The Hummer is the closest thing that General Motors can come up to the Jeep. It should be remembered that GM has been trying to build a vehicle that can match Chrysler’s Jeep and so far the best that they can build is the Hummer. Unfortunately, what supposed to be a competition has ended in forming two distinct classes headed separately by Jeep and Hummer.
The Hummer and the Jeep are distinct from each other not only with the obvious exterior features but also with its auto components starting from the complex down to parts like Jeep ignition coil from that of the Hummer’s own version of ignition coil. But both vehicles are remarkable machines that are worth checking out.
Recently Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, global product development, unveiled a prototype right hand drive H3 during the opening ceremony of their new Hummer facility in Manchester, UK.
GM is hoping that Hummer’s iconic design and unparalleled off-road capabilities would appeal to a wide audience globally. Lutz said that they are determined to build upon the brand’s unique recognition in Europe and most especially in the UK.
The right hand drive Hummer H3 will be built at GM’s Struandale plant in South Africa and will be made available in other right-hand-drive markets like those of Japan, Australia, and South Africa.
It can be remembered that it was in late 1999 when General Motors acquired the Hummer brand. It was only in May 2005 that the H3 made its debut in North America which helped the Hummer brand to become one of the fastest growing truck brands in the United States by the end of 2006. The H3 with its smaller, more efficient package makes it accessible to more customers.
In addition to the growth in the United States, Hummer was also able to expand to other parts of the world. And by 2006, Hummer was able to obtain an approximately 34 percent sales growth globally translated to 82,000 delivered vehicles compared to the 61,000 figure achieved in 2005. This performance was further strengthened by the new Hummer H3.
All the previous H3s were assembled in General Motors North American facility in Shreveport, Louisiana however the new international H3, intended for markets outside North America are assembled at the Struandale Assembly facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where GM was said to have invested more than $100 million to prepare for production of the H3.
The Hummer H3
From the start the Hummer vehicles have created a class of their own characterized by extreme style and capability unparalleled by its competition. The latest addition to the Hummer family is the H3 which is designed to answer the demand from global markets for a premium everyday driving vehicle but at the same time maintains that legendary Hummer performance.
The H3 was designed for global distribution and was built in South Africa. The H3 embodies the brand’s unique styling features and iconic shape. Plus its premium interior design and 3.7 liter engine is offered with the choice of a manual or automatic transmission and a full-time four-wheel-drive system.
H3 is also loaded with original Hummer style and capability which boost its compact dimensions. But compared to the Hummer H2, the H3 is 39 mm shorter, 171 mm lower and 73 mm narrower. Although roughly the same length as the larger family saloon, the H3 is remarkable in navigating through traffic and yet still maintains its prowess when it comes to crawling and climbing capability off-road.
The 4782 mm long Hummer H3 is powered by GM’s Vortec 3.7 liter engine which revs up 242hp/180kW at 5600 rpm and 328 Nm of torque at 4600 rpm. It also comes with dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing. The H3 is the first Hummer ever to offer the choice of a manual or an automatic transmission.
The H3’s Hydra-Matic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission and the five-speed manual transmission provides it with ultimate driver control. At the heart of the H3 is its electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system which is amplified with traction control, an optional rear differential and StabiliTrak control which is offered as standard feature. The H3 can cross 407 mm deep water at 32 km/h or 610 mm deep streams at an 8 km/h pace plus climbed 407 mm vertical steps or rocks.
Lastly, the H3’s more compact size increases it maneuverability making it easy to park or to make tight turns when off-roading.