The Hummer has a reputation of being a lumbering, gas-guzzling and eco-unfriendly beast. Early variants of the Hummer, i.e., the H1 were slow, heavy and delivered about 65 mph at full throttle.
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But not all Hummers are short-legged. Factors such as the engine’s torque output and the vehicle’s shape are important determinants of how fast they can go.
In this article, we look at the speed of the different Hummer models and whether you can modify the truck to boost acceleration.
How fast are Hummers?
The fastest Hummer can reach speeds of 98 mph. A Hummer’s speed depends on its weight, engine, and aerodynamics.
Let’s Start With The Numbers
|Model, Year||Top Speed|
|Hummer H1, 92-93||68 MPH|
|Hummer H1, 94-95||65 MPH|
|Hummer H1, 96-2000||83 MPH|
|Hummer H1 Alpha||102 MPH|
|Hummer H2 2002-2007||93-98 MPH|
|Hummer H2 2008-2009||98 MPH|
|Hummer H3||93 MPH|
That is why users considered the first Hummers underpowered.
Their 6.5 L V8 engine couldn’t deliver the amount of torque required to move the 10,300 pounds bulk at an impressive pace.
Things changed with the turbo diesels introduced in 1996.
The 2006 H1 Alpha with its Duramax Diesel and 5-speed Allison transmission delivered more torque. It also was faster speed, had better mileage and more fuel capacity.
The H2s all had gas engines and were smaller and the even miniature H3 could deliver speeds comparable to SUVs in its class.
The speed of the truck varies according to the model and year.
Meanwhile, there are several Hummer modifications that deliver astonishing speeds on or off-road.
The mods from Mil-Spec and other low volume vehicle manufacturers have this capability. But they are also expensive.
As said earlier, the H1 was the slowest of all Hummers.
The first models shipped with a 6.2-liter diesel with a 3-speed transmission. This limited their highway speed to 68 mph according to the manufacturer.
In reality, anything above 55 mph will strain the truck’s transfer case and joints to the limit.
The upgrade to a 6.5 liter naturally aspirated diesel with 4-speed transmission had 65 mph and needed 24.8 seconds to reach 0-60 mph.
Factory claims of the 1996-2000 Hummer H1 with a 6.5 Turbodiesel and 4-speed tranny is 83 mph but independent reviewers have achieved up to 90 mph.
You don’t want to hyper-mile the H1 as mileage will take a serious hit. There is also a risk of frying the t-case and suspensions.
The 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha was in a class of its own. It had a bigger and more capable 6.6 liter Duramax Diesel and a 5-speed Allison transmission.
The truck could reach 102 mph with a 0-60 mph of 14.4 seconds, which was the fastest of all H1s.
Whether you want speed, comfort, or exceptional towing performance, most users consider the H1 Alpha the best in its line. But it is also the most expensive.
GM produced the H2 from 2002 to 2009 in Sport Utility Truck and Sport Utility Vehicle variants.
According to the manufacturer, a 2003 Hummer H2 with 6.0 liter V8 and a 4-speed automatic transmission can attain a top speed of 93 mph.
The truck can speed up from 0 to 60 mph in 10.4 seconds.
A 2005 H2 SUT with the same engine and transmission has a top speed of 98 mph and could complete the 0-60 mph dash in 10.3 seconds.
The 2008 H2 had a 6.2 liter V8 with a 6-speed transmission. It could reach a top speed of 98 mph and took only 8.8 seconds to complete the 0-60 mph dash.
The Hummer H3 was small and designed to deliver the contemporary SUV experience with improved off-roading capabilities.
Production started in 2005 and ended abruptly in 2010 when GM had to wind down the Hummer brand as part of its reorganization efforts.
The 2008 Hummer H3 which weighs a little below 5000 pounds has a 3.5-liter engine that could reach a top speed of 93 mph according to the manufacturer.
Other year models of the H3 have a speed limit of 93 mph. But users have reported hitting 100 mph and above before the speed governor kicks in.
Besides the factory quoted values, individual drivers will get different speed limits on their H3.
But you don’t want to push the truck too hard, especially if you are using the 6-speed tranny as it is not as reliable as the 4-speed transmission.
What Is The Fastest Hummer?
The 2008 Hummer H2 is arguably the fastest production Hummer at 98 mph and reaching 0-60 mph in 8.8 seconds.
However, this is the officially reported performance with the speed governor.
Without the speed governor, even the Hummer H1 Alpha can reach 103 mph.
The H3 can also reach 3-digit speeds where road conditions allow such adrenaline-pumping maneuvers.
Modified Hummers such as the one Germany-based Geiger upgraded for a Texas cop can max out the speedometer at 155 mph!
Mil-Spec also upgrades Hummer H1s with 500 hp Duramax diesels to reach that speed.
Restrictions on most US highways don’t allow you to reach such speeds. But you can get one if you will be traveling on the autobahn.
What about Police Humvees and Military Humvees?
Any police-operated Humvee is a hand-me-down from the military so they have the same speed limit.
The military Humvee has a top speed of 70 mph while on the road but cruises at 55 mph.
Under the 1033 program, the Pentagon transferred excess defense articles including transport vehicles and assault rifles to civilian authorities.
It transferred decommissioned Humvees to state police departments for onward distribution to municipalities.
However, the program has been revised after the public outcry over the militarization of the police force.
Can You Tune a Hummer to Go Faster?
Depending on the engine in your Hummer, you may tune it up to go faster.
AMG and GM installed an electronic speed governor on Hummers to prevent them from exceeding a certain speed even if the engine’s rpm can achieve more.
What people do is to install a chip that overrides the speed governor or remove it altogether.
However, not all Hummers are rpm limited.
The manufacturer limits the speed of some Hummers because of the aerodynamic characteristics of the truck which makes it unstable at high speeds.
It’s like driving a wall of brick. Why would anybody want to drive such a vehicle at 100 mph or more?
Users of H2s and H3s which came with only gasoline engines can swap their underpowered motors for turbo diesels.
But this may require extensive and expensive modifications to the drive train.
Before attempting to boost your Hummer’s speed, make sure local regulations permit the change.
If you are a speed freak, it’s better to get a smaller car with better aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
Do you still think the Hummer is slow? Considering its aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, you will be hard-pressed to hit 3-figure speeds while driving a Hummer.
But the truck is not sluggish as many believe it to be; the Hummer just has a bad reputation.
The Hummer was not designed for racing. It was meant to rule the trails and get you to your destination in macho style.