As the age of the electric vehicle appears to draw nearer, more and more forms of EV-based motorsports are starting to pop up. This year will mark the inaugural season of Extreme E, a spec off-road racing series intended to highlight the capability of EV powertrains. With the April 2021 start date approaching, GMC has just announced their entry into the series alongside Chip Ganassi Racing. That means that the GMC Hummer EV is going racing.
“It’s truly an honor to represent GMC, especially during such an exciting time in auto racing,” said team owner Chip Ganassi in a statement. “The new GMC Hummer EV is going to be a game changer in terms of how the world views off-road EV capability, and we couldn’t be more proud to represent GMC in such an innovative new series.”
GMC is now the second manufacturer to sign on with an Extreme E team, following VW’s entry with their Cupra sub-brand. And while the GMC Hummer EV is Chip Ganassi Racing’s sponsored vehicle, it won’t exactly be what we see racing. Every team in the series utilizes the same spec SUV, known as the ODYSSEY 21 XE. The bespoke machines feature a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, and come with a standardized crash structure and roll cage. The SUV makes 550 horsepower, which sends the off-roader from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds at gradients of up to 130 percent.
The ODYSSEY 21 XE piloted by Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price will borrow styling cues from the street-going GMC Hummer EV. This will be most apparent in the front facia of the SUV, as well as the graphics package that it wears. It might not look much like the Hummer, but the racer is definitely the best looking SUV in the series.
General Motors is a well known commodity in the world of motorsports, but GMC isn’t as experienced. That said, teaming up with a legendary program like Chip Ganassi Racing is a great start by any measure. The Extreme E series will kick off on April 3-4 2021 in Saudi Arabia, marking the official start of the GMC Hummer EV’s racing career. Here’s to hoping it’s an exciting ride.