You may wonder what the differences are between HUMMER H3 and its first two incarnations. For starters, the H3 is has a Vortec 3.5L inline cylinder engine that can give 220 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 225 lb.-ft. of torque at 2800 rpm. The HUMMER H3 gets approximately 20 MPG and comes with either a manual or an automatic transmission -- the first time buyers have had a choice.
The HUMMER H3 also has 4-wheel drive with a fully locking rear differential. Underbody shielding, traction control, and GM’s StabiliTrak vehicle-stability enhancement system make it even more reliable and safe. The new HUMMER H3 can make it through 16 inches of water that’s flowing at 20 mph, or 24 inches of water running 5 mph. GM also claims the HUMMER H3 will climb 16-inch steps and rocks, and offers two kinds of tires – a Bridgestone 33-inch tire or a Goodyear 32-inch, all-terrain tire.
Then there are the optional interior features – heated leather seats, front bucket seats and 60/40 split rear seats, an electric sliding sunroof, DVD-based navigation radio, four audio systems compatible with GM’s OnStar system and the XM satellite radio, power windows and door locks with lockout protection, an electric rear window defogger, outside power-adjustable manual folding rearview mirrors, a self-dimming rearview mirror with compass and outside temperature indicator, and three 12-volt, covered auxiliary power outlets, two located in front and one in the cargo area.
HUMMER H3’s 4-wheel drive system is the Borg-Warner two-speed, electrically controlled, full-time 4-wheel drive system with a 2.64:1 ratio of low-range gear reduction; there's also an alternate version with a 4.03:1 ratio for the ultimate control on obstacle-climbing. Both versions have many operating modes for all driving situations.
The HUMMER H3 has more off-road capabilities than the H1 and H2, with a 37-foot turning cycle, 9.1-inch ground clearance, a 25-degree maximum breakover angle when 33-inch tires are used, a maximum approach angle of 40 degrees and a maximum departure angle of 37 degrees.
When it comes to frame and suspension, the HUMMER H3 has a modular three-piece frame for enhanced strength. The front is an independent torsion bar suspension, same as the rear, which uses semi-elliptical leaf springs. Standard equipment includes skid plates for protection of the steering links, and HUMMER offers optional chassis-bottled rocker panel protectors.
The H3 features ABS traction control and breaking systems, and pinion steering with 17:1 ratio. Its anti-lock breaking system uses Dynamic Rear Proportioning to aid in controlling the rear breaking in panic-stop situations. Traction and controls of the H3 work in combination with the engine controls and breaking system to provide maximum traction with minimum wheel spin regardless of the conditions.
The exterior highlights of the HUMMER H3; include a rear swing gate with fixed glass, plus a standard rear wiper and defogger. And, first ever from HUMMER, the H3 features a swing gate-mounted spare to maximize interior cargo space. The H3 also offers stamped-steel front and rear bumper bars, standard front tow hooks and welded-on rear bumper recovery hooks.
The new HUMMER H3 is also loaded with safety features, including a reinforced passenger compartment safety cage; a fully welded, ladder-type frame to enhance crash performance and off-road capabilities; a standard front dual airbag system, optional rail-mounted, side-curtain air bags, daytime running lamps, remote keyless entry, battery rundown protection, an electronic tire pressure monitoring system and an anti-theft vehicle security system.
The new HUMMER H3 may not create the same splash as the H1 and H2, but it's a vehicle that lets you maneuver in heavy city traffic and still has promising off-road capabilities.
