Over the past few years, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 has become one of our favorite off-road vehicles on the market. And while there are several reasons to appreciate this mid-size 4×4, the Multimatic-supplied Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers might be the truck’s strongest feature. GM were the first to apply this tried-and-true motorsports technology to a pickup, but the suspension setup isn’t bound for the GMC Hummer EV.
“For Edition 1, we have 100 percent air suspension with quite a bit of height adjustment… ingress/egress, to aero, to normal, to terrain to extract mode, that’s 8 inches of suspension adjustment,” said Vehicle Performance Engineer Todd Hubbard in an interview with MC&T. “The way the Multimatic DSSV dampers work is that they’re fixed position sensitive. With those types of height adjustments, the Multimatic just doesn’t work. Because you’d be in and out of that zone when you didn’t want to be.”
Hubbard went on to explain a situation to us that highlights the benefits of the active air suspension system in comparison to even the Multimatic DSSV dampers.
“Let’s say you didn’t realize your tire was dropping over a ledge. (The Hummer EV) will see the wheel position as it drops, and crank in tons of control to prevent the vehicle from slamming down. We can adjust the engagement and the spring rate of those dynamic bump stops. It’s really an enabler we need for the air ride suspension.”
As we have previously reported, the GMC Hummer EV shares no parts with the rest of the GM lineup. That said, the engineers behind this new system did have other air suspension layouts to study. More specifically, the new suspension is not entirely dissimilar to the one that underpins GM’s T1 Platform SUVs. There are some key differences however.
“The system is similar to the (T1 SUV suspension). But the volume of the air cylinder is much greater because of the suspension travels and the difference in masses,” said Hubbard when asked how the Hummer EV’s suspension differs. “ But the functionality on how the T1 SUV system works, the Hummer EV is built on that, and the position sensitive feature is new. The big enabler that allows us to do that is the 13 inches of travel. You don’t have to worry about any engagement into that zone when there’s no travel.”
So then it appears that the air suspension system that underpins the new GMC Hummer EV is truly the best fit. As much as we love the wonders that the Multimatic DSSV dampers do for the Colorado ZR2, the Hummer is an entirely different type of vehicle. And if we had to bet, the electric pickup will also be quite a bit more capable and comfortable to boot.