We get it! Ready or not, here it comes. The world is changing and traditionalists like myself may not be ready for it. Looking at the current barrage of EV this, EV that, electric is the future, and electric is green; to me, it all sounds like propaganda. It is like someone is trying to convince me and the rest of the world of something we may not be ready for or want. I may not subscribe to certain narratives as benevolent truths, but what I will accept are revolutionary innovations.
If automakers want to raise their flag on a new EV that happens to be a 1,000-horsepower off-road super truck, I am going to take a serious look. Earlier this year, GMC introduced the all-new Hummer as their first all-electric vehicle in its portfolio. The Hummer EV pickup and SUV are packed with revolutionary off-road technologies that might offer a glimpse of what future off-road capabilities look like.
GMC’s Hummer EV engineering team scheduled a rapid development of this vehicle to turn it over from concept to prototype to production in just two years. That is way better than a standard four to six for a vehicle like this. Below, we present REVOLUTION: GMC HUMMER EV | Official Trailer to share more about the rapid development that went into the vehicle, and you can watch the hour-long complete Revolution Documentary here. But did they achieve a proper homage replacement for the Hummer of the past?
REVOLUTION: GMC Hummer EV | Official Trailer | GMC
First, let us examine the traditional off-road capabilities of this new Hummer. Appearance-wise, we can see aggressive oversized tires. That is a great start. If the “truck” can push and maneuver decent-sized rubber, it just might be robust and off-road worthy. From the front, you see the traditional Hummer-esque bumper and a hefty skid plate. I already like where this is going.
GMC Hummer EV Off-Road Traditionally Authentic Technology:
Independent Suspension Systems
Independent front and rear suspension systems are paired to the drive motors and are designed to optimize handling in off-road conditions and ride comfort on the highway.
An electronically controlled, driver-selectable locking differential elevates traction capability by locking both front wheels. This function keeps the wheels turning at the same speed for maximum traction. Up to 100-percent of available torque can be sent to either of the front wheels for maximum traction capability and fully synchronized e4WD propulsion.
Rear Virtual Locker
A rear virtual locker simulates a locking differential for the dual-motor rear drive unit. It is capable of torque vectoring, which can vary the amount of torque sent to each wheel. This will not only optimize traction in off-road conditions, but enhance on-road driving dynamics.
Heavy-Duty Ball-Spline Half-Shafts
Maximizing axle articulation and ample maneuverability, the Heavy-Duty Ball-Spline Half-Shafts also reduce feedback through the steering system in hard-cornering and other off-road driving conditions.
Off-Road-Ready Wheels And Tires
18-inch wheels with 35-inch-OD Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires offer exceptional strength and flexibility to optimize maneuverability with the Hummer EV’s unprecedented off-road capability. Additionally, the vehicle is engineered to accommodate 37-inch tires right out of the box with zero required modifications.
Consisting of five skid plates/rock sliders and two underbody shields, a rugged and durable underbody armor system protects the battery pack, drive units, and more.
This includes new front and rear underbody cameras with live “virtual spotter”’ views to help drivers navigate obstacles and place wheels on and off the trail. The underbody cameras are equipped with a wash function to help remove debris. Hummer EV offers a best-in-class total of 18 available camera views from the vehicle, helping increase awareness of surroundings, serving as a virtual spotter.
That already is a load of specialized equipment designed to make the Hummer EV a very capable off-roader. Most automakers would call that sufficient, but it appears GMC felt compelled to push this new vehicle to the edge of innovation. So, what else did GMC do to revolutionize the Hummer EV off-road technology advancements?
GMC Hummer EV Off-Road Revolutionary Technology:
4 Wheel Steer
Offering nimble maneuverability, the four-wheel steering capabilities seems like a real benefit off-road. The rear wheels can be locked in the forward position, turn opposite of the front wheels, or turn in the same direction as the front wheels. There are three driver-selectable settings:
- Off – No rear steering assistance.
- Auto – In this automatic mode, the rear tires turn in the opposite direction of the front tires at low speeds to help improve maneuverability in tight situations; and at higher speeds, the rear wheels turn with the front wheels.
- CrabWalk2 — A segment-exclusive feature that turns the rear wheels at the same angle as the front wheels (up to 10 degrees) at low speeds, allowing diagonal movement of the vehicle, for an even greater range of maneuverability in tight off-road conditions.
Everything you need to display a wealth of vehicle function and driving status updates through the infotainment and driver information screens. Some of the widgets include:
- G-force articulation (friction circle)
- Drift gauge (with maximum values)
- Torque output and torque vectoring
- Wheel travel
- e-Locker engagement
- Tire pressure
- Pitch and roll angles (with maximum values)
- Chassis ride height
Adaptive Air Suspension
This very unique Adaptive Air Suspension enables the suspension height to be controlled by the driver or via automatic settings to suit a variety of conditions. Examples include:
- Ride height control with automatic or driver-selectable settings
- Automatic entry and exit, which lowers the ride height to enable easier ingress and egress of the vehicle
- Aero Mode, which lowers the ride height on the highway to improve aerodynamics
Released in the latest update, Extract Mode is the newest feature. This new function enables the suspension height to be raised approximately 6-inches higher than its normal ride height. In Extract Mode the maximum ground clearance achieved measures 15.9-inches. The Hummer EV can now negotiate clearing boulders and fording deeper water in the most extreme off-road situations.
GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 Pickup Specifications:
|Normal Settings||Raised Mode||Extract Mode|
|Max ground clearance (in. / mm):||10.1 / 257||11.9 / 302||15.9 / 404|
|Front overhang (in. / mm):||34.7 / 881||— same||— same|
|Rear overhang (in. / mm):||46.5 / 1181||— same||— same|
|Approach angle (deg.):||41.5||44.3||49.7|
|Departure angle (deg.):||31.6||33.7||38.4|
|Breakover angle (deg.):||22.3||25.4||32.2|
|Water fording depth (in. / mm):||26 / 660||28 / 711||32 / 813|
|Suspension travel (in. / mm):||13 / 330||— same||— same|
GMC Hummer In High Demand
Ok! Well, those are actually decent specs for a modern 4×4 from the factory. The fact that it is ready for 37-inch tires from the factory is a feature I can really appreciate. Off Road Xtreme does indeed recognize this new GMC Hummer EV as a complete and capable player in the modern off-road vehicle space. It is well equipped and packed with impressive technologies. Apparently, the market for the Hummer EV is in high demand. GMC issued an initial reservation allotment which sold out within days.
Since then, the vehicle has been the hot item on the auction block. During the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction in Las Vegas, a 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 was purchased for $324,500. At the Mecum Auction back in March, a GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 sold for $286,000. Another Edition 1 sold online in May for the high bid of $260,000. And of course, the first-ever production example of the Hummer EV Edition 1 was sold for a good cause at a 2021 Barrett Jackson auction for $2.5 Million, with all proceeds benefiting the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
This overview of the Hummer EV was just a quick look at the vehicle-specific off-road technology. There is so much more future tech on this Hummer, we will have to save it for another time. If I had to get an electric EV for my future off-roading and street driving needs, I would not be mad if it was a Hummer.