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Hummers were originally built by AM General Corporation, formerly the military and government vehicle division of American Motors, in its South Bend, Indiana assembly plant. AM General had planned to sell a civilian version of the Hummer as far back as the late 1980s. In 1990, two matching white Hummers were driven from London to Beijing over the rough roads of central Soviet Union. The Hummers made the trip with ease, for they were built to drive on off-road terrain. The highlights of this journey were broadcast in the United States on ESPN. This publicity would pale in comparison to the attention that the HMMWV received for its service in the following year. In 1995, AM General began selling a civilian version of the M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Hum-Vee) vehicle to the public under the brand name "Hummer". According to legend, they began doing so after Arnold Schwarzenegger asked them to; apparently, he was impressed by a convoy of HMMWV's that drove by during his filming Kindergarten Cop in 1992. In 1998, AM General sold the brand name to General Motors but continued to manufacture the vehicles. GM is responsible for the marketing and distribution of all Hummers produced by AM General. In the next few years, GM introduced two new homegrown models, the H2 and H3, and renamed the original vehicle H1. AM General continues to build the H1 and is contracted by GM to produce the H2. The H3 is built in Shreveport, LA alongside the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups. As of 2006, Hummer has gone international with selected importers and distributors in Europe and other markets. Since October 10, 2005, GM has been producing the Hummer H3 at its Port Elizabeth plant in South Africa for international markets. Hummers at the Port Elizabeth plant will be built both for local South African consumption and for export to Australia (for the 2008 model year), Europe, the Middle East, and Japan. As of October 2006, Hummer vehicles are marketed by about 300 dealers in 34 countries. 173 of those are in the U.S. The H2 is also assembled in Kaliningrad, Russia, by Avtotor, starting in June 2004. The plant produces a few hundred vehicles annually, and its output is limited to local consumption (five dealers in Russia initially). On May 12 2006, GM announced it would cease production of the original H1 Hummer. GM CEO Rick Wagoner has said the Hummer brand of trucks will run on Biofuels
Hummer H1 vs. HMMWV
The Hummer H1 is basically a HMMWV built for civilian use; it, obviously, has no armor or weapons fittings. However, the drive-train, frame, body, suspension, etc., are exactly the same. The H1 differs from the HMMWV in having a civilian interior, including trim, comfortable seats, stereo, and air conditioning as standard options. As a result of its commercial use, features introduced in the civilian Hummer have been incorporated into improved military versions. The H1's electrical system is 12 volts, with the two batteries wired in parallel. The HMMWV runs off a 24V system, where the two batteries are run in series to generate 24 volts.
Since all Hummer vehicles have heavy-duty capabilities better than many other SUVs, they've been employed by owners for aid in large disaster situations. Hummer Owners Prepared for Emergencies (HOPE) was created by the efforts of The Hummer Club, INC. and the American Red Cross. Together, the two organizations train Hummer owners with CPR and First Aid skills, and basic off-highway skills so that they may assist victims during a disaster situation. Although the HOPE program was originally meant to be a nationwide initiative, it hasn't achieved that goal. Very few Hummer owners have received the training and all but a few have never been called to assist, even during the Katrina disaster. Larger Hummer clubs with more efficient organizational structures are leaving the bogged-down HOPE program behind in favor of quickly developed local collaborations with law enforcement, fire, search and rescue and civil air patrol squadrons.
Throughout the US, and international markets, there are groups of Hummer enthusiasts. They use the vehicles for off-road driving and recreation.
Team Hummer Racing was created in 1996 and showcases the Hummer's unique abilities. The team has won numerous off-highway racing titles. The latest was the SCORE International Las Vegas Primm 303, where Rod Hall led an H4 to stock mini class victory. He finished 30 minutes ahead of the closest competitor.
GM has been very active and effective in licensing the Hummer. Various companies have licensed the Hummer trademarks for use on colognes, flashlights, bicycles, shoes, coats, hats, skateboards, laptops, apparel, jewelry, CD players and other items.
