HUMMER auto news

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Mobility Ventures adds luxury model to its lineup of wheelchair-accessible vans

07/18/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Plants/Manufacturing, Tech, Ford, GM, HUMMER, Luxury

MV-1 LX

Mobility Ventures, the Indiana-based maker of vehicles designed and built to accommodate people with disabilities, is adding a luxury model to its lineup. Called the MV-1 LX, the vehicle joins Mobility Ventures' portfolio of purpose-built vans with wheelchair ramps.

The LX model adds more standard equipment, including leather seats, rosewood interior accents and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, a navigation package with a seven-inch touchscreen, a rear backup camera and Sirius Satellite Radio. Other features include a body-colored grille with chrome accents, turn signals mounted in the mirrors and a two-stage power wheelchair ramp.

The LX is on sale now. Mobility Ventures also sells a more basic DX variant to consumers, an SE model designed for fleet use and a taxi.

All versions come with a 4.6-liter V8 engine sourced from Ford rated at 248 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque that runs on regular fuel. The same engine, converted to run on compressed natural gas, is an optional feature and makes 213 hp and 259 lb-ft. The LX variant can achieve a speed of 99 mph, compared 80 mph for the other models.

Mobility Ventures is owned by AM General, which builds the MVs in Mishawaka, IN. AM General is best known for making Humvees for military purposes and for building the Hummer H1 and H2 SUVs for General Motors.

The MV-1 line was previously produced by an entity called the Vehicle Production Group, which contracted production of the vans to AM General. When VPG went out of business due to cash problems, AM General bought the assets and resumed production.

The company now has about 100 dealers across the United States and Canada that sell MV-1s. Mobility Ventures markets its vehicles as an alternative to retrofitted vans, and has designed them to meet or exceed passenger guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Scroll down to read the official press release.

Continue reading Mobility Ventures adds luxury model to its lineup of wheelchair-accessible vans

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Study: Hyundai tops Toyota in annual CarMD Vehicle Health Index

12/07/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Etc., HUMMER, Toyota

Hyundai takes the number one spot from Toyota in the latest CarMD Vehicle Health Index.

CarMD has released its third annual Vehicle Health Index, which for the 2013 tracked the frequency and cost of repairs for "check engine" problems of 119-million vehicles built between the 2003 and 2013 model years. For the first two years of the index, Toyota ranked at the top of the list, but this year's results see Hyundai moved to number one, pushing Toyota down a spot.

The Korean automaker's rise to the top has been "fueled by its low repair frequency," according to CarMD. Toyota is second to Hyundai in lowest repair frequency, but Toyotas also have the highest average cost of repair. (Interestingly, General Motors vehicles have the lowest average.) Both Toyota's and Hyundai's manufacturer "health" ratings suffered this year, but Toyota took a bigger hit, which also is what helped Hyundai achieve the top ranking.

While Hyundai is the top manufacturer in the index, the 2012 Toyota Camry is the top vehicle. The best-ranking Hyundai was the 2010 Elantra (behind three Nissan models and four Toyotas), which took the number eight spot. Hyundai has six other vehicles in the top 100.

The top-ten manufacturers with the best overall vehicle "health" rankings are Hyundai (No. 1), Toyota (No. 2), GM (No. 3), Chrysler (No. 4), Honda (No. 5), Ford (No. 6), Nissan (No. 7), Kia (No. 8), Volkswagen (No. 9) and Mitsubishi (No. 10).

Check out CarMD's study (Warning: PDF file) to check out all sorts of data related to car health - there's a ton of information to peruse.

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Report: Who sold the most small/midsize pickups in 2012? PickupTrucks.com investigates that, too

02/28/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Trucks/Pickups, Commercial Trucks, Ford, GM, Honda, HUMMER, Nissan, Toyota, Ram

2013 Toyota Tacoma - front three-quarter view, on mountain

PickupTrucks.com has taken another look at the sales of its favorite vehicle bodystyle as part of an ongoing series. According to registration data from R.L. Polk, the Toyota Tacoma easily took the crown as America's best-selling mid-sized pickup, with 133,477 units rolling into new homes in 2012. For comparison, the second-place Nissan Frontier only saw 50,566 registrations.

We feel compelled to point out that before Ford pulled the plug on its ancient Ranger, the company was moving some 75,000 units per year. That number had shriveled to 15,662 by 2012, which was still enough to surpass the Honda Ridgeline. Interestingly enough, one person brought home a brand-new Hummer H3T as well. But mid-sized trucks represent only a fraction of total pickup sales. Dealers sold a total of 241,471 midsizers last year compared to 988,326 half-tons.

