One of the few small firms in post-war U.S. car production, Hudson excelled with its low-built "step down" 1948 models and new, powerful, Super Six engine. All-new Hudson models appeared in showrooms for the 1948 selling season. Following the lead set by the first new postwar automobile of Kaiser and Frazer, Hudson featured a slab-sided design that included fully integrated fenders, front and rear.
The big difference was that Hudson gave its car some style. Where Kaiser and Frazer automobiles looked rather like boxes on wheels, Hudsons appeared to sit low to the ground, in what was known as the "Step-Down" design, and had a body side crease, or feature line, which ran the entire length of the car with a slight curve at the rear that helped to visually lower the car. Add to that skirted rear wheel openings and full-length rocker panel moldings, and the new Hudson looked like a dream car straight from the auto show.
All new Hudson models came in either a fastback (Brougham and sedan) or notchback design (convertibles and coupes). The new cars looked huge, but they were only 1/2 inch longer than the 1947 models, yet almost seven inches lower and about 41/2 inches wider. It was a visual illusion that made the cars look so much more massive, a combination of the aforementioned bodyside styling treatment and the extra width and lower height. The extra body width created a larger interior space than most of the competition could claim, something Hudson liked to tout in advertising, boasting of its "16 inch wide rear seat center armrest, with room for two arms."
Styling features, aside from those previously mentioned, included a new version of the 1947 full-width horizontal-style grille, without the center indentation. A large grille bar on the bottom and a larger top bar across the front of the hood held three thinner bars spaced between them. A vertical bar was centered on the grille, with the top portion forming the enlarged hood emblem. Rectangular parking lamps were placed directly below the headlamps, between the lower grille bar and the bumper filler pan.
Around back everything was curved and smooth, with two small vertical taillamps mounted on the ends of the rear quarter panel, and the requisite decklid ornament and nameplates on the trunk. Back up front, the windshield was of a curved, two-piece design. Side windows were large and provided excellent outward vision for the time, among the best in the class. To further accentuate the long and low lines, the bodyside feature line was the breaking point for optional two-tone combinations. There truly was nothing else on the road that looked as modern as the 1948 Hudson.
Under the hood, an all-new 6-cylinder engine was introduced for Hudson Super Six and Commodore Six models. Fifty cubic inches larger than before, with 20 more horsepower, the new Hudson 6 models quickly became a hit with drivers at racetracks everywhere. They would soon become the favorites at the fledgling NASCAR events and at many other racetracks across the country. The only model change for the new season was the Commodore Eight Convertible now being available as a Commodore Six model also. All convertible models were introduced late in the season, during August 1948, which accounts for their low production numbers this year.