2022 GMC Hummer EV will be a game-changer for off-road vehicles
The Portland Tribune was recently invited to visit GM's Milford Proving Grounds for an early look at the forthcoming 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Pickup truck. Unlike the previous Hummers made to resemble the military HMMWV (pronounced Hum-Vee) vehicles, the new HUMMER EV will be built on an entirely new platform designed exclusively for EV use.
Everything about the HUMMER EV is new and oriented around its electric drivetrain. Like other new EVs, the chassis platform is a flat slab, with 24 Ultium battery packs located in the slab under the cabin, where they are protected on all sides and keep the HUMMER's weight down low. This allows GMC to place a pickup or SUV body on top of the chassis with plenty of interior space.
Electric Motors and All-Wheel-Drive
Every HUMMER EV will have two electric motors at the rear and one motor at the front, driving all four wheels with computerized control. With the three-motor design, GMC has been able to produce up to 1,000 horsepower and believe this, up to 11,500 pound-feet of torque. To make a comparison, GMC's diesel-powered Sierra 3500HD produces up to 930 pound-feet, or less than 10% of what the HUMMER can produce. With all that power and the electric AWD system, the HUMMER is capable of 0-60 MPH acceleration in just about three seconds flat, which is similar to an exotic supercar.
Off-road suspension and steering
The HUMMER rides on an adjustable air suspension with 13 inches of vertical travel. In most modes, the HUMMER has 10 to 11 inches of ground clearance on 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires. There are no solid axles as you would find in a traditional truck, so the lowest point on the underside of a HUMMER is the skid plating that protects the chassis.
If you order the Edition 1 with the Extreme Off-Road Package, the HUMMER includes a function called Extract Mode, which raises the suspension to provide 16 inches of clearance. This is the sort of suspension usually used on highly specialized rock climbing and off-road racing vehicles, but it works well with the computer-controlled HUMMER.
The HUMMER also offers new steering technology. GMC used the electric vehicle architecture to implement four-wheel steering like no other production vehicle has ever had before. The rear tires can turn up to 10 degrees when you turn the steering wheel. Used in concert with the conventional steering on the front wheels, this gives the very large HUMMER pickup or SUV a turning circle roughly equivalent to a small compact car. You can make a complete U-turn in less than 40 feet, which is impossible in any other truck.
Another HUMMER first is the "Crab Walk." This is another part of the four-wheel steering package. In normal turning, the rear wheels steer opposite to the front wheels to turn the vehicle in a tight circle. However, when you select Crab Walk, the rear tires turn in the same direction as the front tires, so the vehicle moves diagonally, enabling the HUMMER to maneuver in very tight spaces. The feeling of crab walking the HUMMER is a little disconcerting at first because most vehicles never move like that, but once you understand how to use it, crab walking makes normally difficult things like parking in constricted spaces a breeze.
18 camera views and a 13.4-inch screen
The HUMMER Ultravision camera system offers 18 different views. In addition to the usual trailering and birds-eye cameras, the HUMMER provides bumper-mounted forward and rearward views, and industry-exclusive forward and rearward-looking cameras on the underside of the chassis. This allows you to see your under-vehicle clearance in real time.
HUMMER also offers the latest in cabin technology. The dashboard display is a wide 12.3-inch screen, and the center display is a 13.4-inch screen. There's a dial controller interface and the screen is touch-sensitive.
GM's Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance allows you to set adaptive cruise control with automatic steering on hundreds of thousands of miles of US and Canadian highways. The Super Cruise system allows the HUMMER to pull out and pass slower vehicles when you choose to, and then automatically return itself to the cruising lane. While the system operates without your hands on the wheel, it's important to note that it is not a self-driving system, and the driver must maintain eyes on the road at all times.
We drove the HUMMER EV on both gravel and paved roads at GM's proving ground. These roads are made to simulate both smooth and rough pavement, with railroad crossings, bumps, and cracks in the roadway. In fact, the experience is very similar to driving on the roads we have here in the Pacific Northwest. The Hummer's active air suspension and heavy vehicle weight simply soak up the bumps, delivering a very smooth ride. The large balloon tires and the high-travel suspension can be a little bouncy, but it's a smooth and controlled bounce as you expect from a luxury SUV.
After the road test, we took the HUMMER on a few challenging off-road courses with obstacles. This is where the HUMMER really differentiates itself from other EVs, and from other off-road vehicles. When you encounter an obstacle, you just set the HUMMER to raise its suspension and the torque of the electric motors allows the HUMMER to scramble over obstacles or up slippery terrain.
The bottom line
The HUMMER is an entirely new creation when it comes to off-road capability. Nothing else on the market will do what this truck can do. As an on-road every day vehicle, the HUMMER will be a luxurious and fun vehicle with range up to 350 miles, depending on the model. It's expensive, but not more expensive than many other luxury heavy-duty pickups and SUVs.
The base price announced by GMC for the HUMMER EV Pickup will be $79,995 when the base trim becomes available. The Edition 1 with the available Extreme Off-Road Package that we drove last week will retail for $110,595 when it arrives at dealerships by the end of this year.
2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup
BaseÂ price:Â $79,995
PriceÂ asÂ tested:Â $110,595
Type:Â Full-size Pickup
Engine:Â Triple Electric Motors (1,000 hp, 11,500 lbs-ft)
Transmission:Â Direct drive
Range:Â up to 350 miles
OverallÂ length:Â 216.8 inches
CurbÂ weight:Â TBD
FinalÂ assembly:Â Hamtramck, Michigan
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