Wednesday, October 5, 2022
First Reviews 2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive: Free Electron

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive: Free Electron

General Motors is bringing back the Hummer name and all it stood for, except the pollution.

Strengths – GMC Hummer EV 2023

 

  • Exceptional off-road capabilities
  • Large interior
  • Very clear graphics
  • Easy to drive for such a large truck

 

Weaknesses – GMC Hummer EV 2023

 

  • Elephant weight
  • Awkward bulkiness
  • High electron consumption

 

The new 2023 GMC Hummer EV is just as massive as the Hummers of yesteryear, but it’s nothing like its predecessors.

2022 GMC HUMMER EV
2022 GMC HUMMER EV Edition 1 | Photo: GMC

The Hummer brand has always had a special place in the automotive world. Its military origins, made famous by the Gulf War, followed by Hollywood stars like Arnold “the Terminator” who became its spokesman, have placed an aura over this brand. GM, after the acquisition of the AM General brand, brought the H2 and H3.

GM’s big boss Rick Wagoner decided after GM’s bankruptcy in 2008 to clean up the brands and Hummer was sacrificed after the last H3 was produced in 2010. Twelve years later, GMC is bringing back the Hummer in all its glory and without the pollution.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

First in a pick-up version

 

There is an unprecedented craze for electric pickup trucks in the United States right now. Ford will have to double its production of F-150 Lightning to meet the demand. Rivian is also selling very well. Enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the Cybertruck and both Ram and Chevrolet have announced an electric “pickup” for 2024.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

It’s not surprising that GMC will first market the pickup version of its Hummer, which is already hitting American roads. In Canada, we’ll have to wait until December for the first model, called Edition1, which will sell for $110,000 US. The price has not yet been announced for Canada. An SUV version based on the same platform will arrive in the spring of 2023.

 

Imposing in every sense of the word

 

If you think this truck is big in pictures, it’s even bigger in person. Let’s start with the weight of 4,082 kilograms or 9,000 pounds. The 24-battery pack under the vehicle is as heavy as a compact car at 1,326 kilos. Then there’s the 5.5 meter long, 2.2 meter wide and 2.0-meter-high format.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

The footboard is not too much to take in. As for the interior, a model like the GMC Sierra offers a little more room to move around in the front, while the Hummer EV benefits from a little more legroom in the back.

Our Edition1 model on test offers four removable moonroof panels that make the vehicle a very practical convertible for Florida, California or Arizona. We’re concerned that these panels will freeze up at home in the winter. They can be removed in a jiffy and stored in specially designed cases in the front trunk

2022 GMC HUMMER EV Edition 1 | Photo: GMC

Power to spare

 

Those who have ever had the chance to drive a Hummer may remember that its size and especially its weight were a handicap for performance. In the Edition 1 version, GMC has deployed the full power of Ultium technology.

2022 GMC HUMMER EV | Photo: GMC

The 24-cell 246.8 kWh battery produces 1,000 horsepower and more than 1,200 lb-ft of engine torque.  It has three electric motors, one in the front and two in the rear, 333 horsepower in the front, and 666 horsepower in the rear for about 1,000 horsepower.

If you use the Watts to Freedom mode, you’re able to catapult this mass to 100 km/h in three seconds despite it having the aerodynamics of a fridge. The thrust from a standstill blows your hair off every time. At first glance, it’s hard to believe that such a large vehicle is so powerful and maneuverable.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

There will be less powerful versions coming to market in the future, but GM wanted to show that the 9,000-pound pachyderm would not be an issue in the future.

 

Surprisingly agile

 

Looking at its roadmap, such an imposing model makes you dizzy. Once behind the wheel, the Hummer is much more maneuverable and smaller to drive than its size would suggest. GMC came up with a great trick: 4-wheel steering.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

At low speeds, this system allows the rear and front wheels to turn.  The movement ranges from 1 turn in the front to a maximum of 1.2 turns in the rear, allowing for diagonal and side-to-side movements that provide a turning radius that is the equivalent of a Chevrolet Sonic. You also have the “Crabwalk” mode which allows a lateral movement of the vehicle, quite brilliant.

