Road Test: Hummer H1 Vortec 8100
Cure for the Hummer horsepower blues
While Arnold Schwarzenegger's HUMMER H1 is undoubtedly loaded with cushy leather and a bazillion-watt Monsoon sound system, he still has to deal with the noise, smell, shake, and leisurely acceleration of the Hummer's 6.5L/190-hp, turbodiesel V-8.
General Motors' (owner of the Hummer's civilian marketing rights) Vortec 8.1L/340-hp V-8 gas engine fits well under the H1's considerable hood. It's a natural application, even though GM has no production plans-so far.
We ran a full test on an 8100-equipped prototype, and it's obvious that Arnold would trade his TD Hummer in for one should GM decide to build them. Besides shaving 3.7 sec from the turbodiesel's 0-60-mph time, the Vortec Hummer attacks hills and fords streams without the smell and noise of the stock engine. It's quick for a monster SUV, and it launches into traffic easily thanks to lots of low-end grunt. The quarter takes 18.4 sec at 72.3 mph versus 19.8/67.0 for the TD. These numbers may not sound fast, but considering that the vehicle weighs over 10,000 lb (think two Chevy trucks!), we find them quite impressive. Bring it on, GM!