If you had told any of us at autoTRADER.ca in 2010 that the Hummer brand would reappear in the next decade, we would have laughed you out of the text chat. But here we are in 2020, with a plot twist worthy of early M. Night Shyamalan: Hummer is back, and leading the return of the big, bold, and brash brand is this. An electric pickup truck with more power than anything you can buy at a new car dealership today for less than seven figures, rock-crawling ground clearance, and an electric range that can get you from Toronto to Montreal on a single charge.
Big Power, Big Range
First up, you did read that range estimate correctly. More than 560 km is the estimate from GMC on a full charge and based on their own testing. When that 24-module double-stack Ultium battery system runs flat it can charge at a staggering 350 kW, the same as the Porsche Taycan, with an 800V architecture and what GM calls an industry-first mechanical switch from parallel to series charging that can give the Hummer EV 160 km of range in just 10 minutes. That 560 km range wouldn't make the Hummer EV the longest-range EV out there, but it would get it farther than anything short of the longest-range Teslas, and remember this is a vehicle that's much larger and more capable.
And by capable, we mean just that. This pickup will get 35-inch off-road tires standard and it'll fit up to 37s without any changes. That helps preserve the off-road prowess Hummer established with the original military vehicle and lets it scale 18-inch vertical walls. An available adaptive air ride suspension will let the suspension rise up to 149 mm to add ground clearance in Extract Mode – and if that's not enough it has steel underbody armour to protect the battery pack and other parts that are at risk off-road.
The Hummer EV will also offer the GMC MultiPro tailgate, a six-position unit like the one on the new Sierra, which helps to meaningfully improve bed access and utility; and a roll-down rear window (like on the Toyota Tundra) plus power tonneau cover.
Using three motors and two Ultium drive units, the e4WD system offers an estimated 11,500 lb-ft of torque, though since EVs measure torque a bit differently than gas vehicles we're not quite sure exactly how it compares to other off-roaders. With 1,000 estimated hp, we'd say it should compare well.
Styling is just about exactly what we've come to expect from Hummer's previous models and the teasers GMC has revealed so far. It's big and boxy, but not quite as sharp-edged as before (likely to the benefit of aerodynamics). The seven-bar grille still treads on Jeep's territory, but it seems to suit the blunt front end well, especially with the vague H-shape of the headlights. A high beltline, almost as high a floor, and short greenhouse are all part of the bunker-like Hummer trademark, and it manages to not look anything like Rivian's R1T, a much more traditional-looking truck.
Crabwalk in the Open Air
Drive modes available will include driver-selectable torque splits between the front and rear wheels, as well as four-wheel steering settings including the CrabWalk diagonal travel ability and a 50mm-lift Terrain mode, and what GMC calls Watts to Freedom, a "driver-selectable immersive experience" that unlocks full acceleration and a 0–97 km/h run of about three seconds flat.
Thanks to the rigidity of the battery frame, the Hummer EV will offer a standard Infinity Roof with removable Sky Panels that store in the frunk and give you open-air driving. Other outdoor tech includes an UltraVision virtual spotter camera system offering up to 18 camera views, with two of those mounted underneath (with damage protection and lens washing) to help drivers place their wheels on the trail.
If nature isn't enough, infotainment will be provided through a 13.4-inch screen sitting beside a 12.3-inch digital driver info display to offer loads of information including off-road widgets like torque output, locking diff status (so it'll have lockers, too), tire pressure, various vehicle angles so you know if you're in danger of tipping, and a drift gauge. The latest version of GM's Super Cruise hands-off autonomous driving with automatic lane-change will also be on the options list.
First to arrive will be an Edition 1 trim with white paint and lunar horizon interiors (and Edition 1 badges) that includes Drive Mode Control, Watts to Freedom, Adaptive Ride Control, the opening roof, MultiPro tailgate, lowering rear window, and power tonneau cover, as well as what GMC calls "premium, technical interior materials." Production starts in late 2021 at GM's renamed Factory Zero in Detroit, but vehicles for Canada (sold through GMC dealers) won't arrive until the fall of 2022. We expect pricing to arrive sometime late that year and lower-priced trims could take an extra year or two to arrive based on US info.