GMC Electric Hummer Unveiled
GMC Hummer EV debuts with 1,000 horsepower and 0-60 in 3 sec for $112,595
The electric Hummer truck launches as a fully loaded Edition 1 model with a removable roof, super-fast charging, four-wheel steering with CrabWalk mode, standard Super Cruise tech and an insane launch-control system.
Daniel GolsonOct. 20, 2020 5:00 p.m. PT
Both auto writers and automakers love to use phrases like “the rebirth of an icon” for new car reveals these days, but recently it has actually been warranted. In the past few years we’ve seen new generations of vehicles like the Land Rover Defender, Ford Bronco and VW Bus reimagined for the modern era. And now the day has finally come for the biggest reborn icon yet — literally. The 2022 GMC Hummer EV is here.
As you probably already know from the eight months of teasers and rumors we’ve all endured, the new Hummer is a fully electric pickup truck that is being sold under the GMC brand. Headline-grabbing specs include 1,000 horsepower, a 350-mile range, ‘CrabWalk’ mode, a removable roof and phenomenal off-road capabilities. There’s seriously far too much to quickly list in an intro paragraph, so you’ll have to read on for a full rundown of all the specs and details.
When the Hummer finally goes on sale next fall it will be one of the first electric pickups to actually do so, with the Rivian R1T coming out a few months before and the Ford F-150 EV reaching dealers a year later. (And who knows when the Tesla Cybertruck will actually come out, although Tesla says production begins in late 2021.) GMC doesn’t really consider the Hummer to be in the same class as any other truck be they gas-powered or EV, though. The company calls the Hummer a “supertruck,” with lead development engineer Aaron Pfau saying that GMC is “forging a new path with this vehicle.”
2022 GMC Hummer EV is a 1,000-hp supertruck that moves like a crab
Hummer EV design and size
If you were worried that the new Hummer EV wouldn’t be as physically imposing as the H1 and H2, don’t be, because it’s absolutely freakin’ massive. At 216.8 inches long, the new Hummer EV splits the difference between the 2021 GMC Yukon (210 in.) and Yukon XL (225.2 in.), and it’s more than a foot longer than the Hummer H2. The 135.6-inch wheelbase is about six inches longer than that of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost, and at 81.1 inches tall, it stands a few inches above an F-150 Raptor.
The tall front end is distinctive and unmistakably a Hummer, with a light-up six-slot “grille” flanked by two thin headlights and a heavy-duty front bumper with a massive skid plate that’s reminiscent of the original H1 as well as Baja race trucks. An upright windshield and squared-off hood add to the imposing look, while the sides of the truck are fairly simple with huge boxed fender flares and prominent rock rails. The Hummer has a similar profile to the first-gen Honda Ridgeline, albeit much larger and boxier, with sail panels coming off the roof and extending onto part of the bed.
Every Hummer EV will have the Infinity Roof as standard, which is GMC-speak for a convertible roof that consists of four transparent, removable ‘Sky Panels,’ all of which can be stowed in the frunk. In addition to the main four panels, the central I-bar is removable and stows underneath the rear seats, and the rear window electrically rolls down as well. Pfau says that the Hummer’s Infinity Roof was a non-negotiable key feature during the truck’s development, as it provides an amazing open-air feel that so many off-roaders love. The Hummer also co-opts the Sierra pickup‘s MultiPro tailgate, which has six different functionalities on that truck.
The truck will only be sold in one body style, with a full four-door cab and a fairly short bed. Don’t expect any other bodies, wheelbase sizes or bed lengths, at least not in the near future. GMC is also working on a traditional Hummer SUV to sit alongside the pickup, but beyond a shadowy teaser of the profile, we know nothing about it. Pfau says the decision to launch with a pickup was partially due to the explosive growth of the EV truck market, and partially because a truck’s longer wheelbase allows for the biggest battery packs. The SUV should fairly closely match the specs and feature list of the truck, though. And speaking of specs and features, let’s dive in.
Hummer EV powertrain, performance and range
The Hummer is the first product built on GM’s Ultium architecture, and it’s a showcase for the capabilities of the new EV tech. First to the market will be the Edition 1 model, which uses a 200-kWh battery pack and a three-motor setup — one at the front and two at the rear — producing an estimated 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 pound-feet of torque. (Don’t believe that misleading torque figure, though, as my colleague Steven Ewing has explained.) Every Hummer has a four-wheel-drive system that GMC calls e4WD, and some models get torque vectoring. A less-powerful model with a smaller battery pack and only two electric motors will follow, but no performance specs have been given yet.
GMC says the Hummer’s estimated range is over 350 miles for the Edition 1, with no estimates for the lesser models. It’s got 800-volt DC fast-charging capability and will be able to use 350-kilowatt public chargers, a first for the industry. That means the possibility of gaining nearly 100 miles of range after just 10 minutes of charging, a nice salve for those afflicted by range anxiety.
One of the biggest complaints about electric cars that I hear from enthusiasts, especially from fans of traditionally V8-powered American vehicles like the original Hummers, is that the sound — or, I guess, the lack thereof — sucks. “EVs are too quiet,” they say, “they sound boring.” Well, GMC aims to remedy that issue with the Hummer. The engineers have been able to take the sounds that the electric motors organically produce and filter out the “nuisance sounds,” as Pfau calls them, amplifying “the cool sounds.” Now, I haven’t had the opportunity to hear what these sounds actually sound like, but the Porsche Taycan does something similar with its motor noises and I find that to be a very cool solution.