 

Among the options is an extraction mode that uses the standard air suspension to raise the suspension height about 6 inches (149 mm) above the regular maximum height to help the Hummer EV negotiate extreme off-road situations such as rock climbing or fording.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

We spent half of our test day in off-road mode and the steerable wheels are truly amazing. Thanks to the 4-wheel steering, you’re able to weave your way through narrow trails with this gigantic beast.

 

Don’t forget the air suspension that adapts to all driving modes. It drops 50 mm when you’re on the highway and offers no less than three different heights in off-road mode, in addition to the optional extraction mode. There are also no less than 18 cameras all over and under the vehicle that give you a view all around the vehicle.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

This is very useful when you’re off-roading to see obstacles in front of you or to see rocks under the vehicle. There are even wash nozzles to clean the cameras when they fill up with dust. On paved roads, the air suspension provides an undeniable element of comfort. Also worth mentioning are the seats, which are admittedly quite firm, but offer good support. On the minus side, shorter people will find it difficult to get in.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

The footboard becomes a necessity as does the handle inside to help you slide into the cabin. The roof panels may be nice, but they’re noisy once you exceed 90 km/h and the 35-inch tires make their presence felt in the cabin a little too loudly. Don’t forget that there’s no gas engine to bury the wind noise. Passenger space is quite respectable, as are the numerous storage compartments of all kinds.

2022 GMC HUMMER EV | Photo: GMC

Super Cruise and all the latest technology

 

GM includes its Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system developed by Cadillac as standard equipment. You also have several driving aids like lane keeping assist and blind spot monitoring.

2022 GMC HUMMER EV Edition 1 | Photo: GMC

You also have standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode. You also get two touch screens.

 

A 13.4-inch one that serves as an infotainment screen, and a second 12.3-inch one. GMC enlisted Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game Fortnite, to create the graphics for the infotainment interface. A host of connectivity features are standard, including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, an internet zone and GM’s OnStar telematics system.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

It uses a lot of electricity

 

Just as the old Hummer was a bottomless pit when it came time to put gas in, the electric model is just as electron hungry.

2023 GMC Hummer EV First Drive

EPA estimates are 44.6 kWh/100 km on average, with 41.1 kWh/100 km in the city and… 48.7 kWh/100 km on the highway!  Models like the Hyundai Ioniq use almost half as much energy. So it’s not surprising that you need a 246.8 kWh battery (212.7 usable) to get the advertised 530 km. Mercedes’ EQS model offers a similar range with a 107 kWh battery. Charging is both simple and complicated. It is possible to recharge at 350 kW charging stations.

2022 GMC HUMMER EV | Photo: GMC

The battery, which operates on 400 V (in two stages), is divided into two groups operating in parallel. But for charging, they can be switched to series, bringing the voltage to 800 V. You can then recover up to 160 km of range by staying connected for 12 minutes. At 400 V, going from 30 to 90 % would take 45 minutes, suggesting a charging power of at least 150 kW.

On a Level 2 (240-60) outlet GMC claims a charge speed of 25.75 km per hour or 16 km per hour on a 240-40 outlet. If you don’t have an outlet at home and are on 110 volts, GM has estimated that it will take eight days and six hours to charge your Hummer.

2022 GMC HUMMER EV | Photo: GMC

Conclusion

 

If you’re wondering who’s going to buy this Hummer, the answer is probably someone who already owns three or four other vehicles and wants to wow their friends and neighborhood.

 

It’s unlikely that the prospective owner will be going out on the trails, and that’s a shame because the Hummer is truly amazing off-road. We’re targeting the same buyer profile as before, minus the pollution. GMC hasn’t changed the “show-off” philosophy that made the Hummer brand famous.

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