GMC looks to shake up the truck segment with extreme off-road capabilities offered by the electric 2022 HUMMER EV
Written by Andre James / Photography courtesy of GMC
“Our goal was to develop the most capable, factory off-road pickup on the market. We’re excited to show the world what 100-plus years of truck know-how can do when applied to EV power,” said Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer of the newly unveiled GMC HUMMER EV. “It will have the capability to go almost anywhere, on- or off-road, combining screaming performance with a nearly silent ride,” he added.
This open-air, performance-oriented supertruck mates a GM-designed three-motor electric 4WD system with five advanced drive modes (four pre-configured and one driver-configurable), providing impressive capabilities. These include the ability to climb 60-percent grades in both forward and reverse, scaling 18-inch verticals, and fording water more than two-feet deep. For instance, in Terrain Mode, the driver can negotiate terrain at low speeds by simply modulating input on the accelerator pedals.
Enabling this performance level is an all-new body frame structure that eliminates conventional frame rails and makes the battery pack a fundamental structural element of the chassis. Without the constraints of a traditional propulsion system and standard drive axles, the system can channel more power to a single wheel.
Launched and offered exclusively in the fully equipped Edition 1 model with an Extreme Off-Road Package, each supertruck will be identically appointed with a white exterior and Lunar Horizon interior. Part of the HUMMER EV’s highlight reel of significant off-road features are independent front and rear suspension; an electronically controlled, driverselectable front e-Locker that elevates traction capability by locking both front wheels so that they turn at the same speed; a rear virtual locker that can vary the amount of torque sent to each wheel to optimize traction off and on-road; underbody armor; 18-inch wheels with 35-inch-OD Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires; and, UltraVision front and rear underbody cameras offering 18 camera views in total. CrabWalk, a segment-exclusive feature, turns the rear wheels at the same angle as the front wheels (up to 10 degrees) at low speeds, allowing diagonal movement of the vehicle. The driver is kept apprised of conditions and the truck’s settings at any time via a host of off-road widgets displayed on the infotainment and driver information screens.
The HUMMER EV’s Ultium Drive system delivers 1,000 horsepower, more than 11,500 lb-ft of torque, a three-second 0-60mph sprint, and a GM-estimated 350+ mile driving range on a full charge. HUMMER EV is the first GMC vehicle to offer variable Regen on Demand. This driver-controlled regenerative braking feature converts the kinetic energy of the truck’s forward momentum into electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery packs for maximizing the driving range. The system’s pure electric propulsion holds peak torque much longer, through a wider speed range (up to 40 mph) than even diesel engines, which is optimal for off-roading. The latest version of Super Cruise offers hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of enabled roads.
Watts to Freedom is the HUMMER EV's launch control mode, a driver-selectable feature that channels the propulsion system’s power into acceleration bursts. As the vehicle readies itself for Watts to Freedom, a series of interior experiences convey the feeling of a “prelaunch countdown,” including interactive controls, unique sounds through the Bose speakers, and screen animations. The vehicle also lowers two inches to prepare for the launch, utilizing a lower center of gravity. “It’s an amazing demonstration of just how fast 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 lb-ft of electric propulsion can move you — regardless of the vehicle’s size,” said Oppenheiser. “It’ll put a smile on your face every single time.”
Performance aside, the Infinity Roof with removable Sky Panels that can stow in the “frunk” at the front of the vehicle grabs attention on or off-road. Inside the five-passenger cabin, an easyto-clean vinyl floor topped with recycled rubber inserts takes the place of conventional carpet. There are ample storage solutions throughout. Epic’s Unreal Gaming Engine powers a pair of large graphic displays. Some functions are activated by voice command, while others employ smartphone-like swiping and scrolling.
The 2022 HUMMER EV Edition 1 will have a starting MSRP of $112,595. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2021 at GM’s Factory ZERO, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center— a nearly 40-year-old facility repurposed and retooled with a $2.2-billion investment devoted to electric vehicle production. sl