And though it has a less controversial design, it might even be more exciting than the Tesla Cybertruck. It’s greener than the original Hummer, but has attitude in spades
The Hummer is back, but perhaps not as you remember it. GMC announced the new Hummer EV SUV last weekend, joining the Hummer EV Pickup that it announced last year as the newest and craziest EVs to come out of a mainstream automaker so far.
Think of it as a leaner, greener Hummer SUV for this more climate-aware age, but one, GM hopes, that has all the brash attitude that Hummer buyers know and love. Between a promised greater-than-300 mile range, some crazy performance specs, and trick features like Extract Mode, Crab Walk and Watts To Freedom (or WTF), it’s clear that General Motors really wants to make a splash. Here’s what you need to know.
SEE: 5 Internet of Things (IoT) innovations (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
The 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV includes a bunch of high-tech features that will grab any electric vehicle enthusiast’s attention—and probably turn a few people into EV enthusiasts as well.
The new SUV has an available three-motor “e4WD” system that generates a “GM-estimated” 830 horsepower and 11,500 lb-ft of torque. Those are pretty insane numbers, so it’s worth noting that these are coming out of simulation and pre-production data from GM and the truck won’t be out for a few years still. Still, General Motors wouldn’t be throwing those numbers out there if they weren’t confident in them.
In a Q&A with journalists this week, GMC representatives wouldn’t share the exact size of the battery packs available in the new Hummer EV SUV. Instead, they just said there would be a “20-module, double-stacked” version of its new Ultium battery pack and that the vehicle would offer “more than” 300 miles of range on a full charge. In the end, it’s the range that matters, not battery size, so it may be that GM is deciding to pivot away from battery size measurements as some other EV makers have.
To charge that 20-module battery pack, the Hummer EV will support 800-volt DC fast-charging at up to 300kW. That’s not something that’s very common at current EV charging stations, but this vehicle isn’t expected to hit showrooms for a few years, so it’s likely to be more common by then.
Finally, while it’s great to charge fast, GMC wants to enable all sorts of overlanding and off-roading options, so the Hummer EV SUV will be able to “jump charge” other EVs with an onboard 240-volt power outlet capable of transferring juice at 6kW. That’s as fast as some residential Level 2 chargers.
The Hummer EV SUV will have GM’s excellent Super Cruise driver-assist feature, allowing for hands-off driving on most major limited-access highways in the U.S. Up until now, this has been limited to a handful of Cadillac models but GM is expanding Super Cruise to the new Chevy Bolt EUV this year and the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks for 2022. The Hummer will also get the enhanced version of Super Cruise which includes an automatic lane change feature.
With the optional Extreme Off-Road Package, the Hummer EV SUV will have up to 17 different camera views including some really nifty under-vehicle cameras (useful for off-roading) with self-cleaning features, in addition to the more standard 360-surround view and backup camera options.
A pair of large screens — a 12.3-inch screen in the dash for the driver and a 13.4-inch infotainment screen — display all manner of vehicle and entertainment information, including in-car apps for displaying off-road trail information. The interface is particularly cool, with a brand new design from Perception, a Hollywood design house that famously did much of the user interface design work for a bunch of the Marvel movies including “Black Panther.”
When work began on the development of the Hummer EV project, GM “started going outside the box with suppliers,” GM Creative Director Scott Martin said in an interview. “Perception is one of those ways we went outside the box.”
The user interface is nothing like we’ve ever seen from GM, though this was built on top of the existing Info3 system that’s available in current GM vehicles. The company is using Epic’s Unreal engine to do some real-time rendering of the Hummer driving over different terrain types to showcase the capabilities of the various vehicle drive modes.
“Some customers don’t know what the drive modes are and they don’t feel comfortable changing them,” Martin explained. “It’s cool to show Hummer on different planets, but it’s also helpful to show what the drive modes are doing.”
The screens also have a number of off-road widgets to show what the vehicle is doing in different situations, including the adjustable ride height, real-time pitch and roll indicators, compass headings and more.
Finally, GM’s marketing team has had some fun coming up with names for some of the fancy features that are only available on the Hummer EV family.
There’s “Watts To Freedom,” which is clearly a backronym for “WTF” and is a special 0-60 speed run mode with its own custom screen setup to show drivers how much horsepower and torque is being generated to get the car from 0-60 MPH in as little as 3.5 seconds.
Then there’s CrabWalk which uses a four-wheel steering functionality to allow the car to drive diagonally, which is potentially useful in off-roading situations but is definitely useful for showing off to your friends. The four-wheel steering also allows the vehicle to have a smaller turning radius than similar large SUVs, so it’s not just fun-and-games.
Finally, there’s “Extract Mode,” which uses an optional air suspension to increase the vehicle’s already prodigious ride height by an additional six inches to climb over even larger obstacles. The air suspension also has an entry and exit mode where the vehicle will drop down to help folks get in and out more easily.
Pricing and availability
The Hummer EV SUV and pickup can both be reserved now on GMC’s website. The SUV will begin production in early 2023, while the pickup is scheduled to begin production this fall.
Both the Hummer EV SUV and pickup start at $79,995 and run up over $100,000 for the top-trim models. Other trims are available depending on how many motors, how large a battery, and what sorts of features you’re interested in.
But the Hummer EV isn’t the only all-electric news to come out of General Motors this week. The company also teased a new Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup on Tuesday, promising a 400-mile range when it comes out in a few years.