In August, we reported AM General was considering selling a build-it-yourself Humvee kit to civilians. Today, the Indiana-based automaker announced it’s moving forward with the plan, and is opening the order books for initial deposits.
As we reported then, the Humvee C-Series (don’t call it a Hummer; General Motors still owns those trademarks) is a bare-bones, stripped-down truck designed primarily to appease off-road enthusiasts. The C-Series will be offered only as a four-door, soft-top vehicle, and only with canvas doors. Although some interior panels – notably the dashboard and center console – resemble the late Hummer H1 Alpha, its interior is far more Spartan than its leather-trimmed predecessor.
The base C-Series kit starts at $59,995, and essentially includes everything needed to build a functional Humvee/Hummer, including frame, painted body (in your choice of khaki, dark military green, or sand colors), cooling package, wiring harnesses, fuel tanks, seating, front and rear Torsen differentials, and top. The only thing not included is powertrain: owners will need to source their own engine and transmission. Owners will also need to build the vehicle, although AM General notes a number of “intricate subassemblies” are pre-assembled at its factory in Mishawaka, Indiana.
“All the basics for the kit are supplied,” says William Thompson, C-Series kit program manager, in a prepared release. “We have provided the core components and allow the kit builder to source their powertrain, wheels, tires, and even the audio system of their choice.”
Buyers will also be able to add a number of features to their kit directly from AM General. The Humvee’s signature central tire inflation system (CTIS) adds another $1611, while adding CTIS with CTIS-ready wheels adds $5584 to the price tag. If you’d like CTIS to be bundled with Hutchinson 17-inch beadlock wheels and BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A tires, add $6964 to your budget. A Warn 12,000-pound winch runs $2249, underbody driveline protection adds another $985, while aluminum rocker panel guards are priced at $701. A geared fan-drive – required if your crate engine is over 220 hp – runs a stout $3588. Heated windshield panes costs $946, and upgrading to Eaton ELocker front and rear differentials runs an extra $2452.
Tick every box, and a Humvee C-Series comes out to about $77,800, and that’s before adding in the cost of an engine and transmission. Customers interested in a C-Series kit need to reserve one by placing a refundable deposit for $5995, which works out to 10 percent of the base price. The first 50 to do so will receive commemorative placards along with their kit.
There is one caveat: although sources close to the project tell us AM General has received tremendous feedback from enthusiasts, the Humvee C-Series is still billed as a “work in progress.” Company officials tell us it will only proceed if there is enough customer commitment to make the program viable.
Although we suspect there is, given today's announcement, a formal decision will be made by March 30, 2013. If AM General concludes the program is viable and the Humvee C-Series remains greenlit, customers should expect their kits to be shipped in June 2013.
For more information, visit www.geniuinehumveekit.com.
Source: AM General