GMC would rather you call its new 2022 Hummer EV pickup a “supertruck,” a label that might be accurate considering the first Edition 1 model we just drove can rev off the line like a Corvette, has the chops off-road to humble a Jeep Wrangler, and looks like a scale model of a moon rover from a Marvel movie. But until we see one flying through the air, we’re not quite ready to embrace that term. For now, we’ll just call it awesome.
You don’t have to look far to find something interesting in the Hummer EV. The Edition 1-equipped version has three electric motors (one on the front axle, two on the rear) that combine with a 212.7 kWh Ultium battery to produce 1,000 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of torque . The truck weighs around 9,000 pounds and its highly efficient four-wheel-drive setup allows it to maneuver around parking lots like a Honda Civic. It can travel 329 miles on a charge, according to EPA methodology. While a recent prototype allowed us to experience its technical details in a closed environment, riding an unchaperoned production model in Arizona reaffirmed our first “wow” feeling.
The main feature of the Hummer EV is its Watts to Freedom (WTF) launch mode, the SEO of which will always make our eyes roll. But we’re guessing it fits a vehicle that should hit 60 mph in about three seconds and has an American flag tattooed on its C-pillar. Double-tap the stability control switch to engage WTF mode and wait a few seconds as the truck lowers its air springs, hardens its adaptive dampers, and prepares its systems for the oncoming stream of electrons. Smash both pedals to the floor, let go of the brake and hang on as the Hummer slams you hard into the seat, making its front tires squeal in the process. Amazingly, and unlike launch control systems in other vehicles, GMC says you can drive in WTF mode without it disabling, which makes blasting from one stop light to the next extremely easy. Ride quality suffers from the slammed stance, though, and the truck looks a bit silly with the 35-inch Goodyear off-road tires tucked into the fender wells.
The fact that the Hummer EV has the mass of two Kia Tellurides and the girth of a one-ton truck amplifies the abnormality of its athleticism, but it handles well and can probably squeeze into most garages. Once we got used to looking at its ultra-wide dash and through the split windows, it surprised us with its handling compared to other big pickups, like our long-term Ram 1500 TRX, which is 1.3 inches wider and 16.1 inches longer still. Rear wheels that can swivel up to 10 degrees along with a set of 18 exterior cameras aid in maneuverability and prevent you from inadvertently rolling back on Mazda Miatas. Push the steering wheel all the way in and this monster can turn around in a surprisingly tight 37.1 feet. Activating the Hummer’s other party trick, Crabwalk mode, spins the rear wheels in sync with the fronts, allowing the truck to cruise up to 15 mph – a nearly useless feature in the real world, however. exception of swivel heads when pulling up to curb.
The Hummer EV welcomes the open road with excellent ride comfort, positive if somewhat numb steering and powerful brakes. Aggressive inputs quickly remind you of the amount of mass he carries. But the truck responds obediently to occasional commands, and the low battery — which, at 2,923 pounds, weighs as much as a small hatchback — keeps the center of gravity low, increasing the Hummer’s poise and stability. Step on the gas and it can rip through traffic with surprising speed. And a range of sound profiles from the stereo speakers add a welcome aural flavor to the driving experience. While the WTF soundtrack reminds us of a spaceship being sucked through a wormhole, the profiles for the other ride modes (Normal, Off Road, Terrain, Tow/Haul, and Customizable My Mode) are more understated and serve a great purpose. part of low frequency background noise that helps to mask the roar of the tires.
We also like the Hummer’s multiple setups for regenerative braking, including an on-demand paddle on the steering wheel that can bring the vehicle to a stop, as well as two intensity levels for single-pedal operation. GM’s latest version of its Super Cruise hands-free driving assistant makes driving on some divided highways an equally simple affair. Already the industry standard for its dexterous lane-centering ability and all-around proficiency, this latest version adds an automated lane change feature that can be activated by pressing the turn signal stalk or letting the truck decide when to pass. slower traffic on its own. Although it was (wisely) a little cautious in determining when there was enough space to pass, the Hummer smoothly executed several excursions to the left lane without issue, returning to its previous lane when there was had enough space.
It wasn’t until we pulled away from the pavement that the Hummer got into character, however, deftly navigating two narrow, rocky tracks that such a large and powerful vehicle wouldn’t seem likely to tackle. It helped that the adjustable air springs allow up to 15.9 inches of ground clearance and the fully independent suspension can travel 13 inches of travel front and rear. There’s also the relentless traction provided by an electronically locking front differential and a rear axle with both virtual locking and torque-vectoring capability. Despite its ever-present bulk, this big GMC has far more power than you need for most trails, but carefully measuring its immense grunt is an effortless task.
While F-150 Raptors and TRX riders won’t be outdone in high-speed off-road conditions, the Hummer cushioned the harshest impacts well enough to make us think it could survive mid-air landings. at low altitude. More impressive is its ability to pivot around obstacles in Terrain mode, which uses the four-wheel steering system to maximum effect and can be thought of as low-range all-wheel drive in a conventional pickup. Skid plates and rock sliders protect the Hummer’s underside, and front and rear tow hooks that seem fit for earth-moving equipment will be welcome should you ever bury the truck in soft ground. Buyers who want even more ground clearance with larger spare tires are in luck, as GMC says it designed both the pickup and the upcoming SUV version to accommodate 37-inch rubber. While such an upgrade would surely cut into its lineup, the fact that GMC engineers made the effort has us wondering if a more hardcore Hummer model is lurking on the horizon.
Our disappointments focused on the interior of the Edition 1, which isn’t as roomy as a typical crew-cab pickup, especially in the back, and not as finely finished as expected with its price. base $110,395. It’s easy to spot cheap hard plastics crawling across the huge center console, and the textured vinyl on the dash and armrests, while attractive, is coarse enough to buck your elbows. The ease with which you can remove the four clear roof panels and stow them in the large trunk is great, but when they’re in place the many seams they create produce an annoying hissing sound at highway speeds that we wouldn’t want to tolerate. for long periods. We’ll be giving away GMC accessories for the infotainment presentation of the 12.3-inch instrument cluster display and 13.4-inch center touchscreen, which uses Epic Games’ Unreal Engine modeling software to vividly and intuitively render Hummer’s many settings and animations for its drive modes and performance readings. We just wish the system had more processing power, as we were spending too much time staring at loading screens every time we jumped between the main functions.
Although we didn’t need to charge the Hummer during our day in the desert, its battery system is designed to automatically adjust between 400 and 800 volt inputs, depending on the DC fast-charge source, and the Hummer can consume energy up to a whopping 300 kW. From a nearly full charge, we had over 100 miles of range left after a few hours of riding to and from the trailhead plus an afternoon of off-roading. We still don’t know how to label the Hummer EV, as it stands as both a technical triumph and a caricature of the automobile’s electric future. But it makes a good first impression.
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