I was watching Jurassic Park recently. The new ones, not the original. In the movie, they create a super dinosaur that’s meaner, faster, smarter and scarier. Apparently, the T-Rex gets boring after seeing it more than once. Meanwhile, outside my house was a genetically enhanced super truck very much like that dinosaur: the GMC Hummer EV SUT. This thing wants to eat the Ram TRX and Ford Raptor. Better hide the kids.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup Edition 1 overview
When would you say turbochargers became mainstream? 10, maybe 15 years ago? Mainstream means it goes under the hood of a car like the Nissan Altima (shudders). Things that people who don’t care about cars drive. And they don’t care how a car works either, as long as it does. Well, this Hummer is not for them.
I mention a turbocharger because before it went in that Altima, it went in cars for people like us. Porsche 911. Toyota Supra. They proudly displayed badges that let everyone know “Turbo” too. And we love them for it. So here comes Hummer, hoping you’ll not just drive this EV, but be proud of the technology that brought it to life. Is an EV badge cool yet?
Maybe, because wow, does this thing draw eyeballs. A combination of its newness, name, and looks, the Hummer had people whipping out their phones and thumbs for appreciation everywhere. Sidewalk – made you look. Inside other cars – made you look. Picking up my daughter from school – here too. Each time, I had to explain what it was, and each time, I was looking way down.
Women screamed. Children laughed. Men wept. At least one of those is true.
And what was I explaining? Technology. There is so much of it in this car that I have no doubt it will be one of the first to take over when SkyNet finally wakes up. 9,000 pounds. 1,000 horsepower. 35-inch tires. Let’s see if all those DNA alterations let the Hummer reach the top of the food chain.
Performance Score: 7. Full belly
We’re asking the Hummer to do a lot here, including an acceleration mode that literally gives you butterflys. But despite the ability, some important parts of the on-road experience are a little off.
Installed in the floor of the Hummer EV are three electric motors supplied with electricity from a 212.7-kWh LG battery. The result is 1,000 horsepower, an amount you used to find only in something hyper exotic like a Veyron. GM’s limited production because it’s essentially using two battery packs that could be used to build two cars as oppose to one.
Engage the “Watts to Freedom” (aka WTF) launch mode, and you will rocket the Hummer EV to 60 in 3.3 seconds. I can confirm it works (evil smile). You have not lived until you’ve smashed the gas on this thing and watched as the nose lifts up like a cigarette boat. It’s sort of a one-time event though, or else you’ll drain the battery too much.
Around town, it feels normal, which is to say there’s plenty of power for everyday driving. But you need to dig deep into the pedal to get the car to give up more of its 1,200 lb-ft of torque, and it doesn’t feel nearly as powerful as its figures suggest.
Could be the weight. Could also be the fact that the Hummer wants you to save that juice. I didn’t. Hulk smash gas pedal.
What I really want to mention here is the Hummer’s amazing one-pedal drive mode. In cars like the BMW i4 or Kia EV6, there are varying amounts of brake regeneration, but they never seem to get it just right. The i4 was particularly aggressive once you take your foot off the gas (can we still call it gas?). Then you need to inch up to the red light some more. Embarrassing.
Not so the Hummer EV. In my week with the car, I almost never touched the brakes. After a few miles of adjustment, the reduction of momentum just felt natural, and I found myself using only the throttle as both my stop-and-go. Really well done. Hopping back in a gas-powered car felt weird.
Steering and Chassis
There’s some neat things here, the best being rear-wheel steering that enables the big boy to maneuver around town with some ease. A myriad of off-road modes makes it just about the most capable pickup truck you’ll drive, but the Ram TRX felt more solid in the dirt. Let’s just say you won’t get stuck with either.
The issue is everywhere else. I wouldn’t call the Hummer EV’s chassis setup GM’s best attempt. It lumbers around, and any speed above say, 75, gives you white knuckles as gigantic 35-inch tires seek out any rut in the road. The suspension has a huge amount of travel, so the nose always lifts up and dives down under braking. Like a cruise ship.
Steering is vague. The rear wheels are always engaged, so on the highway they contribute to a sense of artificial feel. Turn-in response is like making a telephone call using a rotary dial, and the phone number is all nines. Give it a minute.
