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H3: For The Alpha Male On A Budget

General Motor’s Hummer division was the best thing to happen to the alpha male since chest hair. Problem is, the original Hummer – the mammoth, military-inspired, ubermacho H1 – costs $100,000, and even the more civilian-friendly, hypermacho H2 carries a price tag of $50,000.

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The H3, which will arrive in dealerships next summer, is GM’s answer to the question: Is there a Hummer for the cash-poor alpha male?

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After buying a 65-inch plasma TV so I could watch Dirty Harry larger than life, I don’t have much money left. Am I GM’s target demographic?

Sounds like it. GM expects the H3 – priced at about $35,000 – to attract single buyers with annual incomes of about $75,000 and dual-earner households with annual incomes of about $100,000.

So the H3 is targeted at the white trash of Hummer buyers?

I wouldn’t put it that way. The H1 and H2 are typically purchased by customers with annual incomes exceeding $150,000, and GM figures that only about 30,000 people a year will spend the big bucks to own an H2. GM is hoping that by offering the H3 – a smaller, more affordable version – that they’ll be able to increase global sales.

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A downsized Hummer? I don’t want to drive something a soccer mom would drive.

Oh for Pete’s sake. It’s still a Hummer. Just a more realistic one. As gasoline prices rose, causing sales of H1 and H2 to decline sharply since the beginning of 2004, GM realized it needed to develop a Hummer that was more compatible with the needs of consumers.

But it’s still big and rugged?

Of course. Just not as big. It’s about 16 inches shorter than the H2 and comparable in size to a Chevy Trailblazer. It’s also 6 inches shorter in height and 6 inches narrower than the H2, making it easier to maneuver and park. As for rugged, the H3 can drive through 16 inches of water and climb a 40-degree incline, according to GM. It’ll also be the first Hummer available with manual transmission.
It’d be an abomination if GM ever came out with a Hummer minivan or Hummer compact car. No abominations are likely. GM says that car-based vehicles would violate the brand’s integrity and that they don’t want growth at all costs.

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I’m planning to buy a wood chipper, so I can’t be spending all my money on gas.

No promises. Using a 220-hp inline 5-cylinder engine, the H3 should double the H2’s fuel economy, achieving a “peak fuel economy” (best-case scenario) of 20 mpg.

I need to find me a good woman so I can bring home the bacon and she can fry it up in a pan. Will I be able to impress women with the H3?

The H3 is the least of your worries. It’ll offer six plush interiors and features such as heated seats and GM’s Onstar system. One feature it doesn’t offer is time travel – which is unfortunate since the only women who’d actually marry you are located somewhere in 1950.

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Writer Georgina Carson is editor of BSB. Although she’s never fried bacon, she did brown garlic bread in a broiler once. The bread caught on fire. Since then, she steers clear of kitchens.

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