That segment was dominated by General Motors with 533,814 sales followed by Ford at 478,204. Ram Trucks trailed behind in third with 241,204 units with Toyota close behind at 229,769. Nissan, meanwhile, remains a distant fifth. Head over to PickupTrucks.com for a closer look at the breakdown in each segment.

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Report: Canadian man saves four kids with Hummer [w/video]

09/09/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Safety, HUMMER, Canada

Hummer used to protect kids in crosswalk

A quick-thinking driver in Canada put his own life on the line last month when he drove his Hummer H3 in front of a distracted driver to save four children. Darrell Krushelnicki, 46, of Taber, Alberta, saw a car about to speed through an intersection. Four kids, whose ages ranged from three to 16 years old, were in the in the crosswalk, so Krushelnicki pulled his truck in front of a silver Pontiac Pursuit (known as the Pontiac G5 in the U.S.) to prevent them from being hit.

The identity of the other driver is unknown, but the news report says the 23-year-old male was talking on his cell phone while traveling around 80 kilometers per hour (close to 50 miles per hour) in a 30 kph speed zone (less than 20 mph). Thankfully, nobody was hurt, and while there's no word as to whether the distracted driver was ticketed, police say that they're recommending Krushelnicki for an award.

For additional details, check out the news video, which we've posted below.

Continue reading Canadian man saves four kids with Hummer [w/video]

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Report: AM General to offer civilian Humvee kit car

08/03/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: SUVs, HUMMER, Military, Diesel, Off-Road

AM General Humvee in camo paint and on boulders

For anyone feeling nostalgic about the passing of the Hummer brand, or the actual wartime vehicle that inspired it, now is your chance to own a version of the original HMMWV, albeit without an engine.

After a 12-year hiatus from the civilian vehicle market, AM General is reportedly set to offer a kit-car of the C-Series Humvee. The kit will conform to U.S. government regulations and has been made possible by a deal with General Motors.

The kit costs $59,000 - and you still need an engine. A likely favorite would be a Duramax Diesel V8 and Allison transmission combination, as was found on the H1 Alpha. AM General estimates that an owner could buy the kit Humvee and outfit a powerplant and transmission for $75,000. Not bad, considering that H1 Alpha has an MSRP of $140,000 in 2005.

How is this possible? If you recall, GM was trying to unload the Hummer brand to Chinese-based Sichuan-Tengzhong, among other suitors. As we all know, a deal never happened and the brand rumbled off into the sunset. The deal with AM General worked so that the military Humvee producer could offer a vehicle to the public as long as it was fundamentally different from the H1. By offering a kit car, they apparently end-around much of the legal confines.

But that also means are other setbacks. The final product will not look like the civilian Hummer H1, and it will not have niceties like interior trim, power locks, door mounted mirrors, or even hard doors. It will simply be a four-seat, soft-top, soft door vehicle. AM General will offer 'add-on' factory options such as the Central Tire Inflation System, rocker protection, and potentially two-piece beadlock wheels.

As the story over at Hummer Guy puts it, "just remember - its a Humvee, not a Hummer."

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Report: Automakers tussle over owners of 'orphan' makes

05/10/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Marketing/Advertising, Chevrolet, Ford, GM, GMC, HUMMER, Lincoln, Mercury, Pontiac, Saturn, Toyota

When General Motors put down several of its brands in recent years, it also let loose thousands of brand-loyal customers who will eventually need another car.

R.L. Polk Associates estimates there are more than 18 million cars from 16 discontinued makes on the road today. Those "orphan owners" have sales-hungry competitors seeing dollar signs. GM is offering Saturn owners $1,000 cash toward a Chevy Cruze, Caddillac CTS or a GMC Acadia. Ford is giving its Mercury lease customers a chance to get out of their contracts with no early-termination penalty and offering to waive six remaining payments if they drive off in a Ford or Lincoln.

Edmunds.com research shows the efforts are paying off somewhat for GM, with 39 percent of Pontiac owners, 37 percent of Hummer owners and 31 percent of Saturn owners taking delivery of another GM-branded vehicle. But that leaves as much as 69 percent of owners going elsewhere. Ford, Honda and Toyota seem to be attracting many former GM owners.

As Forbes points out, if you're driving an orphaned nameplate, you just might be able to use that to your advantage when shopping for a new vehicle.

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Report: Humvee reborn on the battlefield... with a chimney?!

