Driven: The 1,000 HP GMC Hummer EV Pickup Is Wonderfully Ridiculous
General Motors is embracing an electric future with their Ultium platform and they’re launching it with one of the most remarkable pickups ever created.
We’re talking about the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, which revives a long-dormant brand in spectacular fashion.
The team behind the vehicle was tasked with creating an “EV without precedent,” and they’ve succeeded beyond all expectations as the new Hummer is a tri-motor pickup that features 1,000 hp (746 kW / 1,014 PS), a removable roof, and up to 15.9 inches (404 mm) of ground clearance. However, that’s just scratching the surface as the truck is also comfortable and loaded with technology.
A Bold Look That Makes It Feel Like Hummer Never Left
Quick Facts › › ›
› Model: Edition 1
› Price: $110,295
› Dimensions: 216.8 in (5,507 mm) L x 86.7 in (2,202 mm) W x 79.1 in (2,009 mm) H
› Wheelbase: 135.6 in (3,445 mm)
› Power: 1,000 HP (1,014 PS) and 1,200 lb-ft (1,625 Nm) of torque
› Driving Range: 329 miles (529 km)
› On Sale: Now, but current reservation list is full
Over a decade has passed since Hummer was originally phased out, but it feels like the brand never left as the truck looks like a natural, if slightly futuristic, evolution of the H2 SUT and H3T.
Overall, the new GMC Hummer EV looks fantastic and that’s even more remarkable when you consider it was designed in a mere 15 months. That’s an impressively quick turnaround, especially when you account for all of its unique features.
One of the most notable is the Infinity Roof and its available transparent sky panels. Made out of a polycarbonate material, the four panels can be easily removed by pulling the locking handles outward and then lifting the panels up. They’re relatively lightweight and can be stored in frunk-mounted storage trays, which designers have nicknamed pizza boxes due to their appearance.
For an even more open-air experience, the rear window can be electronically lowered and the front I-bar can be removed. The latter lifts up, after removing four nuts with the included tool kit, and can be stored underneath the rear seats. The onboard storage of the panels and bar is a big bonus as owners can go topless on a whim and quickly reinstall the components if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Besides the removable roof, the Hummer EV features a rugged aesthetic thanks to a beefy front skid plate, meaty D-rings, and rock sliders with integrated side steps. The trail-ready appearance is further enhanced by contrasting gloss black accents and 18-inch wheels wrapped in 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires. The latter are some of the largest tires you’ll find on a production vehicle, but owners can always upgrade as the truck has the ability to accommodate 37-inchers.
At night, the Hummer is particularly eye-catching thanks to its illuminated grille which flows into slender LED headlights. The latter are noteworthy as they’re also used to display charging information with a quick glance.
That brings us to the 5 foot (1,524 mm) bed, which is smaller than what you’ll find on crew cab versions of the Sierra. While the bed is small in size, the wheel wells barely intrude into the cargo box and owners will find amenities such as lights, tie-downs, and a power port. The truck also comes equipped with a six-position MultiPro Tailgate and a power-retractable tonneau cover, while there are countless accessories such as a bed-mounted spare tire carrier.
A High-Tech, But Minimalist Interior
Hummer interiors have always embraced a rugged aesthetic and that trend continues in the new pickup. However, the cabin is a radical departure from its predecessors as it’s far more luxurious and high-tech.
This is immediately apparent as drivers are greeted by a freestanding 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which features customizable outer displays. The latter can show everything from audio settings and navigation information to pitch and roll data.
The cluster is joined by a 13.4-inch infotainment system, which features cinematic animations as well as Google integration. It provides drivers with Google Maps as well as built-in Google Assistant, which responds to the “Hey Google” wake word. We didn’t play around with the Google integration much, but the Assistant should enable people to use their voice to call or text friends, listen to music, and adjust the climate control system.
Sticking with the tech theme, the pickup features a digital key that incorporates both Bluetooth and Ultra-Wideband technology. It detects an owner’s smartphone as they near the vehicle and can automatically unlock the doors as well as activate approach lighting.
Beneath the infotainment system is a series of switches that provide access to climate control and vehicle settings. Most of them are pretty straightforward, but turning on the heated and ventilated front seats is a bit counterintuitive as you first press the seat switch, and then adjacent switches as the display above them changes to show heating and ventilation settings.
Elsewhere, there’s a floating center console with a wireless smartphone charger as well as USB-A and USB-C ports. They’re joined by covered cup holders, a minimalist shifter, and a rotary mode selector with an integrated toggle that provides quick access to adaptive air suspension settings as well as the four-wheel steering system that we’ll talk about later.
Overall, the interior is a bit of a mixed bag as it features a nice design but isn’t very luxurious. Part of this can be chalked up to the truck’s off-road focus and removable roof as designers had to create a durable interior that could withstand dirt and mud as well as the possibility of a rain shower. As part of this effort, the truck has been equipped with synthetic leather seats, woven textiles, and a vinyl floor that features removable inserts for easy cleaning.
