Starting with how it will reach market before the Tesla Cybertruck.
The Hummer started life as a rugged and capable military vehicle before Arnold Schwarzenegger helped make sure a rugged and capable civilian version was born. General Motors bought the rights to the Hummer name in 1999 and was responsible for marketing the civilian H1 version while AM General was still building it. Following the H1 model, the H2 and H3 models were built on GM platforms. When the company got into financial trouble, GM tried to sell the brand in 2009 and 2010 but failed, and the brand became defunct on May 24, 2010. Since then, there have been consistent rumors of a revival, but it wasn't until late 2019 the rumors were finally confirmed.
On January 30, 2020, GM released trailers to let the world know a new Hummer was really happening. The Hummer is coming back, but no longer as an obnoxious gas-guzzling monster. Instead, it will be an all-electric powered sport utility truck (SUT) followed by an SUV version. This is everything we know so far about the Hummer SUT.
Trucks are the next frontier of the electric vehicle market, and electric motors bring plenty of a critical ingredient to a great truck - torque. According to GMC, the electric Hummer will generate "up to 11,500 lb-ft" of torque. That five-figure number is not a typo, but we're sure that GMC is misleading us by not using the standard system for reporting torque, giving us the wheel torque instead after final drive multiplication. With some quick and dirty math assuming GMC uses motor torque multiplied through the transmission's drive ratio to get its astronomical number, we estimate that the most potent model will generate a little over 800 lb-ft in regular currency. GMC is also claiming 1,000 hp, which should likely give the truck a zero to 60 mph time of around 3.0 seconds.
Reliable sources point to three powertrains being available, giving the option one, two, or three motors. A single motor will most likely be for the rear-wheel-drive option, and two or three motors suggests two different power versus efficiency levels for the all-wheel-drive system. The Hummer truck is also promised to be rugged and off-road-ready with an AT4 trim level, so the three-motor option will likely be the one that gives the most control of the wheels for a traction assistance system. There's also talk of an "Adrenaline Mode," which we can only speculate about now, but we hope it involves going very fast over rough ground. "Crab Mode" will likely be for crawling across treacherous ground, or potentially for mimicking Rivian's Tank Turn.
The Hummer truck will be GM's first vehicle using its Ultium battery packs and its new GM BT1 platform for body-on-frame trucks and SUVs. It will be based around a "skateboard" chassis to keep the weight low and under the cab and truck bed floor. Those batteries will be the new Ultium battery packs, ranging from 50 to 200 kilowatt-hours of power and can provide up to 400 miles of driving range. The cell modules also have a built-in battery management system that will allow the cells to be upgraded over time. The cells are large-format design to reduce wiring and are co-developed between GM and LG Chem.
We caught our first glimpse of the new Hummer trucks through a Super Bowl commercial. It features a six-slat grille congruent with the Hummer H2 and H3's styling, and we expect it to be just as obnoxious looking. A long light runs left to right across the grille with the word HUMMER lit from behind. We expect the final product to pick up where the Hummer H3 left off - chunky and intimidating styling mixed with modern body sculpting and creasing added. The Hummer truck will also have four removable roof panels and a removable front T-bar for what GMC calls an "open-air design." All of which can be stored in the front trunk.
GMC is bringing its interiors to a higher standard, and the Hummer promises to be a luxury sport truck. As a result, we don't expect it to be available as anything but a four-door crew cab with two spacious rows of leather seating. As it's a sports truck, the interior as standard will be luxurious and finished in high-quality materials instead of durable vinyl and hard-wearing fabrics. Expect leather, but also expect the surfaces to be rugged enough to withstand the beating a truck will take when it's out in the elements.
Technology will be at the forefront, so we also expect to see a 12-inch and optional 15-inch touchscreen interface and things like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. We also hope to see GM's OnStar telematics system as standard, and possibly even GM's Super Cruise autonomous driving technology.
We know that air suspension will be available on higher trimmed models. We also wouldn't be surprised to see GM's new hands-free driving system, GM Super Cruise, as an option from launch and standard on higher trims, either. We expect base models to have more basic interiors but designed to be hardwearing and easy to clean, making them similar to Jeep interiors but with a more upmarket feel. As there is strong talk of an AT4 off-road version, we would not be surprised if a Denali version appeared, which excites us after seeing the Yukon's new Denali version.
Cargo and towing capacity is something GMC is being remarkably tight-lipped about leading up to the reveal in the fall of this year. As it is promoted as a Sport Utility Vehicle, we expect the truck bed to be useful but short and not geared for construction workers. Think snowboards, bicycles, and jet skis rather than drywall and bags of concrete. As it's a body-on-frame vehicle and will have a boatload of torque, we expect it to be able to tow big trailers as well as large boats. Given that electric drive systems generate immediate torque through a steep curve, it could pull larger loads than some of the current strong performing gas-powered trucks on the market. We're predicting at least 10,000 lbs towing capacity, but we wouldn't be surprised to see more than that.
GMC was planning to pull the sheet off the Hummer SUT on May 20, but the pandemic has delayed that until the fall of 2020. The company is confident the pandemic won't dramatically affect the rollout of production models in mid-2021. It'll land as a 2022 model year and be built at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which GM recently invested $2.2 billion in for electric vehicle production.