The Hummer is unmistakably American — big, brash and chugging petrol like fish drinking water. Ultimately, its addiction to dino-juice is what led to the SUV’s downfall. There was no place for such a beastly machine in the new decade. After a failed attempt to sell the company in 2010, General Motors was forced to shut down the Hummer brand for good.
However, this year marks the revival for the Hummer nameplate as GM has announced that the SUV will be a fully electric super-truck sold under the GMC sub-brand. The 2022 GMC Hummer EV combines GM’s more than 100 years of experience in truck-building with the next generation of electric vehicle technology to give buyers the best of both worlds.
On the outside, the Hummer EV is unmistakably meant for rugged terrain. The tough, boxy design is signature Hummer, albeit with softer edges showcasing a more futuristic look. The fascia of the Hummer is genuinely unique, with the entire front dominated by an enormous LED light cluster that was made up of six clusters of illuminated vertical grille bars.
The upright windshield, aggressive off-road specced bull bars and the HUMMER name sprawled across the front lend to the Hummer EV’s rugged and in-your-face appeal. The tailgate adds a practical touch to the Hummer EV, improving access for loading and unloading cargo from its cargo bed.
The Hummer EV, unlike other EV’s, is absolutely massive. 5.5 metres long and almost 2.4 meters wide, road presence is something the Hummer EV has in bucket-loads. Moreover, its off-road credentials are further emphasised by the maximum ground clearance of 404mm, 18-inch aluminium wheels and massive wheel arches that can accommodate up to 37-inch off-road tires. These tires come with an automatic tire inflation/deflation assist for greater traction on off-road surfaces. At the same time, two underbody shields consisting of skid plates protect the battery pack and drive units when going through rough and rocky terrain.
The underpinnings of the Hummer EV are where it truly stands out. Equipped with a GM-developed two or three-motor e4WD system and selectable drive modes, the Hummer EV is capable of tackling the roughest of terrains. These motors are capable of producing anywhere from 625hp for the base 2x variant with two motors, all the way up to the full three-motor 1,000hp for the range-topping Edition 1.
GM claims the Hummer EV can achieve a driving range of 400km on lower-powered variants, with the Edition 1 estimate to have 560km of range. Without the constraints of a traditional powertrain, the five drive modes can configure individual dynamic vehicle elements such as torque distribution, four-wheel steering, ride height, shock damping, throttle maps and brakes. These modes suit a variety of driving conditions, from rock crawling to highway driving and even trailer pulling.
The all-new chassis is a variation of a body-on-frame design, eliminating the conventional frame rails, with the battery pack now forming a fundamental structural element of the chassis. This unique architecture gives the Hummer EV a low centre of gravity that improves off-road stability and optimises ground clearance. The all-round independent suspension paired with drive motors enhances off-road handling, allowing for 13-inches of suspension travel without compromising on-road driving capabilities.
Most impressive of all, the Hummer EV can traverse gradients of up to 60-per cent both forward and in reverse, while capable of wading through two feet of water. The Hummer EV comes with a selectable locking differential on the front axle, as well as a virtual rear locking differential for the dual motors, which creates a fully synchronised e4WD system capable of torque vectoring up to 100 per cent of power to individual wheels.
Despite its massive size, the Hummer EV has a surprising number of features to grant it unprecedented manoeuvrability through five driving modes - Normal, Off-Road, Terrain, Tow/Haul and the driver-configurable My Mode. In Terrain mode, braking calibration can be selected with either two-pedal operation or a purpose-designed one-pedal operation for low-speed off-roading.
Four-wheel steering is also available to aid in manoeuvring this beast in tight spots. This system also debuts a segment-first CrabWalk feature that turns the rear wheels at the same angle as the front wheels at low speeds, allowing diagonal movement of the vehicle. Adaptive air suspension will be available on the Hummer EV to increase the ride height by up to six inches, enough to drive on rough terrain or wade through water.
The infotainment is configurable and displays various off-roading information such as torque output and vectoring, tyre pressure, and pitch and roll angles. Similar to the ClearSight technology function found in the latest Range Rover’s, the Hummer EV includes new front and rear underbody cameras with live views as part of the ‘UltraVision’ system. Given the massive size of the Hummer, it is no wonder a total of 18 different camera views are needed to help navigate it.
The Hummer EV will be the first full-electric vehicle in GMC’s portfolio powered by General Motors’ new Ultium battery system that has been co-developed with LG Chem. Production of the Hummer is expected to commence late 2021 at General Motors’ Factory ZERO in Detroit, Michigan following a near $2.2 billion investment.
With upcoming rival trucks such as the Tesla’ Cybertruck and Ford’s electric F150, slated for release in the near future, it will be interesting to see how this revived brand can stand up to the 21st-century industry giants.