The behemoth is leaving but I was really glad I was able to spend some time in it. As of right now the Hummer H1 Alpha is the only way to purchase a H1. The old diesel and 4-speed automatic are now things of the past. This also means the price of entry to get into a 2006 H1 has jumped to $129,389 for the open top and $139,771 for the Metallic Black wagon that I drove.
Officially there was no 2005 H1. The 2004 model year carried over into 2005 until the 2006 Alpha dropped into dealerships. I?m not sure if Hummer plans on making a non-Alpha H1 available for sale but as of right now, this is it. Not like I?m complaining about what the Alpha has done for the H1 line. For those that were familiar with the 2004 H1 capabilities here?s a look at what the new powertrain has really improved for 2006.
I talked about the greater power of the excellent DuraMax Diesel engine with 46% more horsepower (300) and 18% more torque (520 lb-ft). This helps to improve the Alpha?s 0-60 times to 13.5 seconds. It seems like a really long time, but the truck doesn?t give you that helpless feeling when pulling out into traffic. You have to look for a bigger hole when you merge, but it?s not like they can?t see you.
The Allison 5-speed transmission makes the upgrade worthwhile. The lower gears, thanks to one extra, keeps the truck at its best power range when driving slow and climbing. It has increased the H1?s crawl ratio 25% to 41.5:1. The engine and transmission combination help increase the H1 Alpha?s driving range to around 600 miles and the towing weight goes up 18%. The tow/haul mode in the Allison also helps with any towing duties.
Another word on climbing: If you missed the comments on yesterday?s post, Tom L asked a very logical question, ?How does the Hummer climb a 22 inch vertical wall with 16 inches of ground clearance?? Thanks to a prior H1 owner Dustin Tarditi with the answer showing the Hummer was built for function. ?There is a bevel in the leading edge in front of the rear wheel specifically for this? you approach the obstacle at a 45 degree angle - there is some technique to it, but seeing it perform this ?parlor trick? first-hand is pretty cool.? I thank Dustin and those at www.humvee.net.
The Alpha also benefits from larger brake rotors, 12 inch all around, to help stop the 8,100-pound truck. That pretty much sums up the Alpha changes. Of course all interior changes that the 2004 H1 received carries over in the Alpha. You can read more about the interior on Day 2.
Your only factory options include the Off Road Adventure Pack that adds a 12,000 Warn winch, the ELocker front and rear differentials and 17-inch aluminum 2 piece wheels. You can choose to upgrade the tires to a very tough 37x12.5R17 ?E? Goodyear Wrangler tires with Durawall puncture protection. Of course there are plenty of accessories available from Hummer that makes storage and towing even easier.
At the end of the week I was completely surprised how quickly this low and fast musclecar driver became comfortable driving this truck. Without getting onto the soapbox, the Hummer H1 Alpha coexisted well with the rest of the automotive landscape as long as the driver takes the responsibility in piloting the truck. One warning for anyone contemplating a possible H1 purchase; be prepared to be gawked at, to give people rides and to take pictures of them in front of your truck. Happy trails H1 Alpha.