2022 GMC Hummer EV Review: No More Gas Guzzler
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV. It sounds strange saying it. After all, who would’ve even remotely thought about associating the infamous Hummer gas guzzler with the idea of eco-friendly electric powertrains?
And yet, GMC took the bold risky step towards electrifying one of its famous humongous SUVs. It is still big; it takes on off-road challenges and it is mighty expensive. Let’s have a look at what the GMC Hummer EV has to offer.
Why an electric truck?
For the most part, the current EV market is mostly shared between compact sized cars, sedans, and only a handful of SUVs. However, North America is known for its inclination towards trucks and thus there is an open market to be exploited here by the electric vehicle revolution.
It was only a matter of time until electric pickup trucks were going to show. Even though for the moment the choice is rather limited, with Tesla’s Cybertruck, Rivian R1T, Ford Lighting and some promises made by Chevrolet and others, the change will come.
The Hummer EV wants to work
Most of the existing electric SUVs and the few electric pickups available have all went for a tear-shaped design. This ensures better aerodynamics and thus higher speeds, but most importantly, it squeezes more miles out of the batteries. After all, in the electric powertrain world, horsepower and torque figures have become secondary to mileage.
It is not the same with the Hummer EV. Instead of clawing every possible aerodynamic advantage, the Hummer EV looks robust, bold, angry. The rather boxy shape with straight edges and really high wheel arches indicates that this pickup is here to work, not just to stuff the stat sheet.
One of the distinctive features of the pickup that catches the eye right away is the front light system. Between the individual headlights, GMC added a light bar to connect those and create a stunning effect. Light bars did become a large car industry trend; however, we are used to seeing them on the back of the car, not on the front.
There is the already classic headlight activation when you approach the truck, but furthermore, there is are bars inside each headlight that show how much the battery charged while the pickup is connected to a charger. This is a great way of seeing how much power the batteries hold without getting into the vehicle.
The badge hunt
The six elements composing the light bar spell Hummer. While this electric pickup truck is made by GMC, you will only find the GMC logo in two or three places around the bodywork. Instead, there is a clear indication that the automaker is pushing hard to revive the Hummer brand. Thus, besides the nametag in the front light bar, you will find the Hummer name or the letter H posted all around the bodywork.
GMC did make finding all the Hummer tags quite an Easter Egg hunt. You have to know what you’re looking for, otherwise there is a good chance you will miss some of the Hummer references. For example, there is a tiny Hummer logo fitted into the side of the taillight, and the top taillight is shaped as an H.
Speaking of hidden things, the top of the C-pillar hides a small, blacked-out American flag on both sides of the car. This is likely to enforce the American heritage of the brand.
Trims and big wheels
As mentioned earlier, the big wheel arches are there to accommodate optional 35-inch wheels which will be a trustworthy ally in the realm of off-roading. According to various sources, it might be possible to fit wheels up to 37-inch without requiring any suspension adaptation. It’s just that you will have to buy them separately, as GMC won’t supply them.
On the inside, the Easter Egg hunt continues, but this time we are not looking for the Hummer badge. Instead, once you open any door, you will notice a textured surface applied over the speaker grille. It is a relief map of the moon, specifically the Sea of Tranquility area where the first man step foot on lunar soil. Furthermore, it even shows the clever detail of Neil Armstrong’s footprint embedded in the cover. Expecting more moon-related facts? The footrest near the pedals is sized exactly to Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit boot!
GMC will provide 4 trims on the Hummer EV. The top two trims, Edition One and 3X will come with three hefty electric motors while the bottom trims, the 2X and 2 will be equipped with two electric motors. In all trims, all four wheels will be driven, it will be just the total amount of horsepower and torque that will differ.
The total length of the Hummer EV is 217 inches. Its 135.6-inch wheelbase is shorter than a GMC Sierra regular cab pickup and a considerable two feet shorter than Sierra’s Crew Cab.
The Edition One, which was sold out in merely a few minutes, was set to start at $112,595. For the money, it provides a multi-function tailgate, 35-inch off-road tires, the Super Cruise assistance system and a very cool Extract Mode that lifts the suspension an extra 6 inches to crawl itself out of off-road pitfalls.
