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Sorry America, the Humvee is Back…But Only in China?

Humvee
The Hummer brand started with a bang, but ended with a whimper. When GM shut the doors on Hummer for good in 2010, fans of the rugged automaker were surely upset, but not because a good thing had come to an end. In reality, Hummer began its slide from grace after the the civilian-spec H1 stopped being sold in 2006. With only the H2 or dreadful H3 available, and with sky-high gas prices, Hummer had little hope for survival at the time.

Despite its end-of-life mistakes, Americans still remember Hummer as the maker of the ultimate macho-mobile: the Humvee. It’s this passion for the original that inspired Humvee Exports, a five-man operation in Michigan, to source H1 parts and export pre-made units globally. AM General, the original H1 manufacturer, has been selling C-Series kits to Humvee Exports since 2013. The company then took each $60K and recreated the Humvee.

HUMVEE C SERIES

Now that the Chinese market is interested, Humvee Exports has turned to their Detroit neighbors for help. According to Car and Driver, VLF Automotive, the company behind power-packed versions of the Karma, Mustang, and Viper, has teamed up with Humvee Exports to assemble C-Series models with GM engines and ship the products to China. VLF’s leadership team, which includes ex-GM executive Bob Lutz, automotive designer Henrik Fisker, and Boeing executive Gilbert Villarreal, has taken on some eye-opening projects in the past, but this may be their most lucrative yet.

The C-Series kit, which was shown at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, looks almost identical to the original H1 from 1990, but the front end is styled after the current military-grade version. VLF Auto will offer the Humvee in three trims — Bravo, Charlie, or Delta — with different luxury and convenience features. Engine options include a 6.5-liter diesel V8 engine in three stages of tune: 190 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque, 205hp and 440 lb-ft, or 250hp and 440 lb-ft. If you’d prefer a gas-powered motor, you can opt for an LS3 6.2-liter V8 with 430hp and 424 lb-ft of torque.

This all sounds great, but there’s one bit of bad news: if you live in the U.S., Humvee Exports and VLF won’t sell you a Humvee. Due to the restrictions of the new Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, the Humvee cannot be certified for sale in the U.S.

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