The focus around the GMC Hummer EV has been just how capable the truck is off the road (up to 11.9 inches of ground clearance, 32 inches of water fording, underbody cameras, etc.) as it is on the road (WTF Mode, an incredibly nimble turning circle, Super Cruise, and plenty of range). Ironically, because of incredibly uncooperative weather happening across California right now – where the Hummer EV SUV media drive took place – my wave was left to experience the aesthetically superior Hummer EV exclusively on-road. This is save for a soupy, muddy excursion through a curated obstacle course while riding in the passenger seat, leaving the controls exclusively in the hands of the people that developed this 300 kW hulk, slightly down from 350 kW in the pickup truck.
Whatever, California needs a good rinse.
And, no, I’m not about to blow hot air over the various quality quirks of the Hummer. Because fixating on them misses the point: this was a vehicle program that went from not even existing to producing salable models in roughly two years and change. To bring a vehicle to market at such speed is going reveal some growing pains in a variety of ways. But nobody else had the stones to even attempt it. And at the end of the day, GM is going to be able to build better electric vehicles on the foundations of the Hummer EV program and its Ultium battery technology. Not so much the Chevrolet Bolt.
The reborn Hummer also beat the Tesla Cybertruck to market by two years. Enough said.
Overall, the design of the GMC Hummer EV SUV – especially in matte-finished Moonshot Green – gives it the edge over the truck (Hummer EV SUT) in the looks department. And the two feet of overall length subtracted compared to the truck had the Hummer EV SUV shimmying and slithering through northern California mountain roads as if it were a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. No small feat.
Like the truck, what makes the GMC Hummer EV SUV stand out from other six figure offerings on the market are its long list of party tricks. There isn’t a single person that has experienced Crabwalk Mode that hasn’t been left grinning like a middle schooler watching 90’s cartoons. That goes double for Watts To Freedom (WTF) Mode, where all 830 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of instantaneous motor torque is unleashed in the SUV. Add to it the awesome Unreal Engine graphics, the adjustable air suspension, and lunar-themed artwork in the cabin, and it’s no wonder why it’s incurred a wait list spanning a few years. The Hummer is fun, and cars are supposed to be fun. Electric or not. And the kids love it, too. Who cares if the T-Tops get noisy at 80 mph? Little Andrew and Mikayla are laughing with amusement. Unlikely they would have the same reactions in a Honda Pilot.
All of that is to say: the GMC Hummer EV is still missing something.
The crux is this: it’s going to be very, very unlikely that anybody takes the Hummer EV off roading – save for a few vloggers and some media types that are trying to capture content. Who really thinks that Ashton Kutcher and other celebs that make up the Edition 1 reservation roster are going to conquer their local ORV park?
So, what does the Hummer EV SUV and SUT (the truck) really need? What could a truck that is chock full of party tricks be missing? Simply put: a street performance package.
The GMC Hummer EV family are big, heavy, powerful vehicles. Super trucks. They do an incredible job at smearing a grin on the face on whoever experiences one, especially on the street. Despite the cachet of the Hummer name being centered around off-roading, it stands to reason that a Hummer EV with a tighter suspension, better brakes, and three-season or even summer tires would be more in line with what the truck and SUV will be primarily used for.
Arguably, it would also make the Hummer EV safer. In theory, a more taught and athletic Hummer EV would mean less squatting during hard launch events, translating to more weight and control over the front tires. Bigger brakes and stickier tires would also mean superior stopping power – probably for the better when it comes to driving something so heavy.
I could see it happening eventually. Keep in mind, we’re at the very beginning of the GMC Hummer EV’s life cycle. After the completion of Edition 1 SUT and SUV builds, we’ll see the rollout of lower output, more affordable versions. At the same time, why shouldn’t we expect more packages, more editions, more accessories, and more content? As GM’s moonshot truck, it only seems natural for the Hummer EV to continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible.