in pollution-clogged Los Angeles.
Only 25 of the Prindiville Hummers will be built for the relatively modest price of about NZ$50,000 each.