General Motors has introduced an ethanol-adapted "green" version of its heavy gas-guzzling military compact truck derivative, the Hummer, at the Detroit auto show, where media continued getting a preview before the show opens later this week to the public.
The unveiling, coupled with an announcement of a partnership in a bio-fuel company Monday, was part of GM's efforts to raise its image as a company trying to reduce carbon emissions blamed for global warming.
The Hummer HX has a flex-fuel V6 power train that will run on biofuel and is somewhat smaller than its bigger brothers. Yet it is still packed with "all the legendary capability" of the iconic vehicle, according to a video posted on the Internet.
Doors, roof and bumper panels are removable.
It "still screams Hummer", the announcer said.
GM chief executive Rick Wagoner Sunday unveiled plans to bring 16 new hybrid models onto the market within four years, and also revealed it would buy a stake in biofuel company Coskata Inc, a pioneer in efforts to convert waste into cheap ethanol.
The production process does not rely on corn and requires less water than other processes, according to an article posted on an msn website offering coverage of the show.
The pilot fuel programme was expected to be in place by 2009, with production costs at about $1 per gallon (four litres.)
Growing demand for corn-based ethanol, including new US government guidelines, have sparked worldwide criticism over the upward pressure on food prices and the relative inefficiency of corn as a bio-base for fuel.
The North American International Auto Show opens to the public Saturday and closes on January 27.