When it comes to new models hitting the road for 2022, you likely won’t find anything nearly as flamboyant as the all-electric GMC Hummer EV.
Directly aimed at Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck, as well as new battery-powered pickups like the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning, the 2022 GMC Hummer will have “no limits” and “no equals,” GMC officials declared when the Hummer made its debut earlier this year.
There’s the over-the-top styling, clearly modeled after the original Hummer line-up General Motors abandoned after emerging from bankruptcy a decade ago. And then there are the numbers: 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 pound-feet of torque and a starting price for the initial 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 of $112,595 — before delivery fees — making it the most expensive pickup ever.
The original Hummer was one of the most outlandish products on the road and the vehicle environmentalists loved to hate. GM hopes the new model will be embraced by green-minded buyers though, in all-electric form, it’s as ostentatious as before.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV revives many of the classic design cues of the original, militaristic Hummer H1. And, weighing in at around 9,000 pounds, it falls into the heavy-duty truck category. And the automaker claims it’s ready for pretty much anything you throw at it, with a three-motor drivetrain pumping out 1,000 horsepower and an astounding 11,500 pounds of torque.
Mash the throttle in “Watts for Freedom” mode and you’ll be pinned to your seat, the truck hitting 60 in a mere 3 seconds. Yet, what’s likely to surprise those who take the electric pickup out on the road is just how smooth and refined it feels when you’re just cruising along.
For now, GMC is rolling out just the initial Hummer EV Edition 1, a fully loaded version model priced at more than $112,000. That makes it the most expensive factory built pickup ever. Additional, lower-cost models will be added to the line, starting in 2022.
At first glance, you might be excused for thinking this is the original Hummer H1. The new model has similarly imposing dimensions, with the pickup getting a useful 5-foot bed.
The GMC Hummer EV rides on a new skateboard-like platform that places motors and batteries below the load floor. One of several new “Ultium” architectures designed by parent GM, it will underpin a number of other trucks, including battery versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. And it will allow a variety of different battery pack and drivetrain configurations.
As with the original Hummer, the EV features slab-sided body panels and an upright windshield and front end. But the original Hummer’s big grille has largely vanished. There’s no need for all that airflow since there’s no engine under the hood. The original slats have been replaced by a big 7-segment light bar.
The Edition 1 model rolls on 35-inch tires good for serious off-roading. The truck offers up to 16 inches of ground clearance in “Extract Mode,” though the Edition 1’s air suspension can lower it as much as six inches when you’re trying to get in or out of the truck — or shift to Watts-to-Freedom mode.
A series of steel underbody plates offer plenty of protection when you’re off-roading.
One of the advantages of using a dedicated EV platform is that space normally devoted to the engine compartment can be repurposed for passengers and cargo. There’s a “frunk” under the hood with a full 9 cubic feet of storage space. The passenger compartment, meanwhile, is spacious and quite airy, with plenty of legroom, front and back.
The militaristic exterior design carries over into the Hummer’s cabin. But it’s no longer the spartan brute of the past. The Edition 1 features sumptuous seating that remains comfortable on long drives while also well-bolstered enough to hold you in position when you’re bouncing down a tough trail.
As is the norm for today’s battery-electric vehicles, the instrument panel goes high-tech, with a 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster and a 13.4-inch touchscreen topping the center stack. Both screens offer a variety of readouts that back up the Hummer’s off-road credibility, such as the vehicle’s tilt and roll position. Many new battery-electric vehicles — such as the new Rivian R1T pickup — have eliminated traditional, manual controls, using the touchscreen to operate all vehicle functions. The Hummer retains a number of toggles and switches, primarily to control off-road functions.
Hummer’s new “Infinity Roof” is nearly all glass, and individual “Sky Panels” can be removed to give the truck a convertible-like, open-air feel. And the panels can be stored in the truck’s frunk, so they won’t take up space in the passenger compartment or bed — or get left behind.
The 2022 Hummer relies on three electric motors, one mounted on the front axle, the other two powering the rear. Current can be directed to whichever motor needs it most. That results in a highly flexible all-wheel-drive system without the need for a driveshaft cutting into passenger space. It also allows for a slick torque vectoring system. Power is simply reduced to the inner rear wheel to help carve through a corner.
The Edition 1 model delivers an astounding 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 pound-feet of torque, GMC boasts. The latter figure is measured at the wheels, though even more traditional measurement methods rate the output at a stump-pulling 1,000 lb-ft. Under full acceleration, you’ll hit 60 in just 3 seconds, an astonishing figure for a 9,000-pound behemoth riding so high. (The truck automatically lowers 6 inches when in Watts-to-Freedom — or, more appropriately, WTF? — mode. To put that into perspective, that’s a mere 0.3 seconds slower than a Porsche 911 GT3.
