The Hummer is no longer with us. Some liked it, some didn’t. Either way it filled a certain niche in the market. Actually it was more of a auditorium that a niche. An in the automotive world no auditorium goes unfilled for long.
The original Hummer was based on the US military Humvee, the later variants were based on other GM SUVs, apparently to be more practical. Yeah, I had to laugh at that one, too. However, it was a recipe that other manufactures (at least the other ones who were also looking to go bust) just had to follow.
Fiat stepped up to the plate. They already had a military vehicle in their inventory, the Iveco Lince (or Lynx in english). This vehicle has been selected and used by armies in several different countries. The British Army, for example, selected it as their “Future Command and Liaison Vehicle.” I’m not quite sure how “commanding” and “liaising” go together, but you know those Brits and their strange sense of humor.
The Lynx is a serious looking vehicle, especially when equipped with that gun on the roof. You could do no end of “liaising” with that.
No a bad place to start, then, if you’re looking to out-hummer Hummer. So where did it all go wrong?
In 2005 at the Bologna Motor Show, based on the Lynx, Fiat turned up with the monstrosity below, the Oltre.
Holy mother of bling. This defies serious criticism, not that I make any claim in that direction myself, but I challenge anyone to say something positive about this vehicle. These guys took a proper off-roader, something that could cover jungles, deserts, snow, and mounted it on giant chrome rims with a smear of rubber. Textbook stuff for going off-road – not.
The shock treatment carried on inside the vehicle as well.
In Fiat’s blurb they claimed the Oltre had
Generous dimensions, an exuberant style and a clean profile with recessed handles that do not constitute an obstacle when driving off-road, are the concept design behind Oltre Fiat.
- Generous dimensions? Can’t deny that, it’s 7′ 6″ wide and weighs 7 tons, sounds pretty generous to me.
- Exuberant style? Yep, it’s so exuberant you have to wear shades, or at least squint, to look at it.
- A clean profile? Well, it was certainly well washed when it turned up at the show, so lets give them that so its not all negative.
- Recessed handles that do not constitute an obstacle when driving off-road? What? Are they serious? This was a selling point on something that weighs seven tons? It has things that stick out in ever direction. If you could drive this through a forrest you’d rip up everything that wasn’t at least fifty years old, well you would if it would go through a forrest, but it wouldn’t because it rides on things that would be challenged by grass clippings, let alone hills, slopes, mud, or any of the other tricky things you meet off-road. So, as a buying tip, don’t get swayed by the recessed door handles when buying a seven ton off-roader.
You might think it was built for show, charging up and down freeways, much like the H2, but the Oltre was powered by 185 bhp 3 litre 4 cylinder engine. Seven tons … 185 bhp … you can get 500’s with that kind of horsepower! You’re not going to show off much with that, and I suspect the picture below might have been made with the creative used of camera panning.
Despite the awfulness of this creation, men everywhere will be able to forgive Fiat for one singular reason. It appears to be able to carry the entire Italian Championship Miniskirt Display team at one time.
Ok, Fiat, all is forgiven.
(Images courtesy of Fiat, Diseno-art, and Army Technology)
I can say something nice about the Oltre. It’s not as ugly as a half-car, which they try to market as a smart car. Those things are so ugly they almost make a VW Beetle like good.
Hi David. I don’t think of the smart car as particularly ugly, it’s just irrelevant when you’ve got space to park a real car. It isn’t cheap to buy or run and you can put more that a toothpick inside it. Its more relevant in cramp Europe, but even there it’s dodgy on the motorways!
Oooh, I want the one with the gun on the roof!
…What do you mean, “no”?
As for the Oltre, if “recessed handles” was the best thing they could think of to promote the vehicle… yikes! Talk about damning with faint praise.
Grin! Yeah, that gun would certainly put a stop of teenagers pulling out in front of you wouldn’t it! I expect it would be legal in Texas. Maybe I’ll find out if you can get it as an aftermarket add on 🙂
Finally, a practical vehicle for the modern woman.
I bet that Lynx with the rooftop gun comes in handy while seeking out a good parking spot at the mall.
“for the modern woman” … Hopefully that’s for the modern woman sans PMS …
I think the size of this thing would allow you to park it over the top of the Smart car David mentioned.
Where do you come up with these ideas? Always entertaining and informative.
Well, that camo Lynx is kinda cute. It would look cool in my driveway next to the Eddie Bauer Ford thing–it has a model name, but I can never remember it because around here we just call it The Beast.
Or maybe the camo Lynx wouldn’t look cool. Maybe it wouldn’t look like anything at all, with the camo effect and all.
I’m not sure the gun would be legal here–maybe in South Texas.
When you start talking about boats, check this out:
Cheers, from here too–Yeehaw!
maybe you could lobby for a small production run just for south Texas 🙂
I’ll check out the boat. I’ve a few aircraft to go, but there’s a never ending list of things that move to talk about. Course politicians aren’t on that list.
They lost me at “Fiat”.
Lancia is another make that had an appalling set of road cars, rally cars maybe, but Italian road cars have got a heck of a rap to shake.
When I hear the word ‘Hummer,’ I see the blinged out renditions in South Beach or Beverly Hills, often driven by petite women who will never spend time in the rugged outdoors.
Hmm… Where can I get one of those Fiat outfits??
Yeah, the blinged-out Hummer is a strange concoction. Funny how you never see them worn out from a hard life forging streams and climbing mountains, isn’t it? As for the Fiat outfits I believe I can put you in touch with no end of Italians, who, all being male, will do their utmost on the outfit front!