Lancaster, California - Haven’t we all wished we had a car like this, the very best kind of Transformer?
And here’s the kicker: it’s not CGI, it’s for real - but it’s a lot more complicated than it looks. Designed and built by Scott Beverley of A2Zfx, the standard-looking Grand Cherokee has a petrol-powered Honda generator providing amperage for the electric pumps that hydraulically extend, drive, steer and brake all four wheels - using almost 100 metres of high-pressure (60 bar!) hydraulic hose.
To help you see what you’re straddling, there are four under-body cameras projecting onto a four-way split screen on the centre stack.
The downside is that the arched frames and complex hydraulics are very heavy; the Hum Rider weighs about 3800kg, almost double the weight of a standard Grand Cherokee. And nobody is saying how much it cost, which is a giveaway in itself.
The Hum Rider was created to publicise Verison Hum, a US online service with a dongle that plugs into the on-board diagnostic port of any car made after 1996 and feeds diagnostics, roadside assistance, location and speed tracking to your smartphone - very useful when you lend the car to your teenage kids.