A Closer Look at the Hummer H3 Alpha

by : Dwyane Thomas

Before it goes on sale this summer, General Motors will first showcase the HUMMER H3 Alpha at the forthcoming 2007 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). The H3 Alpha is the second model that will join HUMMER's Alpha model series.

"H3 Alpha is, simply, the ultimate HUMMER H3. It delivers all of H3's renowned off-road capability, but with enhanced performance that is suited to a variety of lifestyles." said Martin Walsh, HUMMER General Manager.

"Because HUMMER stands for more than just off-road performance, the H3 Alpha builds on the style and refinement of the H3 lineup and offers a unique, instantly recognizable statement on the road. In short, the H3 Alpha matches HUMMER's off-road expectations with on-road attitude. Details matter and our customers told us these details were particularly important, so we updated the H3 lineup to address them." he added.

Powering the H3 Alpha is a monstrous 5.3-liter V8 engine that belongs to GM's legendary small-block V8 range, which is similar to the power plant under the hood of Chevrolet Silverado truck. The engine pumps out a maximum 295 horsepower (224 kW) and produces 317 lb.-ft. (438 Nm) amount of peak torque, mated to a Hydra-Matic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic gearbox. The engine allows the H3 Alpha to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 8 seconds, and offers a maximum towing capacity of 6,000 pounds.

Just like the other members of GM's small-block V-8 engines, the 5.3-liter found on the H3 Alpha also features advanced engine parts like deep-skirt cylinder block with cross-bolted main caps, high-flow cylinder heads, electronic throttle control,58x ignition system, e67 32-bit controller, polymer-coated pistons with full-floating wrist pins, returnless fuel system, lightweight valvetrain, steel camshaft, and low-restriction air intake system.

In spite of the engine's powerful driving and towing performance, the small-block V8 engine offers cleaner exhaust emissions and complies with the U.S. Federal emission standard, thanks to the iron exhaust manifolds with four close-coupled catalytic converters, similar to found on one of H3's competitor, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

"For jobs such as towing personal watercraft up a mountain to the lake, the small-block V-8's torque performs with effortless ease and little impact on fuel mileage. The 5.3L engine greatly broadens the H3's towing capability." said Christopher Meagher, Assistant Chief Engineer of small-block V-8 truck engines.

"All of the powertrain options in the H3 lineup deliver performance suited to different driving styles and needs. But when it comes to certain tasks such as towing, there is sometimes no substitute for a V-8 engine." he added.

Getting inside the vehicle, you can see the interior features and optional packages like HUMMER's Rear Vision system and a navigation system with new Turn-By-Turn Navigation feature, horn pad badge, and embroidered front headrests with the "Alpha" badge.

A host of advanced safety features are also offered as standard equipment including head curtain side air bags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, four-wheel antilock brakes with traction control, dual front air bags with passenger sensing system, tire pressure monitoring system, vehicle-to-vehicle crash compatibility, and LATCH rear child seat anchors.