With the launch of its battery-powered GMC Hummer supertruck not even six months ago, it’s hardly a surprise General Motors is following up on its promise to go “all in” on electrics with an SUV version of its giant EV. And like the electric pickup, the new SUV is a hulking beast that backs up its aggressive visage with outrageous power and performance.
Of the latter, there’s no doubt the new Hummer is going to be one of the quickest SUVs ever, The General boasting a 3.5-second 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) sprint right in line with Jeep’s supercharged Grand Cherokee Trackhawk — and, of course, you get all the drama of GM’s “Watts to Freedom” launch control system that not only maximizes traction at all four wheels, but also lowers the Hummer for high-speed stability.
That said, the SUV is not quite as over-powered as the truck version of the new Hummer. While the pickup treats itself to 1,000 horsepower, the SUV version is limited to only — and, my Lord, what has happened to us when this amount of power is ‘only’ — 830 horses. The top-of-the-line versions — dubbed the “3X” and “Edition 1” — do, however, feature three electric motors like the pickup. As to whether they’re the same powertrains, only electronically stifled, or whether GM has actually installed less powerful motors at each axle is unknown. If it’s the former, we can expect a whole slew of hacking as soon as the SUV hits the market.
That, by the way, will happen sometime in the first few months of 2023, when GMC will introduce its electric SUV in two Edition 1 guises. Like all such Edition 1s, it will be a full boat, all-singing, all-dancing, fully-equipped model featuring those three motors and, one presumes, every interior option GM could ladle into the big SUV.
What is interesting is that the SUV boasts less range than the truck version, 482 kilometres before its lithium-ions give up the ghost, versus 560 km for the pickup. That, as it turns out, is because, at 3,218 millimetres, the SUV’s wheelbase is some 226-mm shorter than the pickup’s and, as a result, the SUV can only fit 20 of its Ultium battery modules in the sport brute versus the truck’s 24. Do the math and it means the SUV should have somewhere around 165 kilowatt-hours of battery capacity. Assuming that 150 kWh of that is usable, that gives the top-of-the-line Hummer SUV an efficiency of about 31.1 kWh/100 km, just slightly ahead of the truck—it is boasting a little less power—but not especially efficient. Even going electric, a Hummer will still be a Hummer.
In the spring of 2024 GMC will release lesser versions of the Hummer, one featuring just two motors — for ‘just’ 625 hp — and 402 kilometres of range. But, because this model’s battery has but 16 modules, there should be only 133 or so kWh of lithium-ion storage onboard. Assuming that it has 120 kWh of accessible energy, its 29.8 kWh/100 km would be, not surprisingly, more efficient. Unfortunately, GMC is not revealing any performance figures for the budget version, but a sub-five-second scoot to 97 km/h is probable.
Note, however, that I use the term “budget” extremely euphemistically, since it will cost — when it arrives in three years — $88,898. And, those looking for more goodies — the base version only gets 400V charging while the remaining models get full-power 800V/300-kW charging — are going to have to seriously empty their wallet. The next model up, the 2X, will cost $104,898 and still has but two motors and 625 hp. If you want all three motors, the minimum you’ll need to spend (in spring of 2023) will be $119,398, while the Edition 1 I mentioned will set you back $125,898.
But “Wait,” as Ron Popeil used to say, “there’s more!” For $131,898, GMC will sell you the fully loaded Edition 1 with an Extreme Off-Road package, which substitutes 18-inch rims for the standard model’s 22-inchers, throws on some gargantuan 35-inch MT tires, bolts some armour to its underside, adds locking differentials to both axles, and then tops it off with underbody cameras so you can get a precise view of the rocks you’re crashing over.
Along with GMC’s Crab Walk — which turns all four wheels in one direction so the Hummer can slide sideways — and ground clearance-enhancing Extract Mode, the new electrified Hummer should be a formidable off-roader.
Of course, thanks at least partially to those huge tires, range drops to just 450 klicks, but, it’ll rocket to 97 km/h in 3.5 seconds.