2003 SVC Hummer H2 Performance Review
Over the top, with style
Under the philosophy, "when in doubt, more and bigger is better," Special Vehicle Concepts has transformed a stock H2 from big-shadow cruiser into a big-shadow bruiser.
At $50,000, a stock HUMMER H2 is something of a bargain in the world of ultra-capable SUVs. It's one of a handful of drives that can tackle the Rubicon Trail as it rolls off the showroom floor. But there's always a market for enhanced vehicles, capable of bettering stock configuration in the stylistic and performance arenas.
Massaging the H2's engine was SVC's first order of business. An Eaton supercharger, complete with intercooler, headers, and dual exhaust, will set you back $10,500, but it makes a tangible difference in the H2's acceleration. Stock H2 Hummers get up to 60 mph in 10.2 seconds, while the quarter mile takes 17.3 seconds at 80.0 mph. SVC improves those numbers substantially: 60 mph takes only 8.4 seconds; the quarter mile comes in at 16.3 at 84.8 mph. Mid-range punch was noticeably improved, and power delivery over the entire range is smooth and linear.
Lowering the H2 two inches using custom gas shocks and Enkei 20x9.5 wheels, fitted with High Performance Toyo LT 325/60R20 M+S tires, helps the SSE Hummer snake through the slalom at 54.3 mph, bettering the stock H2's 52.2 run. SVC installed custom anti-roll bars with urethane bushings, helping to reduce body roll. Most surprising is the braking improvement with the huge tires: from the standard H2 taking 151 feet from 60 mph to a halt to only 129 with the big rubber. Cross-drilled rotors are an option that our vehicle didn't have, so fade resistance should be even better.
Interiors in SVC vehicles are never ignored, and the SSE H2 is no exception. Carbon-fiber trim, soundproofing, and a knockout 880-watt five-channel audio system coddle the senses. Options offered but not found on our test vehicle include DVD, navigation, and communication systems. How much? Our big yellow H2 had an option pricetag of $26,500. That works out to a total of $83,000. Worth it? If you want to come to the party with the biggest toy, few can match the SVC SSE Hummer H2. Just get used to being stared at.