The name sends a thrill rushing through the veins of anyone familiar with its context. Hummer – GM's iconic alpha dog SUV brand, purchased from AM General in 1998, holds a special place in the American automotive psyche. When GM set its sights on offering an electric truck to shock the automotive world, it was a fitting choice to revive the name after a 12-year absence. Despite its initially exclusive status, the 2022 GMC Hummer EV truck might be the most exciting and disruptive new vehicle in decades, and despite being designed to run on 100% electric power, it is determined to establish itself as the ultimate off-roading machine like the Hummer models before it.
The year was 1983 when AM General's HMMWV went into service with the US military, replacing the venerable jeeps of yesteryear. The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (to give its formal designation) soon became ubiquitous in military operations. The fame earned by the "Humvee" (as it was more commonly known) during the Gulf War inspired AM General to produce a civilian version known as the Hummer. Later purchased and produced by GM as the Hummer H1, the Indiana product was 7 feet wide, 6 ½ feet tall, 15 feet long, and every bit as capable in off-road situations as its military-grade counterpart. Though fewer than 15,000 units were sold, the iconic look is unmistakable and inspired the three Hummer models that have followed in its footsteps.
The popular H2 was a civilian-oriented redesign of the H1, with a more manageable width but otherwise mammoth height and length. The vehicle is legendary for its size, its Tonka-toy-like proportions and styling, and some of the worst fuel economy numbers on any modern production vehicle. The H2 was sold alongside the smaller H3, which was built on a midsize truck platform with the same styling as its big brother, for several years before the brand was shut down in 2010, having sold over 150,000 vehicles in total.
Now, after 12 years lost in the ether, one of America's most notorious designs is back in a huge way. Despite retaining a classic Hummer style and signature gargantuan dimensions, emissions for the all-new GMC Hummer will go all the way down to 0 – the benefit of going electric.
Hummers of decades past were famous for powertrains that burned fuel about as quickly as a barrel fire. They were powerful, to be sure, but that's what it takes to move such a beast around – towing and acceleration were not strictly the H2's forte. But the 2022 GMC Hummer EV is a completely different story.
Several trim levels of the Hummer are set to be released over the next few years, with each release having a lower starting price and generally reduced capabilities. The already-sold-out EV Edition 1, the first to be released, starts at $112,595 but offers the mightiest powertrain. How souped-up is it? The numbers are an astounding 1,000 hp and 11,500 lb-ft of torque. No - that is not a typo. This powerful vehicle has enough torque to get you out of any off-road situation that you might find yourself in.
The next trim in line, EV3X, will go on sale in the fall of 2022 for $99,995. It scales things back a bit to a maximum 800 hp and 9,500 lb-ft of torque - not quite as insane as the Edition 1, but it's still akin to a supercar. So what's all of that power good for? Well, GM claims that if you engage the available Watts to Freedom launch control system – complete with an exhilarating audio-visual experience inside the cabin – the enormous, blocky Hummer EV will lay down 0-60 mph in 3 seconds flat. For comparison, Porsche says the same thing about it top of the line 911 GT3 RS sports car. That's a little bit much to process - the Hummer EV can outrun a 911.
While towing and hauling capacities aren't released as of yet, the GMC Hummer EV is being released as a truck, so it'll surely be capable. Expect towing limits around 10,000 lbs and payload caps of about 2500 lbs for the Hummer EV to compete with claims about the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian's R1T - its competitors in the EV truck market.
Finally, GM says that we should expect the EV driving range to be 350 miles per charge, thanks to the new "Ultium" battery pack design. That's a pretty strong result considering that current EVs strive for the same kind of target. Plus, with 800 V and 350 kW fast-charging compatibility, you should be able to recharge with 100 miles worth of energy in just 10 minutes. No word yet on how long the battery will serve in off-roading scenarios, where battery life is more about time than the distance traveled, but expect to be impressed when we do get to see those numbers. In any case, with one-pedal driving and "regen on demand" features, there's a lot you can do on the road to enhance the electric experience and squeeze a little more from your electric super-truck. When you add it all up, one thing becomes abundantly clear - this is not your dad's Hummer.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV is equipped like the Iron Giant to handle whatever it comes across during off-road adventures. The 2021 Ram TRX and 2021 Ford Raptor off-roading super-trucks aren't getting a lot of time to catch their breath, are they?
