Think you know the Hummer? Think again.
GMC’s new 2022 Hummer is all about contradictions. What we normally think of as a beastly road hog sucking back gasoline like it’s going out of style is becoming the next fully electric, eco-conscious, off road-capable vehicle to hit the market. And while the Hummer has traditionally been the ride of the One Percent, this new EV version might make an appearance in a two-income family driveway in the next few years.
A pricey but functional supertruck
Let’s get the price tag out of the way. The first edition of the Hummer will be priced at $112,595. Yes, it’s a little hefty, but bear with us—we’ll talk about the cheaper options coming in the future, but knowing a little more about the specifications and technology on the Hummer should help explain the cost. It is, after all, something of a luxury supertruck as opposed to your traditionally rugged off-roader.
The Hummer is GMC’s first fully electric vehicle, and it will be powered by a 24-module Ultium battery pack and three-motor Ultium Drive system. Basically, these battery modules are stackable packs of power placed at a low center of gravity on the Hummer to provide more stability. The large number of packs provides an estimated 350 miles or range on a charge—a really impressive amount. You could drive all the way from New York City to West Virginia on a single charge!
The batteries in the Hummer EV are pretty smart. When at a fast charger, you can up the voltage of the battery pack to facilitate an even quicker charge, up to 100 miles in 10 minutes. The battery also recognizes when it needs to ramp down the current or focus on a different part of the pack. In essence, the battery will optimize itself.
And, if you’re out on the trail, you can take advantage of things like regenerative braking, which allows the battery to recharge under braking or when going downhill. That way, you can maximize battery life without having to worry about losing power.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 will be powered by three electric-drive motors that makes for an even distribution of power to the wheels of the truck. GM estimates the Hummer EV will make 1,000 horsepower as a result and over 11,000 foot-pounds of torque. Those are pretty big numbers and can be a little off-putting if you aren’t used to a vehicle with that much get-up-and-go, but for practical purposes, it’s going to allow you a greater range of motion and opportunity when you’re taking on difficult off-road obstacles. Horsepower is a little less important, but that’s where the ‘super’ in supertruck comes in. GMC is really just proving what it’s capable of.
The Hummer also said to go from 0-60 in three seconds—faster than Ferrari’s latest GT supercar. So, yes, the big numbers are a little bit about the flex.
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An off-road friendly design
GMC put a lot of thought into what would make this vehicle work best for off-roading. There are several different, customizable driving modes to help you navigate unfamiliar terrain, and GMC was quick to note that these are totally optional, since some people just aren’t a fan of too much tech in their cars. You have the option to use both the 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen and the 12.3-inch driver information module to check everything from climate controls to the exact percentage of battery life you have left. Or, you can keep things minimal and just get the basics, like speed and RPM.
The infotainment system is powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. That’s right—the founders of Fortnite are here to help. Basically, Epic Games helped to make the infotainment system a little more intuitive and user-friendly than the competition, since the company well understands how to inform people in a quick, attention-grabbing way.
One of the most talked-about tidbits surrounding this reveal is the Crab Walk feature. Essentially, this allows your tires to turn and propel the car sideways instead of forward, so you’re able to avoid tricky obstacles in your path without a bunch of wheel cranking. GMC also notes that the feature can be helpful for changing lanes with the Hummer’s automatic lane change feature, which determines when a lane change is possible and then executes it without the need for driver input. That crab walk feature also enables the Hummer EV to have a turn radius as small as a Chevy Spark.
In terms of the exterior, there are a few things to note. First, the Hummer EV has a high ride-height, which makes it a lot easier to drive over tall rocks or sticks without them scraping the underside of the vehicle. It’s a wide, rugged-looking vehicle, but it also offers transparent—and removable—roof panels that give you a chance to feel a little more like you’re physically out in the elements.
Those removable panels can be stowed in the “frunk,” or the front cavity space where a combustion engine used to be. If you’re not removing the panels, then you have extra storage space for any supplies you might need for your journey. And the tailgate of the Hummer is the same as the GMC Sierra, which means it incorporates various different tailgate styles that you can choose depending on your needs.
The Hummer EV is said to be one-of-a-kind.
In fact, GMC’s marketing team has highlighted the fact that the car is designed less to fit into a traditional automotive niche and more to appeal to the luxury goods consumers—you know, the people in the market for a boat, a summer home, and other fun toys. But it is undeniable that there have been a few different electric trucks to take the stage in the recent past, and these will be natural comparison points for the new Hummer.
The 2021 Rivian R1T is one possible competitor. It’s estimated to be priced around $70,000-$80,500 and should have 750+ horsepower, up to 400 miles of range, and a feature that enables the truck to turn on its axis. Its 0-60 acceleration is comparable to that of the Hummer EV, but details about the R1T are still pretty sparse. It’ll be hard to compare them one-to-one until they’re both hitting the road.
The other big competitor will likely be the Tesla Cybertruck. Its cheapest trim starts at around $40,00 while its most powerful clocks in at around $70,000. So, both of these trucks have the benefit of lower prices on their side. At the top level of performance, the Cybertruck should get 500 miles per charge and a 0-to-60 time of 2.9 seconds. The truck has a high adjustable ride height, which means that it should also have some off-road capabilities, but details are still very sparse.
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New trims will be coming in the future.
The big thing to note about the Hummer EV is that it’s an ongoing project, so we’ll be seeing plenty of different models at different price points coming from 2022 through 2024. In a lot of ways, GMC is releasing its most advanced model first, then introducing less expensive versions as time goes on.
The specs listed above are those of the 2022 Hummer EV Edition 1, which will be the first to come out in the spring of 2022. That fall, GMC will introduce the next trim, the Hummer EV3x, which will cost $99,995. It includes crab walk, a mode for extracting other stuck vehicles, an adaptive ride height, the three-motor drive system, torque vectoring (which means that the EV can determine how much torque each wheel gets, depending on need), and something GMC is calling “Watts to Freedom,” which is the launch control that makes you faster than a Ferrari.
The next trim, the Hummer EV2X, will come out in the spring of 2023. Its MSRP starts at $89,995, and it only has a two-motor drive system along with the crab walk capability, adaptive ride-height, and the extraction ability.
Finally, the most basic trim is the Hummer EV2, which will come out in the spring of 2024. This is about as basic as you can get—it won’t have the fancy crab walk or adaptive ride height, but it will still be a tech-forward off-road supertruck.
Edition 1 isn’t yet in dealerships, but it is available for pre-order.
Who, exactly, is the 2022 GMC Hummer EV for?
When rumor spread that the Hummer would be revamped as an EV, a lot of folks were skeptical. The name is synonymous with a kind of devil-may-care excess that doesn’t translate particularly well to the all-electric lifestyle, and the fact that Hummer folded after the 2008 financial crisis seemed to be its death knell.
It’s going to be tough for GMC to separate itself from the stereotypical understanding of what the Hummer is, but all the technology on this bad boy is really exciting. If you’re someone who likes the feel and capabilities of a larger vehicle but have started feeling a bit of climate guilt, you might find the Hummer EV to be right up your alley.
It’s the same if you’re an avid off-roading family looking to spruce up your driving experience. With tons of storage space, legroom, and adaptable driving modes, you’ll likely find the Hummer a great companion on the trail.