Hummer returns as brutish-looking 745kW electric bakkie for the US
DETROIT - In the past you would have equated Hummer with gas guzzler, but now the military-derived nameplate is making a comeback, and it’s embracing the future with all-electric propulsion.
Watch out Tesla Cybertruck...
General Motors is launching the Hummer EV under its GMC brand, and the newcomer promises “unprecedented off-road capability, extraordinary on-road performance and an immersive driving experience designed to put occupants at the center of every moment.”
It’s certainly not mucking around on the performance front, with the new Hummer EV Edition 1 boasting a three-motor electric four-wheel drive system that pushes an estimated 1000 horsepower (or 745kW in metric speak) and an astounding 15 000Nm of torque. No performance or towing figures have been released, but they’re sure to be impressive.
The battery is said to allow a range of over 560km, and the vehicle features technology that mechanically switches the batteries from parallel to series mode during charging, which allows for almost 160km worth of range in just 10 minutes when using a 350kW DC fast charger.
Another noteworthy feature is the segment-exclusive four-wheel steering system with a ‘CrabWalk’ function that allows the front and rear wheels to steer at the same angle at low speeds for greater manoeuvrability on challenging terrains.
On that note, the GMC Hummer EV comes with underbody armour to protect the batteries in extreme off-road conditions, and drivers are also assisted by a series of front and rear underbody cameras with live ‘virtual spotter’ views to help navigate obstacles.
If the occupants want some wind in the hair, the roof panels can be removed and stored in the ‘frunk’ at the front of the vehicle - where the engine would have been.
“We had one goal for Hummer EV: Build the most capable factory truck - ever,” said chief engineer Al Oppenheiser.
“It’s an absolute off-road beast with a unique e4WD drive system that provides maneuverability unlike anything GM has ever offered before.”
But will there be a market for this kind of vehicle? With pre-order figures for its chief rival, the Tesla Cybertruck, having reportedly surpassed the 600 000 mark, then surely there is, at least in the US.
With General Motors having divested from South Africa, the chances of seeing the GMC Hummer EV in South Africa any time soon are close to zero however.