There are also plenty of practical additions including meaty grab handles, which help to improve entry especially when the suspension is raised. Buyers will also find numerous storage compartments including ones integrated into the rear seat backrests.
While the cabin isn’t as luxurious as the Rivian R1T, there are plenty of upscale features including two-tone upholstery and bronze accents on the range-topping Edition 1. Buyers will also find heated rear seats and rear climate controls as well as a 14-speaker Bose audio system with Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement technology. The latter pumps “propulsion sounds” into the cabin and they’re largely subtle noises that help to convey a sense of speed while also masking wind, road, and tire noise. Despite this, the cabin can be a bit noisy on the highway.
On the bright side, there’s tons of space in both rows. While the driver’s seat is the place to be, rear seaters will enjoy plenty of headroom and up to 38.9 inches (988 mm) of legroom. However, there’s less space than crew cab Sierras which offer 43.4 inches (1,102 mm) of rear-seat legroom as well as more head and shoulder room.
Putting The Power Into Powertrain
As GM’s first electric truck of the modern era, the Hummer EV rides on the Ultium platform and features a 24-module battery pack that has a usable capacity of 212.7 kWh. The battery pack is a structural element of the chassis and is heavily protected to endure the rigors of off-roading.
The battery pack is impressively high-tech as it features a wireless battery management system as well as the ability to switch from its native 400-volts to 800-volts for faster charging. Speaking of the latter, the truck can use 350 kW DC fast chargers to get approximately 100 miles (161 km) of range in 12 minutes. The model also features a dual-level charge cord that can supply up to 7.7 kW at 240V with a 40 amp circuit and this allows the truck to be given around 10 miles (16 km) of range for every hour of charging.
However, owners will want to purchase the available Level 2 charging station that provides up to 11.5 kW at 240V with a 60 amp circuit. It provides 16 miles (26 km) of range for every hour of charging and can take the battery from 20 to 100% in approximately 16.5 hours.
Thanks to the beefy battery pack, the pickup has a range of 329 miles (529 km). That’s an impressive figure, which bests other electric trucks such as the 314-mile (505 km) Rivian R1T and 320-mile (515 km) F-150 Lightning. Of course, the extra range isn’t too surprising given that the Hummer EV has a significantly larger battery capacity than both competitors.
The battery supplies a tri-motor powertrain that consists of a front-mounted electric motor as well as two rear electric motors with torque vectoring technology. The model also has a front e-Locker and a virtual rear locker for maximum off-road performance.
Of course, the most staggering thing about the Hummer EV is its combined output of 1,000 hp (746 kW / 1,014 PS) and 1,200 lb-ft (1,625 Nm) of torque. That makes the truck more than twice as powerful as the mightiest Sierra, which has a 6.2-liter V8 pumping out 420 hp (313 kW / 426 PS) and 460 lb-ft (623 Nm) of torque.
It also blows the electric truck competition out of the water as the dual-motor powertrain in the Ford F-150 Lightning maxes out at an estimated 563 hp (420 kW / 571 PS) and 775 lb-ft (1,050 Nm) of torque. The R1T’s quad-motor powertrain packs a mightier punch, but it still falls short at 835 hp (623 kW / 847 PS) and 908 lb-ft (1,230 Nm).
Since trucks and towing go together like peanut butter and jelly, it comes as little surprise the Hummer EV can haul your boat down to the lake for a little R&R. It has a towing capacity of 7,500 lbs (3,402 kg), which is on the low side, but the company noted the model comes with familiar ProGrade Trailering technologies including a trailering app with a trailer light test function.
A Truck That Defies The Laws Of Physics
With 1,000 hp (746 kW / 1,014 PS) at its disposal, the GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 can seemingly defy the laws of physics. Despite having a curb weight of 9,063 lbs (4,111 kg) and a battery pack that’s heavier than a Mazda MX-5 Miata, the truck can hustle like a linebacker on speed.
That’s especially true when using the Watts to Freedom launch control system, which can be accessed by tapping the traction control button twice. After confirming your desire to show off, the vehicle will automatically lower itself and instruct you to apply both the brake and accelerator. Drivers can then release the brake and be sent rocketing from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in approximately three seconds.
The experience is truly breathtaking and undoubtedly amplified by the ridiculousness of doing it in a pickup. Of course, you don’t need launch control to experience the truck’s acceleration as even a traditional launch is impressively quick.
Shifting focus, the driving experience is remarkably civilized as the pickup features an independent front and rear suspension as well as adaptive ride control. The latter ‘reads’ the road every two milliseconds to continually adjust damping to maximize comfort both on and off-road.
The end result is a smooth and comfortable ride that feels perfectly pleasant around town and on the highway. Driving dynamics are another story as the truck mostly behaves like a truck. However, it never feels like you’re driving a massive brick and the experience can be tailored using the aforementioned drive mode selector.
There are four pre-configured modes known as Normal, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, and Terrain. GMC notes that “each has specific chassis, suspension and propulsion characteristics.”
The fifth and final option is a customizable My Mode. It allows drivers to select their preferred steering, suspension, and acceleration settings as well as their preferences for the aforementioned Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement system.