A fully independent front and rear suspension system is standard on the Hummer EV, as are massive specially-designed 35" tires. Not big enough for you? No sweat, the Hummer EV is designed to accommodate aftermarket tires up to 37". Factor in GM's Adaptive Air Ride suspension, which adjusts damping in real-time with microsecond resolution to provide the most comfortable ride possible, and you'll quickly realize that this system is something special. The AAR function also allows the vehicle to be lowered for ease of entry and improved highway aerodynamics or to lift for off-roading. The first-of-its-kind Extract Mode adds 6" to the ground clearance, allowing you to get past the challenging obstacles and out of hairy situations like nothing else can.
One of the 2022 Hummer EV's most interesting selling points is that it can be equipped with rear-wheel steering. The immediately obvious benefit to the rear wheels having 10 degrees of steering to either side is that it makes the 18' vehicle turn better, shaving a full 7' off the turning circle for a significantly more manageable parking lot experience. GM has dabbled in this before, offering some early-2000's trucks with this feature, but the Hummer EV has another trick up its sleeve.
The Hummer EV's new trick is that it offers the ability for the rear wheels to steer in the same direction as the front – meaning that instead of turning, you'll be able to "crabwalk" the Hummer in a diagonal direction! When routes get a little too tight and twisty to steer the big beast through, you might just find that the ability to slide around obstacles is exactly what you needed. Plus, it'll be one heck of a cool trick to break out at the beach!
The interior experience of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV is like nothing we've ever seen before. The first thing you see is a pair of massive screens – a 12.3" driver information center display and a 13.4" infotainment touchscreen. The vehicle comes to life when you start it up, displaying graphics produced on the Unreal Engine by Epic Games for a remarkably interactive experience. Then you're immersed in the 14-speaker Bose sound system with Centerpoint surround sound technology and an Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement feature that uses active noise cancellation to optimize your audio environment.
Looking around the cab, you will see the speakers detailed in an interesting pattern – a graphic of the moon's Sea of Tranquility, taking the interior design theme of intergalactic travel to a new level. At night, you can see stars by the thousands as you look up through the panoramic Infinity Roof, seeming close enough to touch. Want to reach out and try? Okay, just take a minute to pop the roof off.
Wait, seriously? You bet! The modular Sky Panels can all be removed and stored comfortably in the "frunk" (the front-end storage space where you'd usually expect to find an engine) for an open-air driving experience reminiscent of iconic 1980's GM sports cars with the I-Bar roof. New for 2022 though, is the ability to remove the I-Bar and store that away, too. If you find it's obstructing the view of the Big Dipper, then drop the rear power window for a completely unrestricted open-air experience!
As you get underway, you can start to cycle through the camera views. GM is proud of how many camera views they offer on today's Sierra and Silverado models – but the list goes on and on! With up to 18 angles available, the 2022 Hummer EV takes the next step in the development of automotive vision by including two underbody cameras to provide "UltraVision" – clear views forward and back of what's between the wheels underneath, filling the role of spotter while you and your passengers relax inside. And before you ask, of course, these vulnerable devices are provided with spare lens protectors and a wash function, but GM also assures us that the locations are optimized to minimize the chance of damage.
There's one more feature you'll find when you're inside the Hummer EV that we simply have to tell you about. You're probably well aware of the increasing sophistication of advanced driver-assist technologies and even of autopilot functions with many auto manufacturers. If so, then we hope you'll be as excited as we were to learn that the 2022 Hummer EV offers Super Cruise, a hands-free cruise control experience that's even capable of executing automatic lane changes on over 200,000 miles of mapped North American roads!