The Hummer H1 Alpha is a civilian vehicle based on the M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), popularly known as the Humvee, which was created by AM General. The vehicle was produced from 1992 through 2006.
Originally released in the civilian market in 1992, the Hummer H1 owes its birth to the popularity of photos from Operation Desert Storm and the enthusiastic campaign from actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who personally owns several variants of Hummer vehicles. GM announced that 2006 would be the last model year for the Hummer H1 with production winding down in June 2006, due to a new emission laws for Diesel engine vehicles which take effect in 2007. No version of the Hummer H1 ever produced would meet these new standards. AM General currently has orders for an excess of 50,000 new HMMWVs to be produced between 2006-2009 for the United States Military. AM General also will continue to produce the H1, just not the Alpha. These vehicles will be sold through Fleet sales. The next H1 will most-likely bear a refined version of the prior 6.5L Turbo Diesel engine, but that has not been confirmed. Selling the H1’s through fleet sales will allow the AM General to not be subjected to the new emission rules and regulations. AM General has sufficient fleet orders to produce 600-800 units per year right now. The Hummer H1 failed every single government emissions test it had ran. Until a special filter was placed within the exhaust system reducing harmful emissions by 63%. The EPA tried desperately to stop the H1 from being released, but General Motors insisted that their diesel-powered vehicle to go into mass-production. GM and the Environmental Protection Agency went to the United States Supreme Court. The pollution from the H1 was so severe that it was 25 times more polluting than the most pollutive automobile before it, the Chevrolet Impala.
The Hummer H1 has three common variants: a convertible-like soft top, a four-door hard top pickup truck and a Wagon body version. Other less known variants includes a two-door pickup truck and a four-door slant back. At this time, the convertible/soft top and the station wagon versions are the only ones available in the mass market. The two door and four door pickup versions are only available in fleet livery.
Currently, five engine types and three automatic transmission types can be found in Hummer H1s. The common engine/transmission combinations are:
6.2 L Detroit Diesel V8/GM TH400/3L80 3-speed
6.5 L Detroit Diesel V8/GM 4L80-E 4-speed
5.7 L Vortec 5700 gasoline V8 TBI/GM 4L80-E 4-speed
6.5 L TurboDetroit Diesel V8/GM 4L80-E 4-speed
6.6 L Duramax LLY Turbo Diesel/Allison 1000 5-speed (model year 2006)
The Hummer H1 shares some common driveline parts with its HMMWV brethren. Items like brakes, differentials, frame and major body panels (hood, tailgate and quarter panels) are identical between the HMMWV and the Hummer H1. All Hummer H1s and HMMWVs come off the same first stage assembly line, and then are separated midway to either become a military HMMWV or a civilian H1.
Hummer H1s are unique in the way they handle off road. They are inherently very stable, thanks to their wide stance. They also can ford 30 inches (76 cm) of water, climb a 22-inch (56 cm) step, have a stock ground clearance of 16 inches (41 cm) (thanks to its design of tucking driveline components inside a channel, which subsequently intrudes into the cabin space of the vehicle), have approach/departure angles of 72/37.5 degrees and most H1s are equipped with Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS), which enables the driver to increase or decrease the tire air pressure at will.
Hummer H1s have many unusual features. They use inboard brakes. They have geared hubs, allowing the drivetrain’s half shafts to be up high for greater clearance. The radiator is up high, sloping back over the engine. Rather than using simple runflat tires, aluminum or rubber inserts are an optional feature for runflat ability. A central tire inflation system is available as an option. Chemical warfare resistant paint is available only on the military version.
An extensively reengineered H1 powered by GM’s Duramax Diesel and 5-speed Allison transmission. The old version of the HUMMER H1 with the 6.5L "Optimizer" turbo-diesel engine was struggling to leave the dealer forecourt. In 2002, the CEO of AM General (Jim Armor) took the idea of re-powering the famous H1 to GM Executives including Bob Lutz and the GM Luxury Vehicle committee. GM soon approved the use of their Duramax and Allison powertrain for the H1 truck. This would support the continuation of the H1 as the grand-daddy of the HUMMER portfolio and it would allow AM General to give the truck a much needed dose of updating in terms of power, torque, refinement and the ability to meet 2004MY Heavy Duty EPA Emissions requirements.
The update program commenced in late 2002 with production launch slated to be fall of 2004. The engineering team quickly chose the engine variant out of the GMT560 truck (the C4500 Duramax) because it packaged better into the H1 engine bay. None the less, 23 engine component changes were required and the team had to do a 2.5 inch body lift to accommodate the taller Duramax engine and it’s turbo-housing. The GMT560 engine calibration was used with little modification, to give 300Hp and 520 Ft/Lbs of torque. Because the Duramax engine has cooled EGR and an internal engine oil cooler, the teams had to deal with a big 40% heat rejection increase to engine coolant but were unable to increase the size of the cooling pack between the air-lift brackets that protrude from the hood. This meant dramatically re-engineering the fan system, putting the fan directly under the coolpack and driving it through a new special gearbox, directly off the crankshaft damper pulley. Several other cooling system modifications were required to assist with cold-starting from minus 30 Fahrenheit.
Other major modifications included the use of s special high-strength steel in the chassis frame, a new more powerful steering gear, revised quieter axle differentials, the re-design of the geared hubs to use better quieter helical gears, a new induction, exhaust and electrical power system and some re-engineering of the fuel supply and filtration system.
Off-road, the much higher torque of the engine combined with a lower gearing ratio (about 44.5 to 1 in low lock) made the truck an awesome beast. The Duramax delivers peak torque low down in the rev range and the team actually had to calibrate in torque management to protect certain driveline parts. This new torque profile coupled with centralized tire inflation and AM Generals new interior resulted in the complete re-engineering of everything except the carry-over body made of aluminum beams and panels.
The program was cancelled after MY06 because GM made a decision to withdraw its technical and financial support to future model year engineering.
Price is projected to be around US$129,399 for the open-top, and US$140,796 for the wagon. Purchases of new Hummers are tax deductible.
In 1990, before the H1 was sold to the public, and even before Operation: Desert Storm, AM General tested two matching white H1s by entering them in the "London To Peking Motor Challenge", a car rally consisting largely of vintage automobiles. The H1s performed flawlessly, traversing the rough roads and desert heat of central Asia with ease and even performing stunts like climbing sand dunes in the Gobi Desert for the amusement of local villagers. Highlights of the drive were broadcast in the United States on ESPN.
In 2003, there were only 10,877 Hummer H1s in existence.
In 2004, GM sold 447 Hummer H1s
In 2005, GM sold 374 Hummer H1s
Crawl ratio of the old 6.5L H1 was 35.35:1. The H1 Alpha is now 44.5:1.
The Hummer H1 uses front brake calipers from the AMC Eagle, steering column from the Ford LTD, ignition key set from the Ford Escort, armrests from the Jeep Cherokee, and seats from Isringhausen.
The Hummer H1’s exterior is a combination of SMC fiberglass (for the hood) steel, and aluminum. Its body panels are bonded together with a combination of rivets, bolts and cyanoacrylic (ie, Superglue) adhesives.
It is featured in the Playstation 2 game Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition and Dub Edition Remix and the PC Game: Need For Speed : Underground.
In Pixar’s 2006 film Cars, Arnold Schwarzeneger voices a cameo starring an anthromorphic Hummer H1 known as "The Governator".
The Hummer H1 is easier to drive than you might think, but there’s no mistaking it for anything other than one of the most capable four-wheel-drive vehicles on the planet