2003 H2 New Car Test Drive
It all started as a military vehicle in the late 1970s. Since then, AM General has built more than 175,000 HMWWV, Humvee, or Hummer H1 vehicles.
Now comes the Hummer H2. It Is built at a brand-new factory in Indiana that's a duplicate of other General Motors plants. In effect, it is a GM plant. GM now owns all marketing rights to the Hummer brand, and contracts with AM General to build the new Hummer H2 using the GM worldwide production system.
The Hummer 2 is actually longer and taller than the original H1, but doesn't look it. The H2 represents an impressive production achievement: In just 16 months from the go signal, the Hummer H2 was designed, engineered and tested, and the new factory was built. It's a serious off-road SUV built on GM's superb T800 truck platform, which is shared with the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe SUVs and the Chevy Silverado pickups, plus the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Avalanche, GMC Sierra and Yukons, and other vehicles.
But this isn't just a gussied-up Suburban. The H2 boasts unique Hummer engineering and attributes and offers truly impressive off-road capabilities. And unlike the H1, it provides occupants with a luxurious interior that's comfortable and convenient. Its size and design makes suitable for everyday use.
Only one model, the Hummer H2 or Hummer 2, is available initially. It's available in a small but interesting palette of colors, from black to yellow, with a substantial option list.
Factory options are limited to sunroof, air suspension, towing package, Warn electric winch, leather upholstery, and a handful of others. However, the Hummer accessory catalog boasts more than 40 items, ranging from light bars to grille bars to tubular step plates to bike racks and cargo boxes for 300 pounds. Of course, there's Hummer apparel, and there's even a folding Hummer bicycle.
The Adventure package of air suspension, a first aid kit, tool kit and Maglite flashlight, luggage rack, 6-disc CD changer and carpeted floor mats, is $2215. The Lux package includes leather heated front seats, chrome appearance package, tubular assist steps, 6-dsic CD changer, and carpeted floor mats for $2575. Individual options include a third-row seat at $500, air suspension by itself for $1025, a front brush guard at $525, the chrome package for $700, the combination first aid, tool and flashlight kit at $215, heated leather seats alone for $1400, and $995 for the industry's largest SUV sunroof.
You can count on a future filled with pickup models, convertible models, two-seaters with huge beds, GM's convert-a-bed technology (used on the Chevy Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT). We may see rear-wheel steering, along with versions powered by hybrid gas-electric engines and diesels.