There’s a reason General Motors pulled the plug on Hummer seven years ago. Apart from high fuel prices scaring away customers, the Hummer product had become so distilled (we’re looking at you, H3), that the brand lost its mojo.
When Americans remember Hummer now, we don’t think fondly of the H2 and H3 — we idolize the H1, the Humvee. And we aren’t the only ones. The Chinese market has a fascination with the H1, and VLF Automotive intends to capitalize on their interest.
You remember VLF, of course — the company behind power-packed versions of the Karma, Mustang, and Viper. With ex-GM executive Bob Lutz, famed automotive designer Henrik Fisker, and Boeing executive Gilbert Villarreal at the helm, VLF has taken on some wacky projects in its Michigan headquarters.
According to Car and Driver, the latest endeavor combines VLF’s assembly resources with Humvee Export’s “enthusiasm.” Humvee Exports is a five-person operation that includes dealership owners who used to sell consumer-spec Hummer H1’s until they were killed off in 2006. Even after the model was discontinued, AM General (the truck’s manufacturer), continued building the HMMWV (High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle) for U.S. military use. AM General then began offering the “C-Series kit” to consumers in 2013. Since then, Humvee Export has been assembling and exporting the kits all over the world (but not in its own backyard). The kit doesn’t meet the new Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act requirements, unfortunately.
The C-Series kit, which was shown at this year’s Shanghai auto show, looks very similar to the 1990s H1, except that it shares a nose with the current military version. VLF will assemble the Humvee in one of three trim levels — Bravo, Charlie, or Delta. Buyers can also choose from four paint colors and four GM engines.
Powertrains include a 6.5-liter diesel V8 engine with three levels of output: 190 horsepower and 385 pound-foot of torque, 205hp and 440 pound-foot, or 250hp and 440 pound-foot. If you prefer a gas-powered motor, you can opt for an LS3 6.2-liter V8 with 430hp and 424 pound-foot of torque.