AM General considers selling Humvee kits

Hummer H1The Hummer H1 hasn’t stalked the land since 2006, and now the military is phasing out its progenitor, the High Mobility Multi Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or “Humvee”). Still, off-road enthusiasts who can still afford to fill up Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite ride could be in luck. Humvee maker AM General is considering selling the trucks in kit form.

The kits would be based on the stripped-out, military-grade Humvee, not the civilian Hummer H1. That means the trucks will have bare metal interiors (not that the H1’s plasticky interior was anything to write home about), no audio, and no amenities.

The kit, which says will be called the C-Series, may not have an engine, either. Like most other kit cars, buyers will need to source their own engine and transmission. This would allow AM General to exclude the Humvee/C-Series from regulations for complete cars, so it wouldn’t have to pass the same crash or emissions tests.

Military-spec Humvees use a 6.5-liter turbo-diesel V8 from General Motors, coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission. That combination is good for 190 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. Civilian Hummers were sold with more modern Duramax turbo-diesels, varying in power depending on model year. An H1 Alpha model sported 300 hp and 520 lb-ft.

Theoretically, buyers could swap in other engines as they please. However, AM General mounted the Humvee’s engine far back in the chassis for better weight distribution, which could make installing a non-OEM powerplant difficult.

Hummerguy also says that AM General will offer accessories like skid plates, central tire inflation, a heated windshield, and a 12,000-pound capacity winch.

Is this just wishful thinking on the part of Hummer enthusiasts? AM General is “considering the development of a HUMVEE kit comprised of certain HMMWV body and chassis components,” Jeff Adams, the company’s executive director of communications and marketing told Automobile. However, the company is very far from a final decision. Adams said the company is talking to potential customers in focus groups, and weighing the financial feasibility of the kits. So if you want a Hummer, it might be a good idea to contact AM General before priming your bank account.

It all sounds jolly exciting, but why would someone buy a Hummer today? It represents victory in the Cold War, Desert Storm, the ‘90s, and unabashed American bravado, but in the era of expensive gas, CAFE, and lithium-ion batteries, it doesn’t seem that relevant.

That’s why selling the Humvee as a kit car makes sense. Mass-producing them would be a tad irresponsible, and wouldn’t make much financial sense but, regardless of its practical limitations, this is still an immensely capable off-road vehicle. If people are willing to invest some cash and elbow grease to get one, why shouldn’t they be allowed?


Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Product Review

2019 Lamborghini Urus first drive review

Twenty five years after the demise of the V12-powered LM002, Lamborghini rejoins the sport-utility segment with the Urus, a veritable tour de force of technology, luxury, and speed.
Product Review

Ford’s reincarnated Ranger feels like a car that does everything a truck can do

The 2019 Ford Ranger aims to be a tool for weekend adventures, and goes head-to-head with midsize pickup trucks from Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Ford hasn’t sold the Ranger in the United States since 2011, so it has to make up…

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.

Lincoln revives its coolest-ever design feature for limited-edition Continental

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.

Audi’s self-driving car unit teams up with Luminar to go driverless in 2021

Audi's self-driving car unit has teamed up with Luminar to develop and test autonomous technology. Luminar provides its lidar technology, which sees farther than the sensors offered by rivals, while Audi brings its own software.