Hummers receive constant criticism about fuel economy. For instance, the H2 gets about 10 MPG, highway, (6 mpg street), large size, high maintenance cost, and potentially-destructive use as off-road vehicles. Hummers have been depicted by environmentalists as excessively damaging. In August of 2006, McDonald's rolled out Happy Meals that included toy Hummers. This promotional effort, seen to combine unhealthy fast food with excess oil consumption, was featured at several prominent blogs like Daily Kos, AdFreak, and others following development of at least one parody site by the Environmental Working Group. In 2003, Joshua Thomas Connole was arrested for a series of vandalism attacks on Hummer dealerships in West Covina, California. Connole, a member of the Earth Liberation Front, also decorated the crime scenes with environmentalist slogans. One dealership was set ablaze, destroying dozens of vehicles in an act of "eco-terrorism". The Hummer remains a symbol, in some quarters, for material excess and unsustainable consumption.
Hummers in popular culture
Denver Broncos starting cornerback Darrent Williams was shot dead in a stretch Hummer on January 1, 2006.The videogames Grand Theft Auto 3 and GTA: Vice City both feature obvious clones of the H1, called Patriots. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was the first private citizen to own a Hummer and continues to own several. During his 2003 bid for Governor, he responded to environmental critics that not only was he the first civilian to own a Hummer, but he'd at his own expense successfully converted at least one of his Hummers into a Hydrogen vehicle. Throughout 1999-2000, World Championship Wrestling storylines revolved around the "Mysterious Hummer Driver" who wreaked havoc through the main event scene. It involved popular wrestlers such as Sting (wrestler), Rick Steiner, Macho Man Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Kevin Nash, and writer/booker Vince Russo. The storyline was referred to repeatedly throughout the two years but was never resolved by the time the company went out of business in 2001 to rival promoter, Vince McMahon, and World Wrestling Entertainment. In the car chase scene in The Rock, Sean Connery's character drives a Hummer H1. Hummer H2s can be seen on . The investigators, most notably Horatio Caine, drive them to the crime scenes. The character Vincent Chase on the HBO television series Entourage owns a yellow H2, although in a recent episode, he gave it to his former head of security as part of a severance package. Rock star Neil Young drives a Hummer that's run on alternative biodiesel fuel. Nearly a decade before the Hummer was available to the general public, Car and Driver named the Humvee as the #1 vehicle to own in New York City, citing its ability to handle uneven terrain. The protagonists of the film Bad Boys 2 steal a yellow H2 from the villains to make their escape, driving it through the villains' exploding Cuban mansion, and then through a shanty town on the side of a mountain, demolishing part of the town as the vehicle crashes through the flimsy structures. Several customized H2s are used by Darius and his crew when trying to reach the US Capitol Building in . Uncle Jimbo from South Park drives an H-1 and the H-2 appears in several episodes of South Park. In Gone in 60 Seconds, the team has to steal a purple Hummer. They give a name to every car they steal with the name 'Tracy' given to the Hummer. A FoxTrot storyline featured Roger test-driving a "Humbler", a parody of the Hummer with extremely exaggerated characteristics (the tires alone were about twice Roger's height, it got fuel economy ratings of 25/31 (city/highway) meters per gallon and apparently has a greater mass than the Earth itself) Family Guy featured a flashback where a man is driving a Hummer on the highway while watching Madagascar on DVD. He cuts someone off, causing cars behind him to crash and explode. In Hey Arnold episode "Arnold's Halloween" Big Bob Pattaki (Helga and Olga's father) drives a Hummer H1. In the episode "A Line In The Sand" a driverless H1 stalks the rangers and transports them to a desert wasteland. In The Simpsons episode "Marge Simpson in: "Screaming Yellow Honkers"", Marge drives a "Canyonero", a thinly-veiled parody of a Hummer. The Hummer H2 is available to be purchased and able to be driven in the video game Need for Speed Underground 2. It can also be raced in several races in the game. In the 2001 film "Exit Wounds" Latrell Walker (DMX) and T.K. Johnson (Anthony Anderson) drive a Hummer H1.
There are three current and possibly two future models in the Hummer line:Hummer H1 Hummer H2 Hummer H2 SUT Hummer H3 Hummer H3t Hummer H3xHummer H4