2022 GMC Hummer EV Is Big, Brash, and a Beast Off-Road

2022 GMC Hummer EV Is Big, Brash, and a Beast Off-Road

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The 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup truck weighs in at 0ver 9000 pounds but will run a 0-60 mph in about three seconds with WTF mode engaged. With the absence of any familiar internal-combustion noise, the Hummer has various sounds piped into the cabin during different modes. The Hummer’s rear-steering capability is substantial and transformative, helping both with tight parking maneuvers and difficult off-road courses.General Motors made an audacious move when it resurrected the Hummer—widely seen as the ultimate in-your-face gas hog—to serve as the halo vehicle for its supersized electric vehicle ambitions. Counterintuitive, perhaps, but two days spent with the 9000-plus-pound, $110,000 super-truck in sunbaked Arizona highways and off-road desert trails made for a compelling argument for the marketing strategy.The 2022 Hummer EV Edition 1 is loaded with attention-grabbing tricks that usually don’t make it from concept car to dealership showroom. The electric Hummer can walk like a crab, steer from the back, open like a cabriolet, and screech down a straightaway like a five-ton tank on a dragstrip. WTF? Related Stories GMC Hummer Edition 1 Deliveries Begin 2024 GMC Hummer SUV Expands GM’s EV Lineup Joe Biden Drives Hummer EV at Factory ZERO Opening That’s not me being rude. It’s GMC being provocative. “WTF” is the official corporate name—thinly disguised as “Watts to Freedom”—for the mode that boosts the vehicle’s horsepower rating from about 960 hp to an even 1000 ponies. The engineering to make that happen, mainly cooling down the electric powertrain’s inverter, is intriguing. But will passengers be able to discern that small gain in acceleration? Probably not. So GMC turned Watts to Freedom into a videogame-like experience to be had from the cabin.We got a WTF demo in a parking lot adjacent to State Farm Stadium, where the NFL’s Cardinals play in Glendale, Arizona. The Hummer EV’s 11,500 lb-ft of torque delivered via three electric motors is astounding and would be enough to garner attention. But GMC added WWF theatrics. To engage WTF mode, you mash the brake pedal to the metal with your left foot and the accelerator as far as it goes with your right foot. Lift off your left foot, and the hefty Hummer takes off like a rocket ship—0 to 60 mph in about three seconds. The seat vibrates, and an arcade soundtrack blasts through the speakers. It’s an elaborate party trick.EVs are respected for being silent, but GMC Hummer pipes in sounds during various modes. Engineers described the sound design as a mashup of a jet fighter, Formula E racers, and sound effects from Back to the Future. And then blend in a guitar riff from Aldo Nova’s “Fantasy,” one of the great one-hit wonders from the 1980s. Drag racing the Hummer EV is a fun one-off trick, and its practical use is minimal. On the other hand, the Hummer’s rear-steering capability is substantial and transformative.Depending on the driving mode and other conditions, a degree or two of turning the steering wheel signals the rear wheels to turn as much as 10 degrees. The rear steering—similar to how long articulating fire trucks with rear tillers turn corners—is beautifully employed in the electric Hummer. As a result, the heavyweight Hummer glides with ease on surface streets and highways. VIEW PHOTOS GMC Meanwhile, on rough trails, the rear-steer lends off-road novices (like me) the skill of a Baja champion. Placing the Hummer EV in Terrain mode allows forgiving maneuvers past and over boulders—and up and down steep grades. “It’s getting the full 11,500 foot-pounds of torque to climb steps and stuff like that,” said Kevin Robinet, assistant chief engineer for the GM’s BEV truck propulsion systems.Terrain Mode also finds an entirely novel use of EV one-pedal driving. At the most precarious spots—including steep grades adjacent to soft sand dropping down dangerous cliffs—I could lift my foot off the pedals, and the super-truck became glued in place. It’s hill-hold on steroids. “Everybody hated Hummers because they used too much gasoline. But now it’s not using any. GMC flipped the script.” When a rising angle prevented me from seeing over the hood to an unknown descent, two underbody cameras could show me what lay ahead. A total of 17 cameras provides every imaginable view of trail obstacles from the cockpit. Trail spotters can stay inside in the comfort of the spacious, comfortable cabin. And there are no worries about the lenses of those underbody cameras getting covered in dust and grime. Push a button on the dash, and they are washed clean.It’s uncertain how often GMC Hummer EV owners—mostly deep-pocketed consumers willing to spend more than six figures for a super-truck—will hit trails and use the vehicle’s impressive off-road capabilities. But the rear-steer and the otherworldly CrabWalk feature that makes the vehicle move sideways have more practical uses. “You can take lines that were never possible before, getting around boulders and rocks,” said Matt Mallino, marketing manager for GMC Hummer EV. “But you also can get into a tight parking spot at the mall or grocery store. It’s one of the most agile vehicles in the industry.” VIEW PHOTOS A total of 17 cameras provides view of trail obstacles from the cockpit, even from below the vehicle. GMC Other practical EV matters—such as range and charging speeds—meet or exceed industry standards. The Hummer EV Edition 1 goes 329 miles on a single charge and has ultra-fast highway charging. Subsequent trims will go as far as 400 miles. Is this Hummer efficient? Not especially. We used about 26 kilowatt-hours of energy over 44 miles. That equates to less than 1.7 miles per kWh—which should earn the Hummer the title for least efficient electric vehicle on the market. Not surprising.Nonetheless, the GMC Hummer EV is a fully realized all-electric super-truck with a long list of elegant design features. For example, the entire rear glass rolls down like a window, and rubber flooring make the interior easy to wash down. GMC exterior designer Brian Malczewski paid homage to the original Hummer while imbuing the design with the restrained sophistication of an electric vehicle. “You don’t have a transmission tunnel, and you have a flat skateboard with a lot more storage space,” said Malczewski. “But we were still able to make it look like a crazy, capable badass truck.” Related Stories Why GMC Hummer Is Entering Extreme E Watch GMC’s Hummer EV Use Its Launch Mode 20 Facts About Hummer The design walks a tightrope of maintaining its Hummer-ness while looking to a new, brighter future. “Everybody hated Hummers back in the day because they used too much gasoline,” said Zane Merva, founder and publisher of the popular GM-Truck.com forum. “But now it’s not using any gasoline. GMC flipped the script, which has shock value. You know it’s a Hummer, yet it’s completely the opposite of what you have always thought about a Hummer.”Merva recalled his experience of owning a Hummer H3 in 2005. “On two occasions, I came out from the mall to find that somebody had put a bumper sticker on it. One of the stickers said, ‘I waste gas and run over small children.’ It made me self-conscious about driving the H3.” Merva concludes that making the Hummer into an EV will “succeed in getting attention.” Mission accomplished, GM marketers. SIGN UP “People who never before considered owning an electric vehicle but who want the best truck on the road are all in for the Hummer EV,” said Mallino, the vehicle’s marketing manager. He explained that reservation-holders are skewing heavily in Florida and Texas—not typical EV markets. And that 70 percent are new to EVs while 75 percent are new to GMC.The impact is less relevant for selling more Hummer EVs. As it is, GMC will need a few years to deliver vehicles to its list of 65,000 reservation-holders. Where this strategy counts is in selling millions of future GMC and Chevy electric trucks to heartland consumers previously reluctant to go electric.“The GMC Hummer EV is a perception-shattering product,” said Mallino. “And it’s going to increase EV adoption.”

Source : autoweek.com
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