2022 Hummer EV – How GMC will do the off-road unthinkable

Chris Davies - Oct 22, 2020, 1:19pm CDT
2022 Hummer EV – How GMC will do the off-road unthinkable

GMC’s Hummer EV isn’t due to arrive until next year, but that hasn’t stopped the automaker from dropping plenty of early details about the all-electric “Supertruck” now. Revealed this week, GM most extreme Ultium-based vehicle won’t be for everyone, but it’s a halo for electrification that’s been sorely missing from the automaker’s range.

Where the Cadillac Lyriq aims to show how electric vehicles can outclass their gas rivals in luxury, the new Hummer aims to demonstrate that anything internal combustion trucks can do, EVs can do better, and easier. That’s a big boast, but GMC has the specs to back it up.

The key is the new e4WD system, which relies on three electric motors split across two Ultium units. With it, GMC says, it can deliver precise power to each wheel, with an estimated 1,000 horsepower and what’s reportedly around 1,000 lb-ft of torque to play with. There’s independent front and rear suspension, with a front e-locker differential that leaves both wheels turning at the same speed. Up to 100-percent of total available torque can be sent to either of the front wheels.

A rear virtual locker, meanwhile, simulates a locking diff for the dual-motor rear Ultium unit. It can do torque vectoring, too, pushing power from side to side depending on grip and traction conditions. Heavy-duty ball-spline half shafts keep axle articulation at its maximum, and 18-inch wheels with 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires are fitted as standard. There’s room, though, for up to 37-inch tires if you prefer.

There’s a combination of trusted mechanical with cutting-edge digital. Underbody armor, for instance, adds five skid plates and rock sliders, along with two underbody shields, counting on steel plates for protection. However GMC pairs it with UltraVision, with front and rear underbody cameras to show exactly what’s going on underneath the Hummer EV. They even get their own wash function to keep the replaceable lenses clean.

Gone are the traditional frame rails you might expect a truck to have, with the battery pack – double-stacked to hit the 350+ miles of range that GMC is estimating from the Hummer EV – acting as a structural chassis element instead. Continuous Damping Control maps the road every 2ms to dynamically adjust the dampers, while Adaptive Air Suspension can operate automatically or be manually adjusted for height. In optional Extract Mode, that means raising the suspension height by around 6-inches more, for maximum clearance.

All that requires a new interface capable of keeping up with the tech, and so the Hummer EV has a whole new, custom UI for its dashboard displays. That includes a special view for Crab Walk mode, where the all-wheel steer allows the electric pickup to track diagonally. It’s designed to work at lower speeds – think 10 mph or below – for the greatest maneuverability. There’ll be numerous off-road widgets and graphics, to make it clear exactly what’s going on around the truck.

Terrain Mode, meanwhile, will add something other off-roaders don’t have: a one-pedal mode for low-speed, off-road driving. That’ll mean maximum control over the EV with just the accelerator, with GMC saying it has special calibrations for dealing with steep grades, rock crawling, and other adventures. If you’ve been put off the idea of off-roading because everything seems too complex and there are too many settings to get right, the 2022 Hummer EV could well cut through all that with just one pedal.


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