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You are here: Home > Hummer Tech Talk > Hummer Technology
Hummer Technology
Adapted from the High Mobility Multipurpose Vehicle (HMMWV), the “Hummer” hit the market in 1992 and was quickly heralded as the most powerful off-road civilian vehicle in existence. With more than 16 inches of ground clearance, a powerful engine, and aggressive departure angles, the average Hummer could wade through up to 30 inches of water, overcome obstacles nearly 2 feet high, and climb a 60 percent grade without putting undue strain on the engine. A truly magnificent machine, the Hummer H1 was only produced between the years 1992 and 2006, after which it was discontinued due to the expected passing of a diesel engine emissions law in 2007.
Hummer technology originally developed in 1979 at AM General under a contract from the U.S military. The M998 Humvee was designed to replace military trucks after the decision was made in the mid-70s that an upgrade was needed in order to survive in the wide variety of climates the vehicles were to be used in. With the gulf war came widespread use of Humvees by the military, subsequently increasing civilian awareness – and demand – for such a heavy-duty off-road vehicle.
One of the interesting facts about Hummers is that you can find a variety of different automatic transmission/engine combinations under the hood. The five types are the 6.2 liter GM Diesel V8 with a 3L80 3-speed transmission, the 6.6 liter turbo Duramax LLYv8 turbo diesel with an Allison 1000 5-speed transmission, the 6.5 liter GM diesel V8 with a 4-speed GM 4L80 transmission, the 5.6 liter turbo GM diesel V8 with a 4-speed GM 4L80 transmission, or a 5.7 liter Vortec 5700 v8 gasoline engine with a 4-speed GM 4L80-E transmission. Regardless of which combination you have under the hood, one fact remains: Hummer technology cannot be beat.
The Hummer H1 Alpha: The True Beginning of Amazing Hummer Technology
While the Hummer franchise continued long after the release of the H1 Alpha in 2006, this amazing piece of Hummer technology was a turning point in Hummer power, steering, and fuel efficiency. With the development of using the GM Duramax engine and Allison transmission, the H1 Alpha became the most powerful civilian all-wheel-drive utility vehicle to date. This dramatic increase in raw Hummer power was so significant that collectors consider the H1 Alpha a highly desired vehicle.
CTIS (Central Tire Inflation System)
Perhaps one of the most impressive, though novel, developments in Hummer technology was the implementation of a central tire inflation system. This ingenious system allows a driver to lower or raise tire pressure with the press of a button. For those of you unfamiliar with off-roading, lower tire pressures are ideal for off-road driving while higher tire pressure is ideal for driving on paved roads.
Hummer technology was developed for use by the most powerful military in the world. Because of that and the highly publicized use of the vehicle by figures such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, many Americans seeking to identify with the image of strength and character cultivated by the US military were elated to learn that the vehicle was available to civilians on the open market. If not for Chevrolet’s neglect toward the development of new fuel efficiency Hummer technology, the H1 may have evolved to be even more fuel efficient and powerful than its famed Alpha line of H1s.

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