Hummer nameplate will be revived for 747kW EV ‘super truck’ that promises 0-100km/h in 3sec.
The new GMC Hummer EV, the first in a line of premium electric SUVs and pick-up trucks to use the revived badge, will be revealed later today.
American automotive giant General Motors (GM) confirmed earlier this year that it planned to unveil the reinvented Hummer at an event in May, but has delayed the event until now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tesla Supertruck rival will be revealed in an online launch, along with television adverts that will be screened during coverage of the Baseball World Series and talent show The Voice.
Ahead of the reveal, Hummer has teased the EV’s new ‘crab mode’, which utilises four-wheel steering to allow it to travel in a diagonal direction. Hummer says the function is “tailor-made for off-roading customers.”
The Hummer EV is referred to as “the world’s first super truck”. With around 745kW and a claimed 15,500Nm of torque, it’s said to be capable of 0-100km/h in 3.0sec and takes its power from GM’s new Ultium battery pack, which is capable of ‘super-fast charging’ and expected to offer a range of up to 640km.
Previous information released confirmed that the pick-up will feature a so-called ‘infinity roof’ with removable glass panels to offer a open-air driving experience, while the design of the platform-sharing SUV variant looks to be modelled heavily on the iconic Hummer H2, which went out of production in 2009.
The EV will also feature an Adrenaline mode, which can be expected to offer similar performance-enhancing functionality to Tesla’s Ludicrous mode, plus a Crab mode that will likely involve some sort of extreme four-wheel steering.
GMC vice president Duncan Aldred said: “GMC builds premium and capable trucks and SUVs. The GMC Hummer EV takes this to new heights.”
The new model will be built at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck factory in Michigan, US.
GM is investing $7.7 billion (AUD$10.9bn) into preparing its US factories for the shift to electrification over the next four years, with the Detroit-Hamtramck facility being upgraded at a cost of $3bn (AUD$4.25bn) to produce electric trucks and vans.
The large EVs will sit atop a new skateboard-style chassis, similar to that of American start-up company Rivian, which combines motors and batteries for cheaper production costs. Around 80,000 units per year are expected to be produced.
The first model, currently known as Project O, is expected to be followed by a hardcore performance version in 2022.
Regarding GM’s choice to develop premium EVs before more affordable models, Auto Forecast Solutions’ Sam Fiorani told Reuters: “It makes perfect sense to hit the high end of the market in order to generate some revenue that might actually turn a profit.”
Such a move, Fiorani noted, has proved lucrative for Tesla, which launched with the low-volume Roadster before going on to rival BMW and Mercedes-Benz with the Model S.
GM recently ended production of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, citing a decline in demand for saloon models. Its replacement, the Bolt, is an electric hatchback that’s expected to cost its maker between $11,000 to $12,000 per unit as a result of the augmented cost of EV production compared with that of conventionally powered cars.
Production of Hummer’s iconic H2 and smaller H3 ended in 2009, as GM eyed a return to profit following a high-profile bankruptcy announcement.
The new Hummer electric pick-up is likely to be priced to compete with the forthcoming Rivian R1S and could beat Tesla’s long-awaited Cybertruck to market.