The off-road SUV and truck scene shows zero signs of slowing down, but even in this hot market space there are just two vehicles that uniquely stand out from the competition: the Jeep Wrangler (and Gladiator) and the Ford Bronco. They are technically convertibles, with both a removable roof and removable doors. Meanwhile, in the General Motors camp, no such feature exists on its off-road products. However, the upcoming GMC Hummer EV changes that stance a bit, but nevertheless keeps the doors as a more permanent fixture.
And recently, we found out why.
“We looked into that and this truck being premium, we felt like if you do removable doors or anything like that, it kind of would take away from the (premium) execution,” explained John Mack, lead Hummer EV exterior designer, in an interview with MC&T. “But as far as off-road cues – flag mounts and things like that – that’s something that accessories can get into.”
That’s not to say occupants of the GMC Hummer EV can’t or won’t enjoy an open-air experience. The hulking EVs will feature what’s being branded as Sky Panels; removable pieces of the roof that can be stored in either the frunk or rear storage area of the vehicle.
Mack points to the various accessories that have so far been teased by the GMC Hummer team. Ultimately, there will be about 200 accessories for customers to choose from when the vehicle launches late this year with the Hummer EV Edition 1 pickup truck, and ramping up production with more affordable models in 2022, and into 2023 with the launch of the Hummer EV SUV.
“We’ve added a lot of things like the lightbar and the GoPro camera mount on the front hood that really enable the off road experience in a really new way. A techy way as well, the underside cameras that can also look at the rocks you’re clearing. They take the off-road experience into a new era.”
GMC Hummer EV Off-Road Hardware
All GMC Hummer EV models are underpinned by the brand’s new e4WD system, which features an electronically locking front differential. Opt for a three-motor model and you’ll also receive a rear virtual locker and torque vectoring, while all models come with four-wheel steering. Combined this setup is what allows for CrabWalk mode, making it possible to rotate the truck without moving forwards or backwards. The system is so good that GMC says that the truck can climb a 60-percent grade forwards or in reverse, scale an 18-inch vertical obstacle, and wade through water more than two feet deep.
As fare as off-road capabilities are concerned, higher-end Hummer EV models will offer what’s called the Extreme Off-Road Package, which is standard on the Edition 1 pickup truck and available on the Edition 1 SUV. The package features:
- 18-inch black aluminum wheels with machined accents
- 305/70/R18 Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT Tires
- Skid Plates – front differential, battery, rear differential
- Electronically-locking front differential with heavy-duty ball spline half shafts
- Virtual electronic-locking rear differential with heavy-duty ball spline half shafts
- Forward and rearward underbody cameras
- Rubber Flooring with rubber inserts
- Premium floor liners
The added cameras appear to be part of the UltraVision package, which will provide customers with up to 18 different views around the vehicle. This will help to ensure you don’t end up damaging any of the pretty body work unnecessarily on the trails. It also appears that the GMC Hummer EV models will retain a traditional differential up front, as opposed to the virtual e-locker found out back.
The suspension provides the truck with 10.1 inches of ground clearance, with Extract Mode raising that figure to 15.9 inches when needed. Add in CrabWalk Mode and the Hummer’s five adjustable drive modes, and all your bases should be covered. There’s a reason GMC says this thing can climb a 60-percent grade forwards or in reverse, and scale an 18-inch vertical obstacle.
In our opinion, all the Hummer EV is missing in its off-road arsenal is a Performance Data Recorder.
By the time the Hummer EV SUV hits the market, an off-road mapping application will be available across the GMC Hummer EV lineup. The feature comes by way of an updated version of the myGMC app, which will work in tandem with the SUV’s infotainment system. The system works by utilizing satellite data, which owners can download directly to the GMC Hummer EV SUV before heading out on an excursion. Not only does the software aim to help drivers get down the trails, but it will also help ensure they never run the battery flat. That is because the system highlights charging locations and their distances from various trails, and provides real-time energy consumption alongside community-based energy forecasts. This is not unlike the system that Ford has employed with their upcoming Bronco.
The Hummer EV will also be available with what’s being called a Power Station generator, providing a sufficient 3 kW of off-grid power, provided the vehicle has the enough charge to do so.