So when is the beast coming? Hummer will enter the Australian market with its midsize H3 SUV next year. The announcement was made by GM Holden Executive Director Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alan Batey, at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.
The first H3s will begin arriving in Australia in mid-2007. Those vehicles will be built at GM’s Port Elizabeth facility in South Africa. Earlier this month that plant began assembling the H3 for sale in South Africa and certain export markets. Both left-hand and right-hand drive models will be manufactured there.
Initially, the H3 will be available in Australia with a 3.7-litre inline five-cylinder petrol engine, producing peak power of 180kW @ 5600rpm and peak torque of 328Nm@4600rpm. A diesel version could also be offered at a later date. Full details regarding the distribution network and pricing are yet to be finalised.
“HUMMER’s pedigree is ideally suited to Australia’s diverse and challenging off road environments. The H3 is designed to deal with extreme conditions which local off-roaders enjoy and seek out,” Mr Batey said.“Given the H3’s midsize proportions, which are comparable to popular medium and large SUVs in Australia, it is equally at home on city and suburban roads.
“HUMMER has developed a passionate following because of its unmatched style and capability. The H3 extends that appeal by making the brand accessible to a broader range of potential owners.
“That is what makes H3 the perfect model to introduce HUMMER in Australia.”
HUMMER H3 overview
The H3 delivers authentic HUMMER style and off-road capability in a more accessible, midsize package. It can navigate city traffic and also deliver HUMMER’s trademark crawling and climbing capability.
The H3 is powered by the 3.7-litre Vortec 3700 five-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing. Specifically designed for this type of vehicle, the Vortec 3700 offers an excellent combination of power and efficiency.
H3 will offer an MA5 five-speed manual transmission or 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, depending on specification. The H3 achieves fuel economy under the US EPA city/highway measurement of 15/20 miles per gallon for the manual and 15/19 miles per gallon for the automatic. Fuel efficiency testing under the relevant Australian Design Rule will be carried out in due course.
The H3’s electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system features traction control, underbody shielding and StabiliTrak control system. Safety features include roof rail-mounted side curtain air bags and rollover protection system.
Among its off-road capabilities, the H3 can ford 407mm of water at 32km/h or 610mm streams at an 8 km/h pace, 407mm vertical steps and rocks, and make its way through deep sand and race over sandy surfaces.
H3’s size provides advantages such as an 11.3 m turning circle which is comparable to relevant SUV segment leaders. The 216mm ground clearance and maximum break-over angle of 23.5 degrees make it possible to clear large obstacles in off-road driving.
Serious off-road performance is aided by the maximum approach angle of 37.5 degrees and maximum departure angle of 34.6 degrees.
In addition to its uncompromised off-road capabilities, the H3 also provides the refinement, comfort and convenience required for enjoyable driving.
H3’s bold looks make it readily identifiable as a HUMMER. Features such as its wide track width, short overhangs and huge tires provide stability, outstanding ground clearance and quick rock-climbing capability in off-road driving.
The H3’s flat, chiseled surfaces, upright windshield and windows, signature seven-slot louvered grille, round headlamps housed inside square openings, and pronounced fender flares are all pure HUMMER.
More details will be provided when H3 is released in Australia next year.
The H3 made its debut in North America in May 2005, and helped make HUMMER the fastest growing automotive brand in the United States.
The H3 has made the HUMMER brand more accessible with its smaller, more efficient package, while still retaining all of the characteristics that make a HUMMER unique, such as iconic design and unparalleled off-road performance.
The H3 has proven so popular that through September this year, HUMMER’s total global sales were up by 54 per cent. H3 comprised the majority of that volume in the U.S. and other countries.
H3 sales were up 120 per cent compared to the first nine months of 2005. In North America alone, H3 sales for 2006 have grown 53.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2005.
In Europe, where the H3 went on sale in the summer of 2005, that vehicle’s sales were up more than 200 per cent. Within the Latin America, Africa and Middle East region, the HUMMER brand saw an increase of more than 450 per cent overall.
Last year, in total 56,353 HUMMER vehicles were sold globally. Since the first H2 went on sale in 2002, the brand has experienced annual sales increases in three of four years.
“We’re energized about our global expansion plans,” noted Martin Walsh, general manager for the HUMMER brand. “We intend to broaden the HUMMER portfolio with new models that maintain HUMMER’s trademark iconic design and superior off-road capabilities.”