As a kid, my morning before-school ritual involved eating two heaping bowls of cereal while watching cartoons like Inspector Gadget, the hapless cop who credited most of his crime-fighting prowess to his niece, his dog and a slew of tools that included the Gadgetmobile, which could transform between a sporty cop car and utilitarian van.
One of my favourite things about the Gadgetmobile, however, was its ability to rise up on stilts that looked like weird, metal cyborg arms.
So I may have gotten a little excited by the Hum Rider, a heavily-modified Jeep Grand Cherokee with a wild hydraulic lift kit that gives the SUV enough ground clearance to drive above small cars.
The Hum Rider was created by Lancaster, California’s A2Z FX, a custom fabrication company that also created the Red Bull modified Mini Cooper cars you see driving around with a can sticking out of the roof. But while that sickly sweet energy drink *says* it gives you wings, the Hum Rider actually does let its driver take to the air to recreate the fantasy of simply driving past gridlocked traffic.
Have a look at it in action in the video below, which shows the truck’s modifications doing their thing in a staged “traffic jam.” This thing is basically a weird hybrid of car and hydraulic auto shop lift. And while it may look like a nearly stock Grand Cherokee when it’s on the ground, A2Z’s Scott Beverly told Mashable the Hum Rider is powered by a gas generator under the hood that runs pumps pushing 900 pounds of hydraulic pressure through 91 metres (300 feet!) of plumbing that allow the Jeep to elevate and drive. That hardware doesn’t come lightly: the Hum Rider weighs 3,850 kg, compared to the 2,121 kg curb weight of a base 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Like those modded Minis, the Hum Rider is a promotional tool conceived by U.S. telecom giant Verizon and marketing firm Thinkmodo to promote Verizon’s Hum vehicle connectivity app.
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