General Motors plans to carve itself a slice of the New Zealand SUV market with the baby of the Hummer range, the H3.
And Holden, which will sell the vehicles through four dealers – in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch – says it’s aiming it at serious off-road drivers as well as people who use SUVs primarily as city cars.
The mid-sized SUV will be available in three models: H3, H3 Adventure and H3 Luxury. They’re on sale now, with customers expected to take delivery in late February and early March 2008.
Available in either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic depending on the model, the H3 will retail from $61,990, H3 Adventure from $68,990 and H3 Luxury from $70,990.
Holden New Zealand boss Peter Keley says Hummers have developed a passionate following in New Zealand because of (the brand’s) unmatched style and capability.
“The H3 extends that appeal by making the brand accessible to a broad range of potential owners.
“Used Hummer H2s have been popular (in New Zealand) with 4WD and motoring enthusiasts, and we’ve seen the brand carve out a strong niche with very little support.
“So, we believe the mid-size H3 is an ideal vehicle to launch the brand into New Zealand.
“Comparable in size to other mid-size SUVs, H3 is still true to the brand’s extreme heritage, but is more economical and easier to drive in the city than the original H1 and H2.
“We believe the proportions and characteristics of H3 mean it’s able to achieve the perfect balance between on-road comfort and off-road capability.”
New Zealand market Hummers will initially have a 3.7-litre, inline five-cylinder petrol engine.
It develops peak power of 180kW at 5600rpm and peak torque of 328Nm at 4600rpm. The motor, the Vortec 3700, has dual overhead cams and variable valve timing.
The H3 is available with five-speed manual or electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.
Official fuel consumption on regular unleaded petrol (ADR 81/01) for the H3 for combined highway and urban driving is 13.8 litres per 100km in manual form.
Further engine options, including a V8 and diesel, may follow.
Depending on specification, the H3 has a kerb weight between 2178kg for the manual and 2268kg for the automatic Adventure.
Keley says the H3 has “the full off-road capability to live up to the Hummer name”.
“The H3 has been tested in some of the most extreme conditions imaginable, and GM Holden engineers tested the vehicle in Australia and worked with GM South Africa (where the H3 is built) to ensure the vehicle met the needs of our market.”
It can climb a 16-inch vertical wall, scale a 60 per cent grade, traverse a 40 per cent slope, ford 407mm of water at 32kmh and 610mm streams at 8kmh.
It has a powertrain-integrated, two-speed, electronically controlled full-time four wheel drive system with a standard low range ratio of 2.64:1.
Standard active safety features on the H3 include StabiliTrak stability enhancement system, traction control, ABS and dynamic rear proportioning brakes.
Passive safety equipment includes dual front airbags with passenger sensing system, and roof rail-mounted side curtain bags are also standard on all H3 vehicles.
The base H3 model offers cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, electro-chromatic rear-view mirror with eight-point compass, power windows, fog lights and halogen headlamps, five 16-inch by 7.5-inch alloy wheels, remote entry with panic alarm, single in-dash CD, cloth seats and 60/40 split rear seats.
In H3 Luxury specification, the vehicle gains an automatic transmission as standard, leather-appointed interior, electric heated front seats with eight-way power adjustment, leather wrapped steering wheel, exterior chrome package including door handles, roof cross bars and mirror caps, six-disc in-dash CD changer, Monsoon sound system and glass sunroof.
The model aimed at the serious off-roader, the H3 Adventure, is available in manual and automatic.
It includes the features of the H3 Luxury (excluding the sunroof) and takes the H3’s off-road capability to the next level, adding a fully locking electronic rear differential, off-road suspension package and a two-speed transfer case with a super low range ratio of 4.03:1.