The Hummer EV weighs in at 9,640 lbs, so there’s no denying physics. One-pedal driving cuts down on brake use significantly, but use them repeatedly and you’ll feel the fade. The pedal itself is a bit soft as well. I wouldn’t mind controls with a littler more “burliness” to them. This is a big car, it should have some solid responses.
Overall, the Hummer EV doesn’t offer the best on-road experience, but like a Veyron or other exotic car, it’s not meant to be used in a strictly practical sense. When you do choose to use it, fun is there in the right environment.
Utility Score: 6. Tonka
GM makes really good pickups, and their thoughtful engineering is applied liberally here.
There’s plenty of room in the cabin, with wide rear doors to make entry easy. A step in the rear hatch helps to offload items, but those gigantic spare tires block off a lot of room. They also make it impossible to see out of the back and weight 100 lbs each, so you better bring Arnold along for the ride in case you get stuck. Looks cool though.
Another issue is its tow rating of 7,500 lbs, which means the Hummer EV weighs more than it tows. Both the F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T can pull more, but they are nowhere near as cool as this thing.
Economy Score: N/A
It might be a bit of a cop out, but the Hummer EV defies categorization.
I live about 40 miles away from New York City, in a very populated suburban area. Yet no fast chargers exist nearby. So I had to find an apartment building that offered a ChargePoint plug and left the Hummer to charge for over 24 hours. I left it with 20%, and picked it up with about 80%. This means you absolutely need access to a fast charger for the car to work properly.
Cost is another factor. I received a 60% charge for around $55 dollars. To fill the car up all the way will push up against $100, either at a charging station or your monthly electric bill. Either way, it costs a lot to run. At least the nearly 300-mile range is normal.
Don’t think of it as a knock on electric cars or the Hummer, because it’s pushing the limits of technology, just as a Ferrari F40 did in the 80s.
Features and Comfort: 7. To the Moon
Every car has a budget, and it’s clear the Hummer EV’s was used to push the limits of electric trucks. Cheap plastic bits surround you, but there are some cool Easter Eggs if you know what to look for.
Man on the Moon
GM was involved with developing the Moon Buggy for later Apollo missions in the 70s, furnishing the wheels, motors, and suspension components. The Buggy was battery powered, hence the tie-in with this Hummer EV.
So, you get “Moon-scapes” throughout the cabin. Speaker panels with Moon boot-prints. A dashboard and infotainment screen that have moon rocks (and changes over from day to night in a pretty animation). And paint color names like “Interstellar White”, which this one was painted in.
They are nice touches, though look closely and you can see the return of GM plastic. Those bronze air vents look neat, but are just painted on. Seating is comfortable in front, with material that feels very durable and space age. I would not call it Range Rover-esque.
Also: there are removable T-tops! I did not have the courage to try them in February Northeast weather, but they add another element of fun to the car.
Show and go
Lots of tech outside. An Air Suspension raises and lowers depending on drive mode (and lowers when you get out). Sounds like the Emperor’s spaceship has arrived. Plenty of running lights and spotlights all over so you can explore outer space.
The Hummer’s climate controls are toggle switches, which are cool, but they make you interact with the screen in weird ways. Takes a lot of taps to get seat heat on. And you have to keep an eye on the HVAC system; it turns off frequently to save energy. I’m hot, Hummer, give me some fresh air!
There are five million “Hummer” badges throughout in case you forget which car is yours, from the doors to the seat backs. Maybe they are for everyone else, because everyone else will look. “Wow! What is that!?” Point to a conveniently-placed badge, thanks GMC.
No doubt as a marketing exercise, it works. I’m not sure what else will draw so much attention, short of having a dinosaur in the bed.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup Edition 1 is a concept car you can buy
By now, you’ve probably guessed the Hummer isn’t really going to be your every day car. But like any halo vehicle, it shines a bright light on the rest of GM’s pickup trucks. “If we can do this, imagine how awesome those other trucks are” it seems to say. I applaud them for bringing a concept car to life.
At the end of Jurassic Park, that genetically-engineered super dino gets cornered by a plain ol’ T-Rex. Wasn’t quite ready for prime time. Despite its warts, I believe this Hummer EV is. Perhaps it’s the rest of us that need to catch up.
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