The 3X trim will come slightly cheaper at $5 under the $100,000 mark, and first deliveries are expected to start in the first quarter of 2023. The 2X and the “2” trims will only be available starting spring 2024. The base version will set you back $79,995.
On the inside
There is plenty to see on the inside of the Hummer EV, besides its moon engraved speaker covers. The Hummer EV translates its roughed-up exterior to the inside of the cabin. There is no “emotional design” and long blending lines. Instead, the dashboard is rectangular, with blunt edges. From the large buttons you can press with gloves on to the enlarged, thick screen and oversized door handles, everything is meant for work, not aesthetics.
The seats are comfy enough not to give you back pain. There is plenty of headroom and legroom both in the front and in the rear. Furthermore, the rolling rear window is a nice touch.
There are removable glass panels on the roof of the Hummer EV. Even with the panels mounted, you can see the sky while you’re playing in the dirt. But if you want to feel even more connected, just remove the four panels and enjoy the fresh air and breeze.
So, where do you stick those roof panels when your trunk is already full with your gear, luggage and such? Thankfully, GMC thought about that as well. Given there is no combustion engine, you can fit those panels in the large storage space hidden beneath the power operated hood.
Getting the power to the ground
The Hummer EV will use the same motors regardless of the trim. The Ultium 255Kw motors sum up to provide 1000hp and 1200lb-ft of torque on the top trim. The 250KWh battery pack is integrated into the chassis and it is supposedly good for 350 miles. GMC calls the structure body-frame-integrated. What this means is the Hummer is built around the steel battery box while the body panels coming out of the box are also playing a structural role.
In the top trim, using the might of all its three motors, the GMC Hummer EV is expected to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds. That is no easy number for a regular electric sedan, nevermind the 4.5-ton behemoth.
The Hummer EV even has a built-in system to let you enjoy the incredible acceleration. Named WTF (“What The Fuc… no wait, it’s “Watts To Freedom”), once you double tap the stability control button, the suspension lowers and the powertrain and batteries go into max performance mode. Seats start to vibrate; music starts playing and you’re instructed to push both pedals to the floor to arm the system. Then, release the brake and you’re off. Three seconds later with your body pressed firm to the seat and you see the speed dial hit 60 mph.
Besides the remarkably fast acceleration, the Hummer EV proves it is a formidable off-road beast. The unique “CrabWalk” system will allow both the front and rear wheels to move into the same direction, allowing the Hummer EV to get out of tricky situations. While we are used to seeing rear steering up to 3 degrees, the Hummer EV rear axle boasts an insane 10-degree turning ability.
Out from the safe space of asphalt, turn on Terrain mode to get more ground clearance and a more aggressive rear steering to get over rough terrain. Even over large boulders, the Hummer EV manages to crawl and, even if the bottom might scrape some rock, the robust skid plates do their job without concern.
When torque is available instantly, there is usually no need to switch cogs or lock and unlock differentials, like with classic combustion off-roaders. However, the Hummer EV still features an e-lock for the front wheels, as well as a virtual locking system for the rear wheels. Of course, these are not mechanically actuated, but rather software controlled from the motor side.
Another important feature found on the Hummer EV is the automatic tire deflation. You can go into the off-road app found on the center screen and set the desired deflation pressure. The horn will honk once the required pressure is achieved. On the downside, you will have to re-inflate tires on your own. Funny enough, the honking will be there this time as well, letting you know the tire is at max pressure.
The Hummer EV is an electric beast, ready to tackle even the toughest terrain and not complain about it. It radiates with a bold, tough attitude, both by design and performance. There is plenty of horsepower and torque to make the 4.5-ton giant reach 60mph in 3 seconds and it also comes with big enough tires to never really get stuck. Various gimmicks and clever engineering allow the GMC Hummer EV to provide a tough shell and plenty of options to get out of sticky situations.
With four trims to be expected, the price of the Hummer EV will range between roughly $80k and $113k. The wait for the lower trims will be rather long, yet given the performance and handsome looks of the Hummer EV, it will definitely be worth it.