12/09/2011   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Government/Legal, Tech, HUMMER, Military, Design/Style

HMMWV

The military's High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), better known to most of us as the Humvee, has already served a long and distinguished career in the battlefield, and there have been a number of replacements waiting in the wings to take over where the HMMWV left off. Or, should we say, leaves off... assuming that ever happens.

It seems that the Humvee is set to get a new lease on life as military budget constraints are forcing the government to reconsider its replacement. But there are still some pesky safety issues to work out before American soldiers will feel comfortable inside the confines of the off-road box on wheels.

As you're likely aware, improvised explosive devices are an ever-increasing threat to the lives of American troops serving overseas. The Humvee, which traces its design all the way back to the year 1984 when it first saw duty as a replacement for the long-running series of military Jeeps, has seen a number of incarnations over the years that added armor and improved safety, but the latest version may feature something hitherto unseen: a chimney.

No, not a chimney like the one that peeks out of your house. This chimney, along with a V-shaped hull, serves to channel explosive forces up and away from the occupants inside. The structure of the chimney also serves to reinforce the vehicle, connecting its floor with its roof. Other advancements include a new set of doors that open up like barn doors, seats designed to absorb shocks and a sling that promises to lower the gunner into the vehicle in the event of a blast.

Read more about the vehicle here, and be sure to scroll down for the illustration.

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Architects design home made entirely of Hummers

07/27/2011   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., GM, HUMMER, Design/Style

hplusf hummerhaus

Architects Craig Hodges and HsinMing Fung joined forces in 1984 to create their agency HplusF. Since then, the pair have gone on to apply their stylistic skill to the UCLA library, Hollywood Bowl, Egyptian Theater and a number of other works of architectural art. HplusF also tackles unique installations and showpieces, one of which involves the now-departed Hummer brand.

What could easily be a luxury apartment in the video game Fallout 3 is in fact HplusF's HummerHaus. Eight identical Hummer body shells wrap around a a steel skeleton to form a living space like no other.

Of course, this is merely a concept, but it's a rather interesting one. Could old vehicles be rehabbed into affordable living spaces? Could the Hummer body have a new lease on life after it was cut from the General Motors family?

Check out the gallery below to see how HplusF lays out its HummerHaus.

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Video: MEV rocks up with electric mini Hummer HX

06/08/2011   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, SUVs, Videos, HUMMER, Electric

2011 MEV Hummer HX

2011 MEV Hummer HX - Click above to watch the video after the jump

The 2008 Hummer HX concept was supposed to be General Motors' answer to the Jeep Wrangler. To put it mildly, that failed to materialize. General Motors killed Hummer as part of its bankruptcy-induced limb severing in 2009, before the HX could be brought to fruition as the H4, as had been rumored.

For those of you who wish the HX had indeed surfaced, we have some excellent news: My Electric Vehicle, or MEV, has appropriated the HX concept, added an electric drivetrain and created the MEV Hummer HX. The MEV HX is a fully electric golf cart resort vehicle, licensed by GM and sporting Hummer wheels and skid plates.

We're still trying to figure out if the MEV Hummer HX has any practical purpose, which could take some time. While we're doing that, feel free to hop the jump to see a video of the $16,000 electric Hummer knockoff in action.

Continue reading MEV rocks up with electric mini Hummer HX

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SEMA 2010: Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer shows its guts

11/03/2010   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: SEMA, SUVs, HUMMER, Off-Road

Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer

Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer - Click above for high-res image gallery

Zero South, a company that popped up at SEMA in 2008, is back again with its Biodiesel Electric Hummer. The heavily modified H1 rides on tracks at all four corners - a necessary modification, since this Hummer is designed for an expedition to the South Pole.

The trip is going to be documented by Chris Paine, who's best known for the film Who Killed the Electric Car? It was reported back in 2008 that the vehicle was going to be driven by Buzz Aldrin and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The film is called Drive Around the World and was shot in 3D. Drive Around the World is also the name of an organization that works to inspire an urge to explore while raising money for various charities. The H1 shown above is Zero South's vehicle for participating in these expeditions.

The Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer was originally setup to run on B99 fuel, but Jay Leno joined the team and modified the powertrain so that a four-cylinder diesel Volkswagen engine would act as a generator to four electric motors. Each motor would then provide power to the individual track it's coupled to. It's one heck of a Hummer, and we invite you to check it out for yourself in the gallery below.

Gallery: SEMA 2010: Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer

Zero South Biodiesel Electric HummerZero South Biodiesel Electric HummerZero South Biodiesel Electric HummerZero South Biodiesel Electric HummerZero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer

Photos copyright (C)2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

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