Getting back to the driving experience, 4 Wheel Steer is game-changing and makes other pickups feel like the Ever Given. While four-wheel steering systems are nothing new, they normally only allow the rear wheels to turn a couple of degrees. In the Hummer EV, they can turn ten degrees and this allows for amazing maneuverability.
Despite measuring 216.8 inches (5,507 mm) long, the truck has a turning circle of 37.1 feet (11.3 meters). That’s a foot better than the Chevrolet Camaro and 7.2 feet (2.2 meters) better than the truck when four-wheel steering is turned off. Those are impressive figures and they enable the Hummer to make turns that would be impossible in other trucks and SUVs. The benefits are immediately welcome out on the trail where the Hummer EV can maneuver in close quarters, but you don’t need to venture off-road as the four-wheel steering system also makes parking a breeze.
More impressively, this is all done seamlessly thanks to the 4 Wheel Steer system’s Auto mode. It automatically turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front wheels at low speeds, while also turning them together at higher speeds to improve maneuverability.
4 Wheel Steer also allows for the truck’s innovative CrabWalk feature. It turns the rear wheels at the same angle as the front wheels to allow the vehicle to travel diagonally. It feels pretty gimmicky, especially given the truck’s excellent maneuverability, but at least it’s always there if you find yourself in a truly tight spot.
One thing that certainly isn’t a gimmick is Super Cruise, which allows for hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles (321,869 km) of compatible roads in the United States and Canada. To use it, drivers activate adaptive cruise control and then hit the nearby Super Cruise button on the steering wheel. The system will then activate, as long as you’re on a compatible roadway, and then assume control of the steering, acceleration, and braking.
During our limited testing, the system worked well and we had no problems passing slower vehicles thanks to Super Cruise’s new automatic lane changing feature. It makes driving long distances on the highway far more relaxing, but drivers still need to pay attention to the road ahead and the driver attention system will ensure they do. However, it’s pretty lenient as you can divert your attention for short periods of time without electronic nannies interrupting as you use the infotainment system or talk to a passenger.
An Off-Road Beast
GMC bills the Hummer EV as an “off-road beast” and it’s hard to argue with that characterization as the truck can scale 18 inches (457 mm) verticals, climb 60 percent grades, and ford up to 32 inches (813 mm) of water.
With standard settings, the truck has 10.1 inches (257 mm) of ground clearance as well as approach, departure, and breakover angles of 41.5, 31.6, and 22.3 degrees. For tackling tough terrain, drivers can put the vehicle into the aptly named Terrain mode which raises the adaptive air suspension to provide an additional 1.8 inches (46 mm) of ground clearance. This also improves the approach, departure, and breakover angles to 44.3, 33.7, and 25.4 degrees.
That isn’t the only benefit of Terrain mode as it allows for one-pedal off-road driving as “regenerative braking, friction braking and drive motor torque” are all modulated through accelerator inputs. In layman’s terms, unless you have your foot on the accelerator, the Hummer EV will come to a stop and hold itself there.
This makes venturing off the beaten path less stressful as drivers can focus on obstacles and not have to play footsie with the pedals. It’s also incredibly easy to keep the vehicle at a slow forward pace, which is exactly what you want if you’re off-roading.
If Terrain mode isn’t cutting it, there’s Extract Mode which provides a whopping 15.9 inches (404 mm) of ground clearance. It also improves the approach, departure, and breakover angles to 49.7, 38.4, and 32.2 degrees. To put those numbers into perspective, the Jeep Gladiator Mojave has 11.6 inches (295 mm) of ground clearance as well as approach, departure, and breakover angles of 44.7, 25.5, and 20.9 degrees respectively.
The off-road goodies don’t end there as the truck comes with an UltraVision camera system that offers up to 18 different camera views. Some of the most helpful for off-roading are the front and rear underbody cameras, which act as a virtual spotter and enable you to line up the wheels with rocks or avoid obstacles altogether. They’re a welcome addition, but the image quality leaves something to be desired and you basically need to be inches from an obstacle to see it.
Speaking of off-roading, the electric nature of the Hummer has an added benefit as the model doesn’t have pumpkin axles that can get caught on obstacles. Instead, the truck’s underbody is essentially flat except for a handful of suspension components.
Welcome To The Era Of The Electric Supertruck
The GMC Hummer EV is a truck like no other as it combines an electric powertrain with exhilarating performance, impressive off-road capability, and high-tech features such as Super Cruise. It’s an impressive achievement when you consider it could have easily turned out to be a jack of all trades, master of none.
That’s not the case as the Hummer EV is wonderfully ridiculous, while also being practical and comfortable. It’s not perfect, but 4 Wheel Steer is a breathtaking feature and the truck draws attention wherever it goes. The latter is critical as GM is going electric and needs to get consumers excited about the future.
While the Edition 1’s $110,295 sticker price is certainly steep, more affordable variants are coming including an entry-level Hummer EV2 that is set to arrive in the spring of 2024 for $79,995. Customers may have a wait ahead of them, but two days with the truck suggests it will be worth it.