What it’s like to drive GMC’s $100,000+ Hummer EV

“This thing is so boss.”

My Yahoo Finance colleague Rick Newman uttered those words during our drive with GMC’s Hummer EV, and I disagree.

The Hummer EV is an earth-moving, behemoth of a pickup truck that is everything most EV buyers aren’t trying to be — fresh, in-your-face, and scary.

But when they hear it’s electric, their ears perk up.

The Hummer EV, in version 1 trim as tested, is a fully loaded version of GMC’s top of the pyramid truck. It has 3 motors pumping out 1000 horsepower, has an 800-volt EV platform with massive Ultium battery (212.7 kWh) and has a range of about 550 miles.

The Edition 1 costs a Hummer-sized $112,839 as tested, but you get a lot for your money. Less expensive versions of the Hummer EV will start at about $80,000, GMC ( GM ) says.

The design

GMC Hummer EV pickup truck (Credit: Pras Subramanian)

The big, bold exterior design of the Hummer in an exercise in non-restraint. One only has to look at the massive light strip in the front with the glowing HUMMER EV printed on it. The truck is also over a foot wider than a Toyota Camry.

The bruised, bold look starts at the front, which is unmistakably Hummer, and hearkens back to the old H1 and H2 of yesteryear. The huge front end with almost flat windshield (and 3 windshield wipers, I might add) flows back to the full-size four-door cabin, ((words missing here?)) and has struts like C-pillars that make up the upper part of the truck bed.

GMC Hummer EV pickup truck (Credit: Pras Subramanian)

GMC Hummer EV pickup truck (Credit: Pras Subramanian)

Our tester continued the out of this word look with two massive 35-inch all-terrain tires in the pickup, covered by GMC’s multi-folding MultiPro tailgate, with a section containing a KICKER sound system and speakers for outdoor tunes.

The 2022 GMC HUMMER EV's design visually communicates extreme capability, enhanced with robust architectural details delivered with a premium, well-crafted and appointed interior.

GMC Hummer EV interior (Credit: GMC)

Inside the Hummer, it’s all business – lots of right angles and hard edges, nothing rounded or curved to speak of. A prominent floating touchscreen houses GMC’s infotainment system, which uses a Hummer-specific graphic background design that mimics the surface of the moon. There are other lunar references throughout the vehicle, from the floor mats to the speaker covers, reflecting what the GMC Hummer team called their moonshot vehicles.

GMC Hummer EV pickup truck (Credit: Pras Subramanian)

GMC Hummer EV pickup truck (Credit: Pras Subramanian)

The drive

Before you picked up the Hummer, the thought of driving this thing – almost the size of a mid-sized commercial vehicle – on the streets of New York City. agitate inducing.

But jumping (literally) into the driver’s seat and taking off turned out not to be as difficult as I imagined. The nearly 10,000-pound lobster was somewhat perky; its EV powertrain made it smooth to accelerate and stop with its regenerative braking system. Air suspension ate up potholes when encountered, and the wide array of cameras helped with visibility.

Sure, there were a few scary moments when trying to weave through heavy traffic, or the all-too-common squeeze around a double-parked car on a NYC side street. But the Hummer includes rear-wheel steering to reduce turning radius and a party trick called “crabwalk,” for maneuvering when the confines are tight, like on an off-road trail. I actually used crabwalk to parallel park on a narrow city street.

But outside the city is where Hummer shined. Hummer sits high up like a full-size pickup and offers a commanding view of the road. With 1000 horsepower on tap, zooming past smaller cars and weaving around traffic felt like we were defying the laws of physics.

GMC Hummer EV pickup truck (Credit: Pras Subramanian)

GMC Hummer EV pickup truck (Credit: Pras Subramanian)

Yes – it’s a capable truck, and we didn’t even have the chance to go off-road and put those 35-inch tires to good use. But the lobster is more than its physical presence. It’s GM’s way of showing what’s possible with electric cars, and showing a skeptical public that an electric car can be the biggest and baddest thing on the road.

“Hummer was bordering on an evil brand when GM finally retired it,” my co-pilot Newman said of the brand’s once-maligned history. “Environmentalists despised it because it was so unnecessarily obnoxious, and it got single-digit mpg. It had to be the most inefficient vehicle around when it stopped production in 2010.”

But since the Hummer is all-electric, these legacy problems are now gone. “It may still be inefficient, but there are no greenhouse gases coming out the back,” Newman added. “They take a sin brand and turn it into a virtue brand.”

And it could be GM’s real moonshot. Taking the Hummer brand out of the dustbin of history and making it king of the hill over all GM truck offerings – electric or not.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him further Twitter and again Instagram.

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