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The Hummer, produced by AM General, was first a military vehicle. Thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Hummer hit the civilian market with a big, oversized bang. Characterized by huge, boxy looks, rugged interior, and ridiculously poor fuel economy, the Hummer represents indulgence and authority.
The Hummer brand originated in the military. Produced by AM General, the early models were created as part of a contract with the United States Army. In 1983 AM General won the contract to produce 55,000 Humvees over five years. The contract eventually totaled 70,000 units. AM General began producing these massive military vehicles from their factory in South Bend, Indiana.
During a successful relationship with the United States military, the Humvee began to receive some popularity amongst soldiers and even the public in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. During this time the popular military vehicle caught the eye of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He sought to buy one of the vehicles for himself, as well as urge the company to release a version for all civilians.
In 1998 General Motors purchased the brand name Hummer and produced multiple versions of the Hummer for general release. For more than 10 years GM brought Hummer vehicles to the public, but as a result of a shaky economy and fuel efficiency concerns, the last Hummer was produced in 2010.
The original Hummer, called the High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Humvee), was designed as a military light tactical vehicle. When the Hummer H1 was released, it closely resembled this rugged military style. With 16 inches of ground clearance it could wade through 30 inches of water and climb over obstacles that stood 22 inches high. In other words, it was more than enough for suburban errands and showing off to other well-to-do friends.
More Hummer vehicles were released as sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and trucks under the H1, H2, or H3 moniker. All had four doors, a very wide body, and a huge engine, either a 6.2 or 6.5 liter V-8 diesel or turbodiesel with automatic transmission.
The Hummer is short on features, unless you consider requiring tons of gas and having the ability to literately run over other cars . . . features. Since it was created from a military vehicle, features such as cloth seats should be viewed as impressive. However the newer models did sport new, more comfortable seats, a redesigned dash, and even an optional DVD-based navigation system. However, no one buys a Hummer for a long list of luxury items in the cabin.
The original Hummer, created in 1979, was a military light tactical vehicle called the High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Humvee). It was not street legal and not for civilians. After Schwarzenegger managed to procure one of his own, he helped push AM General to release the Hummer to the general population. In 1992 the HMMWV became known as the Hummer. In 1999 the Hummer H1 was released to the public. This first Hummer model weighs more than 7000 lbs. and is almost three feet wider than a compact car. The Hummer is excellent, almost unmatched on rough terrain, however it is very difficult to maneuver on regular city streets. It's also quite slow to get going with a zero-to-60 time of more than 16 seconds. The seats are also very small, considering the size of the vehicle. No one is driving the H1 for comfort. It's all about power and unbelievable size.
In 2002, AM General released the H2. It was available in two different models, the SUV and the SUT which had a truck bed. 2006 brought the Hummer H3 which is classified as a midsize SUV. It is the smallest Hummer and also available with a truck bed. In 2010, the last year of production, only the H3 was available. The H3 SUV was designed to be a "real world" Hummer. It retained the Hummer look, but came in a smaller size and offered a bit better maneuverability. It was also the most stylish Hummer in the cabin with slightly better materials, standard Bluetooth, and rearview camera.