GMC hasn’t revealed final cargo and tow numbers, but the Hummer Edition 1 is expected to be able to carry more than 2,000 pounds in its bed and tow somewhere around — or more than — 10,000 pounds.
GMC hasn’t offered precise information on the battery pack, either, noting only it carries 24 modules in two layers. It’s believed to store up to 200 kilowatt-hours in its Ultium lithium-ion cells. Range is expected to come in around 350 miles per charge when the final EPA numbers are confirmed.
At that size, expect charging to take somewhere north of 10 hours using a 240-volt home charger. GM plans to start selling chargers and will offer three different power levels. Hummer buyers would be well-advised to choose the maximum version. The truck also will be capable of plugging into public 440-volt DC quick chargers.
Safety and Technology
As you’d expect, there’s plenty of technology built into the Hummer, starting with the now-requisite Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and WiFi.
The touchscreen and digital gauge cluster can be reconfigured in a variety of ways and offer dedicated readouts that make it easier to go off-road. The navigation system also helps you locate public charging stations and set up a trip by showing you where to plug in along the way.
To make it easy to maneuver this behemoth off-road, the Edition 1 can be outfitted with many as 18 different cameras allowing you to look forward, back and even underneath the truck. A particularly thoughtful move allows you to automatically clean some of the cameras most likely to get dirty on the trail.
The Hummer’s adaptive suspension system offers as much as 13 inches of travel. It automatically adjusts the vehicle’s height, depending upon the driving mode you switch to. But you can manually change ride height, as well.
One of the truck’s most ballyhooed feature has been dubbed “Crabwalk.” Hummer can be outfitted with four-wheel-steer, the rear wheels able to turn up to 10 degrees in either direction, depending upon the speed you’re driving. At highway speeds, this helps carve through corners more aggressively. Around town, it reduces the truck’s turn circle by about a dozen feet, making it feel a lot smaller — and making it easier to pull into a tight parking spot. Off-road, Crabwalk uses the four-wheel-steer system to move diagonally, enabling a driver to more readily handle tight and windy trails.
I jumped into a 2022 GMC Hummer Edition 1 on a brisk autumn morning in Ann Arbor, Michigan. While my time was more limited than I’d have preferred, it still offered a good sense of what the truck is capable of.
Despite the mass of this big rig, the new EV has little in common with the original Hummer line from a driving perspective. With the four-wheel-steer system and the adaptive air suspension, the new pickup is both comfortable and relatively easy to maneuver. Steering is surprisingly light — though you get enough feel through the wheel to remain connected to the road.
The fact the hefty battery pack is mounted so low allows Hummer to corner more nimbly than one might expect of a 9,000-pound pickup. It also helps it results in a near 50:50 weight distribution — uncommon for an unloaded pickup.
In normal mode, the throttle is responsive but not aggressive. It’s easy to give it a light touch in a parking lot. But slam on the throttle and it comes to life. The raw power and incredible acceleration came as a shock the first few times, and I hadn’t even switched to WTF mode.
At the other extreme, Hummer’s off-road mode raises the suspension and adjusts throttle response so it feels like you’ve shifted into low range. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to deal with anything rougher than a dirt road but colleagues who’ve taken the new Hummer out on the trail have been uniformly impressed by its capabilities.
Spend time behind the wheel of the 2022 GMC Hummer Edition 1 and you’ll discover a truck that drives like a luxury vehicle under day-to-day use, but one that can launch like a muscle car, and attack a trail like, well, like the original Hummer of years past.
With its aggressive design and sheer mass — and the previously mentioned starting price of $112,595 — the new battery-truck won’t be for everyone — even those who crave an all-electric pickup. But I expect there will be more than enough buyers to keep the production lines busy at GM’s Factory Zero assembly plant in Detroit. Indeed. The automaker claims the Edition 1 model already is sold out.
But don’t fret if you want the new Hummer. Starting early next year, GMC will expand production to include a broad range of trim levels. These will include different powertrain and battery pack configurations, and some decidedly more affordable versions.
GMC will face a surprising amount of competition, however. Nascent EV maker Rivian actually beat the Detroit automaker to market by several months with its R1T pickup, and Ford will have its F-150 Lightning in production by June of 2022 — with a starting price just below $40,000. General Motors, in fact, has two more electric pickups coming, with versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. Tesla is promising to get its repeatedly delayed Cybertruck into production in 2023. And Ram and Nissan have confirmed they are going electric, while several other startups are targeting the battery-pickup segment, as well.
Of that long list, only the Cybertruck will offer anywhere near as distinctive a design as Hummer, and it will be tough to beat the GMC pickup’s on and off-road capabilities. So, based on my initial drive, I expect the new Hummer to find a ready market.