A deep dive into the GMC Hummer EV’s size, battery and off-road capability

Just a day after revealing the Hummer EV, GMC has given us a look at some more details about its capabilities, both on and off-road. The brand has also revealed how big the new Hummer EV will be, although there are some key elements that GMC is still keeping close to its chest.

Two numbers were missing from the reveal that we most wanted to hear: payload and towing capacity. Without even a hint of what the goals are, GM engineers said they’ve only done computer simulations so far and not actual drag tests, so they’re not saying a word yet. We know that comes trailer because an asterisk attached to that 1,000hp figure says it will require a max trailer package, but we’ll have to wait for more info. It will also have many of GMC’s trailer features such as bulb check and trailer checklists. The same asterisk indicates that the highest charge rate and ability to get 100 miles of range in 10 minutes is also “when properly equipped”, so some Hummers may be slower to charge.

While we’re diving into the Ultium drive system battery, if you’re wondering how a 400V architecture can handle 350kW of charging, it’s pretty clever. The battery can mechanically couple the two halves in parallel and series modes when charging, and this allows the 400V architecture to charge at the faster 800V level, essentially charging each pack at 400V independently and doubling the speed.

What more do we know? The four-wheel steering will give the Hummer EV a tighter turning circle than a Chevrolet Spark subcompact. It will be tighter than a Model 3, GMC said, at 11.3 meters with four-wheel steering and 13.5 meters without. The four-wheel steering also helps off-road, and while you may never use the off-road capability, GMC has gone all out.

The Hummer’s four-wheel drive system can climb 60 percent inclines forward or backward and has the ability to scale a 18-inch ledge. There’s no downshifting like you’d expect with a petrol vehicle, but the instant EV torque (with max torque from zero to around 70km/h) should make up a lot of the slack. There’s enough torque that the engineers added an electronic algorithm to lower the amount it outputs if the steering wheel is turned close to full lock because otherwise the half shafts could end up like two halves of a broken shaft. Extract Mode cranks up the suspension 149mm if you’re really in a bind to get over a rock, and the rear offers a simulated limited-slip differential, while the front has an electronic driver-selectable limited-slip differential. It can send 100 percent of the front torque to both wheels.

If you’re worried about water, the Hummer EV will handle 81cm of it, about 4cm more than a Jeep Wrangler’s maximum depth. Skid plates and 40 cm ground clearance protect the underside and four tow hooks help if you drive properly.

The Hummer EV also uses regenerative braking to help off-road, enabling one-pedal off-road driving at low speeds. It lets you crawl over obstacles, control your speed on rough terrain, and even help save your battery with just the gas pedal. The navigation system calculates range including terrain distance, GMC said, and should give drivers an accurate range regardless of terrain.

In terms of size, it’s much like the original Hummers in that it’s not as big as you think it is (or as big as it looks). At 5,507mm long and 2,201mm wide, it’s 198mm shorter than a Crew Cab Long Bed Canyon (and about twice as short as a Crew Cab Sierra 1500 Short Bed) although it’s 140mm wider than the Sierra. The short length combined with the four-wheel steering should make it even more maneuverable around town, although the width can still be a challenge in the parking lot. Headroom is about the same as a Sierra front and back, as is shoulder and hip room. So while the cabin is wider, based on the specification, the space is not. Still, this is a big truck inside.

While the Hummer EV will arrive in the US next year, it will take until late 2022 to arrive in Canada. Lower-spec versions have already been announced for that market, including an entry-level two-motor model, one with two motors and air ride, extract mode and four-wheel steering, and one that has three motors with torque vectoring and Watts to Freedom (the Tesla-like WTF feature for full acceleration). . They will arrive in the US in Spring 2024, Spring 2023 and Fall 2022 respectively, but we don’t have any Canadian dates.


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