Pamplin Media Group – The 2022 GMC Hummer EV will be a game changer for off-road vehicles

No other vehicle on the market can match the capabilities of the upcoming all-electric pickup truck.

The Portland Tribune was recently invited to visit GM’s Milford Proving Grounds for an early look at the upcoming 2022 GMC HUMMER EV pickup truck. Unlike the previous Hummers made to resemble the military HMMWV (pronounced Hum-Vee) vehicles, the new HUMMER EV will be built on an entirely new platform designed exclusively for EV use.

Everything about the HUMMER EV is new and oriented around its electric powertrain. Like other new EVs, the chassis platform is a flat plate, with 24 Ultium battery packs placed in the plate under the cabin, where they are protected on all sides and keep the HUMMER’s weight down. This allows GMC to place a pickup or SUV body on top of the chassis with plenty of interior space.

Electric motors and four-wheel drive

Each HUMMER EV will have two electric motors in the rear and one motor in the front, driving all four wheels with computerized control. With the three-motor design, GMC has been able to produce up to 1,000 horsepower and believe this, up to 11,500 pound-feet of torque. For comparison, GMC’s diesel-powered Sierra 3500HD produces up to 930 pound-feet, or less than 10% of what the HUMMER can produce. With all that power and the electric AWD system, the HUMMER can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in just about three seconds, akin to an exotic supercar.

WITH RECEIPT PHOTO: GMC - The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup has 10 to 11 inches of ground clearance — and up to 16 inches with the Extreme Off-Road Package.

Off-road suspension and steering

HUMMER rides on an adjustable air suspension with 13 inches of vertical travel. In most modes, the HUMMER has 10 to 11 inches of ground clearance on 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires. There are no solid axles like you would find in a traditional truck, so the lowest point on the underside of a HUMMER is the skid plate that protects the chassis.

If you order Edition 1 with the Extreme Off-Road package, HUMMER includes a feature called Extract Mode, which raises the suspension to provide 16 inches of ground clearance. This is the type of suspension usually used on highly specialized hillclimb and off-road racing vehicles, but it works well with the computer-controlled HUMMER.

HUMMER also offers new control technology. GMC used the electric vehicle architecture to implement four-wheel steering that no other production vehicle has ever had before. The rear tires can turn up to 10 degrees when you turn the steering wheel. Used in conjunction with conventional front-wheel steering, this gives the very large HUMMER pickup or SUV a turning circle roughly equivalent to a small compact car. You can make a full U-turn in less than 40 feet, which is impossible in any other truck.

Another LOBSTER first is the “Crab Walk”. This is another part of the four-wheel steering package. In normal cornering, the rear wheels steer opposite the front wheels to turn the vehicle in a tight circle. However, when you select Crab Walk, the rear tires turn in the same direction as the front tires, so the vehicle moves diagonally, allowing the HUMMER to maneuver in very tight spaces. The feeling of crawling with the HUMMER is a little disconcerting at first since most vehicles never move like that, but once you understand how to use it, crawling makes normally difficult things like parking in tight spaces a breeze.

WITH RECEIPT PHOTO: GMC - The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup features a 12.3-inch instrument panel display, a 13.4-inch touchscreen center display with a steering wheel control interface.

18 camera views and a 13.4-inch screen

The HUMMER Ultravision camera system offers 18 different views. In addition to the standard trailer and bird cameras, HUMMER provides bumper-mounted forward and rear views, and industry-exclusive forward and rear-facing cameras on the underside of the chassis. This allows you to see your clearance under vehicles in real time.

HUMMER also offers the latest in cabin technology. The dashboard display is a wide 12.3-inch screen and the center display is a 13.4-inch screen. There is an interface for the steering wheel and the screen is touch sensitive.

Technology-assisted driving

GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance allows you to set adaptive cruise control with automatic steering on hundreds of thousands of miles of US and Canadian highways. The Super Cruise system allows the HUMMER to pull out and pass slower vehicles when you select it, then automatically return to the cruising lane. While the system works without your hands on the wheel, it’s important to note that it’s not a self-driving system, and the driver must keep their eyes on the road at all times.

We drove the HUMMER EV on both gravel and paved roads at GM’s test track. These roads are made to simulate both smooth and uneven pavement, with railway crossings, bumps and cracks in the road surface. In fact, the experience is very similar to driving on the roads we have here in the Pacific Northwest. The Hummer’s active air suspension and heavy vehicle weight simply soaks up the bumps, resulting in a very smooth ride. The big balloon tires and high suspension can be a little bouncy, but it’s a smooth and controlled bounce you’d expect from a luxury SUV.

After the road test, we took the HUMMER on some challenging off-road courses with obstacles. This is where HUMMER really differs from other electric cars and from other off-road vehicles. When you encounter an obstacle, you simply set the HUMMER to raise its suspension and the torque of the electric motors allows the HUMMER to climb over obstacles or up slippery terrain.

COURTESY PHOTO: GMC - Like other new EVs, the chassis platform of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup is a flat slab, with 24 Ultium battery packs located in the slab under the cabin, where they are protected on all sides and keep the HUMMER's weight well down.

The point

HUMMER is a completely new creation when it comes to off-road capability. Nothing else on the market will do what this truck can do. As an everyday vehicle on the road, the HUMMER will be a luxurious and fun vehicle with a range of up to 350 miles, depending on the model. It’s expensive, but no more expensive than many other luxury heavy-duty pickups and SUVs.

The base price announced by GMC for the HUMMER EV Pickup will be $79,995 when the base trim becomes available. The Edition 1 with the available Extreme Off-Road package that we drove last week will retail for $110,595 when it hits dealers later this year.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup

Base price: $79,995

Price as tested: $110,595

Type: Â Full size pickup truck

Engine: Â Triple electric motors (1,000 hp, 11,500 lbs-ft)

Transmission: Â Direct driving

Range:Â up to 350 miles

Total length: 216.8 inches

Service weight: TBD

Final assembly: Hamtramck, Michigan

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