The Hummer SUV is coming back to SA, and it’s now electric
The Hummer nameplate isn’t entirely new in the large SUV segment, and its history can be traced back to 1992, when it was established. It made a strong case for itself as one of the most capable off-road vehicles to eventually grace our roads when local manufacturing started in 2006.
However, it had a relatively short history when local production was halted in 2009, with factors such as the global recession and the increasing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles contributing to its demise.
Despite the brand’s short history and being one of America’s biggest automotive icons, Hummer vehicles were sold in SA and they were famous for their imposing size and off-road capabilities.
Things took a twist in the year 2020 when General Motors announced that it will be reviving the Hummer nameplate as an EV and will be marketed under the GMC brand, which saw the birth of the Hummer EV, which is available as a bakkie and an SUV, neither of which is sold in South Africa due to their left-hand drive configurations.
However, a conversion company based in Sri Lanka by the name of Autogroup International, known for converting left-hand drive American SUVs to right-hand drive, including the original H2 and H3 Hummers, has announced that it will be importing the world's first right-hand-drive Hummer EV SUVs in the coming months.
“Our right-hand drive Hummer EV SUV’s are already in production and built on our success with the Ford F-150 Lightning EV pickup truck. For three decades, we have been the trusted right-hand-drive vehicle conversion partner worldwide, yet we have never seen so many pre-orders for a new vehicle platform,” says Rob Hill, CEO of Autogroup International.
While the conversion company didn't share much detail regarding the conversion, the Hummer EV SUV packs up to 618kW and can silently sprint to the 100km/h mark from rest in 3.5 seconds despite weighing 4,700kg. If that doesn’t make you sit up and take notice, remember that the BMW M3 xDrive, with its 1,779kg weight and 375kW of power, completes the same sprint in 3.5 seconds. Just saying.
Just so you know, the Hummer EV is classified as a Class 3 medium-duty truck in the United States due to its immense weight.
The vehicle is compatible with 800-volt DC public charging of up to 350 kW.
According to AGI, the Hummer EV Edition 1, Hummer EV 2 (2 motors), and Hummer EV 3 (3 motors) will also be converted to right-hand drive. The feature list on these models includes the Infinity Roof, Super Cruise, Ultium battery, Regen on Demand, one-pedal driving, crabwalk, and extract modes, plus Ultravision with its 17x cameras.
Regarding the pricing of the right-hand drive Hummer EV, AGI says it expects the SUVs to land at a port in SA with a price tag of $185,000, which translates to roughly R3,489,266 before import and registration duties.
AGI further states that it will sell the Hummer to both dealers and directly to customers, who will then do a personal import.
It will be interesting to see how the new Hummer performs in a market where SUVs have a cult following but EVs are yet to gain substantial traction.