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Exploring - Hummer H2 - form follows function
or Urban Intimidation on Wheels

The original Hummer is a somewhat huge go-anywhere beast that has been popular with tech community hardcore offroaders for a while now.

Here we have a look at the Hummer H2 which is smaller and appreciably less expensive. In London, England where we looked at this one, the original Hummer is just too big for the roads and none have been imported. The main mods to the H2 for European use are the lights and wiring loom. The LHD steering is unaltered.

The first thing you see is the tough functionality of the design. Boys of all ages seem to instinctively like it a lot! More surprising to us was the fact that females were attracted to it as well. In these parts some of the attraction is the rarity as hardly anyone has seen one before.

Getting up into the H2 is like getting into a small truck and once you're behind the wheel you certainly feel like you own the road. The LHD isn't a problem as visibility is so good. It feels a little like you're steering from the upper level of a London double-decker bus as you can see over most things around you.

The model we rode in had leather seats and a sober but comfy interior which included a big, leather padded steering wheel. All guages and controls are chunky and feel like they should last a fair while. The thing is built for extreme off-roading so I imagine that those owners who don't ever manage to get off the road will have their vehicles last into their dotage.

The power is from a six litre (364 cubic inch) V8 with 316 hp at 5200 rpm and 360 pound feet of torque at 4000 rpm. It's base weight is 6400 lbs but still ... it do get along quite smartly. 4WD is two range, full time, and automatically controlled. The steering is power assisted and the drive is automatic. The wheels are 17in by 8.5 and have fairly enormous boots on them so the power assist is essential.

Once under way the thing that impresses after you've got used to the fact that it moves along very well is how nice and taut the suspension is. Anyone who's driven some of the more powerfull, robust 4WDs, will know that slightly sinking feeling of wondering which way the thing is going to lurch next when it's travelling at even moderate speeds. The H2 by comparison feels like a sportscar with a nice feel and firmness to the suspension that nevertheless leaves your tooth fillings intact.

There are a stack of official options which include all sorts of racks, lights, bull bars, security chest and even a foldable mountain bike. At the Hummer website you can also do things like choose a colour (yellow is good!) and see what the vehicle looks like.

Expensive? It's not cheap but it's not the price of a house either. In England the standard version compares with the price of a slightly modded Range Rover and I think that's true in the USA as well. Insurance is better than you might think and anecdotal evidense has it that it's less vandal-prone than, say, a Range Rover.

Thanks to American Car Imports in North London where you can buy H2s as well as a range of pickups and other vehicles in the UK.
Hummer site
models etc at hummerstuff.com

Some specs ...

Engine/Motor 

*	V8 6.0 liter with cast iron block, 
    cast aluminum cylinder heads, 
    sequential fuel injection 
*	Displacement: 364 in. 
*	Bore and stroke: 4.00 x 3.62 in. 
*	Valvetrain: OHV 
*	Compression ratio: 9.4:1 
*	Horsepower: 316 @ 5200 rpm (SAE hp) 
*	Torque: 360lb.-ft @ 4000 rpm


Drivetrain 

*	2-speed electronically controlled full-time 4WD 
 
*	Gear ratios (:1): 
*	1st 3.06 
*	2nd 1.62 
*	3rd 1.00 
*	4th 0.69 
*	Rev. 2.29 


Trailering Capacity: 6500 lbs.


Brakes 

*	4-wheel disc, 4-wheel/4-channel ABS, dual piston 
    calipers with Dynamic Rear Proportioning 
 
Wheel size and type 

*	17.0 x 8.5 cast aluminum 
*	LT315/70R-17 all-terrain tires 
*	Full size spare tire 

Weights & Capacities 

*	GVWR Standard: 8600lbs. 
*	Base Curb Weight: 6400lbs. 
*	Trailer towing maximum: 6500lbs. 
*	Winch capacity: 9000lbs. 
*	Fuel tank capacity: 32 gal. 

DIMENSIONS 
Length and Wheelbase 

*	Wheelbase: 122.8in. 
*	Overall Vehicle Length: 189.8in. 
 
Height and Width 

*	Vehicle width excluding mirrors: 81.2in. 
*	Overall Vehicle Height @ curb weight: 82in./77.8in. 
(with and without roof rack) 
*	Front and Rear Tread Width: 69.4in. 
 
Tread 

*	Tread (front): 69.4in. 
*	Tread (rear): 69.4in. 
 
Overhangs 

*	Front Overhang: 32.6in. 
*	Rear Overhang: 34.6in. 
 
 	
EXTERIOR FEATURES 
Protection 

*	Heavy duty hood   
*	Galvanized zinc coating 
*	Black composite wheelhouse liners 
*	Black molded wheel flares 
*	Full skid-plate protection   
*	Rocker panel protection  

Climate Control 

*	Dual zone heating, ventilation and A/C units 
 
Stereo System 

*	Single disc, front-loading CD/cassette music center 
*	Optional 6-disc front-loading CD changer 
*	9 Bose(R) speakers 
*	AudioPilot(TM) noise compensation technology 
*	Theftlock(R) 
*	Radio Data Systems technology (RDS) 
*	Rear seat audio controls with headphone jacks 
   (allows 2nd row passengers to listen to separate 
   audio sources) 
 
Cockpit Features 

*	Driver Information Center 
*	Leather wrapped steering wheel 
    with secondary audio controls 
*	Leather wrapped gear shifter handle 
 





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