At a time when stringent emission regulations favor lighter-weight efficient vehicles, one of the most notorious gas guzzlers in automotive history weirdly is getting a second wind.
Industry veteran Bob Lutz, most known for his stint at General Motors from 2001 to 2010, now is building new Hummer H1s in a factory in Auburn Hills, Mich., according to Car and Driver. The vehicles are fitted with GM powertrains and will be exported to various overseas markets.
GM discontinued the Hummer brand in 2010, though it still holds the rights to the trademark. As a result, the SUV being produced by Lutz’s company, VLF Automotive, is called the Humvee C-Series.
VLF is building the Humvee C-Series under contract from Humvee Exports, a small five-person firm based in Saint Clair, Mich. Since Humvee Exports opened its doors in fall 2013, it reportedly has struck deals with importers in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and China.
“There’s a niche market,” VLF president John Costin said in a statement, via Car and Driver. “There are people who want to have the most fun at 5 or 6 mph.”
If the idea of owning an SUV that struggles to travel 15 miles on a gallon of fuel appeals to you, however, you’re in for a let down. The Humvee C-Series can’t be sold in the U.S. because it reportedly doesn’t meet the qualifications of the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015.
The Act allows specialty manufacturers to apply for a waiver that exempts them from needing to get their vehicles EPA certified or crash tested, provided they’re replicas of a model that’s been out of production for at least 25 years.
Although GM stopped selling the civilian-spec H1 in 2006, the model’s contracted manufacturer, AM General, has continued to make the military-spec High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle. AM General began selling C-Series kits in 2013 for $60,000 that includes a complete chassis and body without an engine.
Thumbnail photo via Humvee