GMC goes over the top with all-new 2022 Hummer EV
Leave it to GMC to create the all-new 2022 Hummer EV, a vehicle that is simultaneously a luxury SUV and one of the most capable off-road machines to come along in decades. To make it even more impressive, the new Hummer is all-electric, boasting 1,000 horsepower and 1,200 pound-feet of torque at the motors, translating to 11,500 pound-feet at the wheels. Oh, one more thing. Because of all that torque, the 9,000-pound Hummer is also a dragster with a 0-60 time of 3 seconds flat using its "Watts to Freedom" or "WTF" mode.
This review is going to be longer than usual, because there's so much to talk about.
Let's start with the EV technology. The Hummer is the first vehicle based on GMC's new platform. There's a thick slab frame that houses 24 "Ultium" battery packs. GMC has developed these advanced batteries with fast charging capability and outstanding energy density. The official range of the Hummer is 329 miles, assuming you're not doing those 0-60 blastoffs all the time.
When you charge the Hummer, it's capable of accepting up to 350 Kilowatts and 800 Volts of DC Fast Charging. At that rate, you can put 100 miles of range into the Hummer in 12 minutes. In 42 minutes, you can go from 20% charged to 80% charged. Of course, you can still use Level 2 or even 120-Volt household current to charge the Hummer, but it will take longer. At present, Chargepoint offers DC Fast Charging on Swan Island at 125 kW. DC Fast Charging is also available at many points around the city at about 50kW.
Drive power comes from three electric motors; one in the front and two at the back, giving you full-time four-wheel drive. But the old paradigms of gas-engine 4WD no longer apply. There is no "low range" lever or switch, because the Hummer doesn't need the torque multiplying effect of a transfer case. Electric motors deliver their maximum torque at low speeds, so the Hummer just goes, with all four wheels clawing for grip and allocating power as needed. The front wheels use computer-controlled locking to get the power down, while the dual motors in the rear operate independently, giving you the best "locking differential" when you need it, and independent operation when you don't. Whether you're on the freeway or climbing a rock, the Hummer knows what to do.
Now let's talk about steering. The Hummer uses the most advanced four-wheel steering system ever offered by anyone. The front wheels steer the vehicle like any other, but the rear wheels can also steer up to 10 degrees in either direction. So when you're maneuvering on a trail or in a tight parking lot, the rear wheels turn opposite to the front wheels, giving the very large Hummer the turning radius of a subcompact car. What you notice when driving is that the Hummer is incredibly nimble and smooth for its size, and it's much easier to drive accurately than most large SUVs.
But there's more to the steering than that. Because the rear wheels can steer in either direction, you can also tell the Hummer to "crab walk." This feature allows the rear wheels to turn in the same direction as the front wheels, so the Hummer moves in a diagonal line. The effect is a little eerie at first, but can be useful if you need to move the whole vehicle sideways in a short space.
Keeping the focus on the underside of the Hummer, the suspension uses air bags to allow you to adjust the ride height. So you can settle the Hummer down for freeway driving, placing the motor and battery weight very low for a super stable ride. Then if you select off-road or terrain driving modes, the Hummer can raise itself up a bit for rough surfaces. There's even an extreme "Extract" mode that really jacks up the suspension to clear big obstacles. The Hummer can drive through 32 inches of water in this mode. Serious off-roaders will also note that the underside of the Hummer is one big, flat skid plate. There's no oil pan or transfer case to get damaged on a rock, and no exhaust pipe to get ripped loose.
Which brings us to the camera system. The Hummer offers 18 different camera views, including underbody cameras pointed forward and backward to show you if you're close to scratching the skid plate with a rock. More useful are the front tire views, and the forward-looking view from the front bumper. The bumper cam eliminates the forward blind spot, and gives you guidelines showing where the Hummer is going. You can place the Hummer on the trail with absolute precision even without a spotter.
That's enough about off-road, because the Hummer is also a luxury vehicle. The Edition 1 that's available for reservations now offers four doors and a short pickup bed, but there will also be a fully enclosed SUV style Hummer coming later. Still, the old definitions of pickup truck and SUV don't exactly apply here. We'll call the Hummer an SUV for its functions, but the truck bed is really handy, especially because it comes with GMC's 6-function Multi-Pro tailgate, which converts into steps up into the bed and allows easy access.
The Edition 1 Hummer also comes with removable roof panels, which store in a "frunk" up front where the engine would be in a legacy SUV. You can also roll down the rear window to really get the fresh air going.
If you need to tow, the Hummer will pull up to 7,500 pounds, and carry up to 1,300 pounds in its bed. So it's a usable vehicle for the things we do with pickups and SUVs.
Inside the Hummer, the advanced tech keeps going. There's a huge 13.4-inch center infotainment and camera view screen and a 12.3-inch driver information display to give you a fully science-fiction driver and passenger experience. The interior design reflects the blocky military heritage of the Hummer, but it's super comfortable.
One convenience tech feature to mention is GM's Super Cruise system. This is the very latest in driver assistance, which allows hands-free driving on the Interstate freeways and both the US and Canadian highway systems. The short explanation is that GM precision-mapped the whole Federal highway system in both countries, and the Hummer uses precise GPS positioning, radar, and cameras to help navigate the Hummer. So when conditions are right, you can take your hands off the wheel and let the Hummer steer. It will go around curves and even change lanes to get around slower vehicles. It's important to note that Super Cruise is not self-driving, however. The driver must keep eyes on the road at all times, and be ready to take over.
The 2022 GMC Hummer Edition 1 carries a retail price of $108,700. Which is a lot, for sure, but it's not that much more than other top-tier luxury SUVs. With all the features and capabilities of this vehicle, the value equation on the Hummer is going to be different from any other truck or SUV. This is the first of a new generation. Lower-cost models based on the same tech will surely come along in the next few years. GMC has set a new bar with the Hummer, and over 65,000 people have placed reservations for this vehicle. One thing is certain: you have never driven anything like it before.
2022 GMC HUMMER EV
Base price: $108,700
Price as tested: $108,700
Type: Full-size SUV
Engine: Three electric motors (1,000 hp, 1,200 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Direct drive
EPA estimated mileage: 51/43 MPGe
Overall length: 217 inches
Curb weight: 9,063 pounds
Final assembly: Detroit, Michigan
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.