Hummers with the three-motor setup get a special launch control mode with a ridiculous name: it’s called Watts to Freedom. Yes, really. The WTF mode, as I will refer to it from now on, enables the three-second zero-to-60 time that GMC is boasting for the new truck. Toggling the mode is apparently a bit of an easter-egg hunt through the infotainment menus — you even have to tap and acknowledge that you’re about to “do something crazy,” according to Pfau — but a lot happens once you do. The air suspension starts lowering, temperatures get optimized and the batteries start getting cooled if needed. Unique graphics pop up on the gauge cluster, different sounds get pumped into the cabin, and the haptic driver’s seat even starts to rumble. Then you know you’re free to launch.
The Hummer’s drive mode control system provides a massive amount of customization, with drivers being able to adjust — deep breath here — the torque splits (and maximum torque), the four-wheel drive system, those enhanced noises, the four-wheel steering, ride height and shock damping, steering and brake feel and action, and the stability control.
Off-road capabilities for Hummer EV
It wouldn’t be a Hummer without extreme off-road prowess, and the new EV is set to be hugely impressive when the going gets rough. Pfau says that while rock crawling will be the truck’s “bread and butter,” it will be just at home blasting across sand dunes or traversing muddy trails. We don’t know all of its capabilities yet, but the Hummer will be able to scale 18-inch vertical walls and ford water that’s 2 feet deep, and it’s equipped with two differential lockers.
Massive 35-inch tires mounted to 18-inch wheels are standard equipment (Goodyear Wrangler All Territory MTs, to be specific) and Pfau says the truck can accommodate 37s without needing modifications. Higher-end Hummers will come with four-corner adaptive air suspension that allows for a number of useful features. In case you get stuck in deep mud or get the belly of the truck beached, an Extract Mode raises the ride height by 6 inches at the touch of a button, at which point the truck has a 50-degree approach angle. In total, there’s 8 inches of adjustability in the suspension and 13 total inches of travel front and rear. The position-sensitive shocks are similar to what’s found in the current Sierra Denali and are able to respond to road inputs 500 times per second.
GMC has already made a ton of noise about the Hummer’s four-wheel steering, and it sounds even more impressive than we originally thought. The rear wheels can turn either in phase or out of phase, with the driver able to select between the two (or turn it off) via the infotainment screen at low speeds. The CrabWalk mode lets the truck move diagonally, which will be a boon for tough trails, and the system also gives the Hummer a tighter overall turning circle (11.3 meters) than the Chevy Sonic hatchback. In addition to being useful off-road, the four-wheel steering will be a massive help with driving in a tight city or maneuvering into a parking spot, as well as making highway lane changes smoother.
The entire underbody is covered in steel armor plating, battery pack included, so you don’t have to worry about scraping and damaging important components. The Hummer also has two cameras mounted in the underbody that display a live view for easy navigation of obstacles. These cameras are protected and have washers to clean them, and they are able to show the inner sections of all four tires, which will be very useful on rocky terrain. In total, the Hummer has 18 different camera views as part of the UltraVision system, more even than the Sierra HD.
Hummer EV interior and technology
The Hummer’s 13.4-inch central infotainment screen and 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster are powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the same architecture that the extraordinarily popular video game Fortnite runs on. GMC says the Hummer’s interior uses “premium, technical materials” but we don’t have many details beyond that.
The interior looks very art deco in terms of design, with the Edition 1 getting lots of bronze accents that nicely offset the black and white scheme. Major touchpoints like the shifter and center console buttons look high quality while still being durable enough for an off-roader, and there are prominent grab handles on the doors. It seems like there are a good amount of storage cubbies, too, and the rear seat looks pretty spacious.
Baked into the infotainment system are a number of “widgets” that display every kind of information you could possibly imagine, many of which are designed for off-roading. These widgets show things like torque output from each motor, tire pressure, diff locker engagement, pitch and roll, a “friction circle” and a whole lot more. There’s even a drift gauge that shows the maximum angle you’ve achieved.
Super Cruise will be standard on every Hummer EV, affording it “hands-free driving” on over 200,000 miles of roads, and the enhanced system gains a new automated lane change feature. GMC hasn’t said much about what other kinds of active-safety features the Hummer will get, but with Super Cruise on board we have to imagine the Hummer will come with things like automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring, just to name a few features.
Pricing, trim levels and on-sale date for Hummer EV
As I mentioned earlier, the entire 2022 model year will consist of the fully loaded Edition 1 model, which will also carry over to the 2023 model year. The Edition 1 comes in a singular spec, painted in white with a “Lunar Horizon” interior scheme and unique badging and features and specs that have been mentioned so far in this story are packaged into the Edition 1. At $112,595 including destination the Edition 1 is the most expensive car that GM currently sells, and it’s one of the most expensive vehicles the company has ever produced, period.
Specific trim level names haven’t been announced, but following the Edition 1 in fall 2022 will be a lower-end three-motor model with a base price of $99,995. This version will also include torque vectoring and the WTF mode. Spring 2023 will see a two-motor model that includes the adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering for $89,995.
But the actual base model, two-motor Hummer won’t be out until spring of 2024. Starting at $79,995, this version does without the air suspension and four-wheel steering, but it will still come with features like the Infinity Roof, MultiPro tailgate, UltraVision camera system and Super Cruise.
Reservations for the Edition 1 are open now with a $100 deposit, with initial deliveries set to begin in fall 2021. The Hummer EV will be produced at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which was just renamed Factory Zero after undergoing a $2.2-billion investment to focus on electric cars