It might be the runt of the litter as far as Hummers are concerned, but even so General Motors has given the H3 offroader a performance makeover to worry a Porsche Cayenne Turbo: gather round 4x4 fans and meet the Hummer H3R.This is an H3 powerful, capable and unapologetically rough enough to offend environmentalists at a thousand paces. It rides 10mm higher than a standard H3, on wider 20in wheels wrapped in mud-plugging-special 35in Mickey Thompson Bear Claw tyres. It’s got bull bars, driving lights and underfloor protection that a standard H3 goes without, too. But the headline news is the Corvette V8 under the bonnet.
Enough poke to crush continents
You wouldn’t think there was room under the H3’s stubby bonnet, but GM has shoehorned all 7.0-litres of its LS7 V8, as seen in the blistering Corvette Z06, into the nose of the H3. That endows it with 500bhp and 470 lb ft of twist – more than twice the power of the standard 3.7-litre five-pot H3 we drove earlier in the year – and more even than the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo.Hummer hasn’t released any performance figures for the H3R yet, but expect it to be capable of sprinting to 62mph in around 5.0 seconds and, dependant on gearing, of going beyond well 160mph; not a shabby top speed for something shaped like a breeze block.
Calm down dear; it’s just a concept car
You knew there would be a catch and, sure enough, it’s that one so often applied to outlandish performance metal like this; the H3R is strictly a concept car. It was designed for the SEMA show (that stands for the Speciality Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) which is being held in Las Vegas this week, and there’s almost no chance of Hummer actually putting it into production.So why build it at all? According to Hummer’s Rod Hall, "the H3R pays homage to the racing SUV while pushing the envelope on what could be considered 'stock' — supposing the factory did decide to drop in the 505-horsepower 7.0-liter V8 from the Corvette Z06; what kind of car would we end up with?”Well GM, we suspect you’ll end up with the kind of car for which a lot of excited Hummer enthusiasts will be anxious to write cheques. So now what are you going to do?