Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
Yes, it was time for some action as automotive journalists were able to experience the full breadth of the baddest electric utility roaming the streets right now. The immersive program showcased the true lifestyle and authentic capabilities of the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Super Truck, from daily driving to 4x4ing to showing off its superpowers such as Watts to Freedom. But, of course, you saw the commercials already, so the highlight for Automotive Rhythms was CrabWalking the Arizona desert with grace.
GMC’s HUMMER EV is an anomaly in the electric world and represents unimaginable character traits that truck buyers and conscious thinkers will epitomize once taking ownership. I was first able to test the truck back in the fall of 2021 during an exclusive invite to GM’s proving grounds and testing center in Michigan. I piloted an engineering model on the track, over boulders, and on gravel paths to showcase the EV’s remarkable on-and off-road capabilities. It was epic, to say the least. However, a full two days in Arizona recently with the Hummer EV provided an extensive understanding of its engineering techniques, design philosophies, and tech partners such as Bose, who provides a 14-speaker surround sound system and Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement (EVSE) technology. EVSE replaces the mostly silent EV cabin with custom-designed propulsion sounds to elevate the acoustic environment.
The fascination of the HUMMER EV resides in its performance. Imagine a 9,000-lb electric truck blessed with a whopping 1,000-horsepower and 11,500 lb-ft of wheel torque (1,200 lb-ft of motor torque) from the three-motor (one for each rear wheel) e4WD system with torque vectoring. Now envision that exact vehicle smoking most sports cars (without the smoke) utilizing its Tyreek Hill 0-60 mph sprint time of 3 seconds. I was amazed at some of its feats and technologies that set it apart from even gasoline-powered 4x4s. One of the most palpable experiences behind the wheel is Watts to Freedom, akin to Launch Control. Once actuated, the EV lowers itself 3.5″ and pins passengers to their seats upon take off. It feels like that initial rollercoaster drop after a 10-second climb. Trust me, there is nothing like the power of electric torque.
GMC placed the 24-module, double-stacked 350kW Ultium battery system between the axles for added storage and a lower center of gravity. As a result, the vehicle can be powered up to 100 miles in 12 minutes from 800V DC Fast Charging. “As the first of GM’s next-gen EVs, the HUMMER EV will fundamentally alter conventional off-road and truck paradigms,” said Ken Morris, GM vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Programs. “It will also debut new technology, including our all-new Ultium batteries, Ultium Drive units, and the industry’s first wireless battery management system.”
The HUMMER EV SUT is an outstanding rock crawler and can hang with the best, whether it’s a Jeep Wrangler or a Land Rover. GMC partnered with Goodyear for the truck’s standard 35″ Wrangler Territory MT (Maximum Traction) tire with an open tread design to help clear out mud. An optional 37” is available from either BF Goodrich or Goodyear. Owners can view the wheels and terrain from an app and UltraVision’s 18 camera angles, including two underbody views to ensure the HUMMER is taking the proper lines off-road. Underbody armory stems from five skid plates and rock sliders for a complete cover. Additional confidence manifests from Terrain Mode, 16″ total ground clearance, a 50-degree approach angle, an electric locking differential and rear virtual locking differential, and Air Down Mode to lower tire pressure for better traction. Then you have Extract Mode, which raises the Air Ride Adaptive Suspension another 5.8” to help the truck walk over obstructions or climb out of dicey situations unimpeded. It can also swim through 32” of water. We ascended rocky hills during our desert excursion, bolted through dusty trails, and crawled back down with ease.
Key features from a style and functionality perspective include an Infinity Roof with a 4-part removable Sky Panel that stores in the front eTrunk; a 13.4” infotainment screen; “My Mode” for either Relaxed, Normal, or Adrenaline based driving styles; HUMMER EV lighting signature; a power rear drop glass; Google Built-in infotainment; and a 6-way MultiPro Tailgate. But there are takeaways. The screen seems like an afterthought and is not integrated cleanly, I discovered too many flimsy plastic toggle switches and trim in the cabin, and the tailgate does not close and retract as fluidly as it extracts.
Saving the best for last is the HUMMER EV’s CrabWalk mode that works in unison with Active Rear Steer (up to 10-degrees of rear steer), allowing the SUT to slide side-to-side while the front fascia points straight ahead. CrabWalk can be used in slow-speed maneuvers such as parking in and out of tight spaces or at higher speeds for fun and games. It’s pretty freaky but simultaneously cool. The SUT also has an impressive turning radius for making tight U-turns. The back swung around in unison with the front end to get us through seemingly impossible spaces during maneuvers.
There is not much I can think of that the HUMMER EV cannot accomplish, as my drive time offered a strategic glimpse of what to expect from GMC’s new EV super truck. Subsequently, I see why 66,000 anxious customers have made reservations. Moreover, the SUV version is on the way! The $110,295 HUMMER EV Edition 1 models are fully reserved, but you can place a hold on the $99,995 EV3x, the $89,995 EV2x, or the $79,995 EV2, which will be available in spring 2024. Welcome to “The Quiet Revolution!”