GM-Trucks.com was among the very first to drive the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV. Here’s what it was like and why you should be excited.
Since the day the GMC HUMMER EV Truck was announced, enthusiasts have salivated over the idea of a “Super Truck”. One that had sports car-like acceleration combined with Jeep-like off-road ability. All of the excitement and presence of a HUMMER but without all of that gas-guzzling guilt. Did GMC achieve all that they’ve promised? Is the HUMMER EV as good as it sounds? As capable as we’ve been told?
If you’re one of the many that have wondered if the HUMMER EV lives up to that promise that GMC has set through a barrage of heavy marketing and big promises, we have good news. The wait is over and we can finally tell you the very words you’ve wanted to hear. The GMC HUMMER EV Truck is real, it’s fast, it’s capable, and it’s even better than GMC has made it out to be. Last week I was one of the first people in the world not employed by General Motors to actually sit in the driver’s seat of the HUMMER EV and it was glorious.
We Drove 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Prototypes
GMC invited GM-Trucks.com along with a very small group of other people out to “whet” our appetite by sampling early development examples of the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV. The trucks we drove were engineer’s personal vehicles. In fact, these are the same exact vehicles you’ve seen in spy shots at Moab or crab-walking down Woodward Ave. They were hand-made and in some regards crude. Some plastics were unfinished, some pieces 3d printed, and some fabrics barely attached.
But the important part is that the trucks were fully functional and entirely representative of what the HUMMER EV is capable of. Hardware-wise, these trucks are the real deal. They were equipped with the same battery packs, same motors, and same suspension pieces that production vehicles will be made with in a few short weeks and months.
GMC Hosted Us At GM’s Milford Proving Grounds
GMC invited us to General Motor’s Milford Proving Group. A verifiable “Disney Land” for the automotive enthusiast. It’s a city within a city. Simulated roads, intersections, racing tracks, repeatable driving loops, and highly controlled situations and surfaces. Everything you’d need to develop a vehicle and keep it out of the public’s view.
At the entrance to the facility, our belongings were stripped away. Our phones were inspected, and our device’s cameras were covered with tamper-proof tape. It was made clear- we were not to take any photos or videos on our own.
As we traveled to the facility’s off-road section, it became clear why the “no camera” policy was in effect. Development vehicles, the same type we publish spy photography of all the time, surrounded us. And there were hundreds of them. Some vehicles were barely camouflaged and some were completely covered. Some I could recognize, like the 2023 GMC Sierra HD, 2022 Chevy Silverado, 2023 Colorado, and 2023 Corvette Z06. Some were so disguised we could only guess. I think we saw a new redesigned Escalade, Suburban, and Yukon, but I’ll never be quite sure.
After reaching the far side of the Proving Grounds dedicated to off-road development, down a dusty gravel road, five GMC HUMMER EV’s and a tent awaited my arrival.
Inside the tent, five HUMMER EV engineers were ready to give me a preview of what they had been working on for two short years. I say short years, because typically vehicle development doesn’t move that fast. The idea that GM could go from concept to nearly production-ready vehicle in two years is still unfathomable. In the past, a brand new vehicle, with no current architecture to draw on, could take five years or more to develop. To start from scratch in 2019 and be ready to produce a vehicle in 2021 is an amazing feat.
To make this development cycle happen GM engineers leaned on computer-aided development and design. A few short years ago a vehicle would be produced in real-world situations and validated virtually on a computer. But the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV is different. GM put in over 1-million miles virtually first- then they made the real thing second. Does that equal a superior vehicle? As we walked out to our assigned vehicles- I was ready to find out.
What Is The 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Like To Drive?
GMC let us drive the HUMMER EV for approximately 45 minutes in highly controlled situations and with engineer supervision. We sampled how HUMMER EV prototypes handled on dirt roads, paved roads, off-road, and climbing over a small pile of rocks.
First, the HUMMER EV is a torque monster. The three electric motors powering the Edition 1 prototype we drove put out around 1,200 lb-ft of torque, before any gear reduction, along with 1,000-horsepower. Not only is acceleration powerful but torque is also instant and available from zero RPM. With full-time four-wheel drive and massive tires, pushing down the throttle results in the entire vehicle clawing in and launching forward. On dirt roads, the HUMMER throws rocks behind it and digs like earth-moving equipment. All while pinning you back in your seat. On paved roads, all four wheels can chirp and squeal at your command. Yes, a 9,000lb vehicle doing four-wheel burnouts.
On dirt roads, the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV is composed. Even under full-throttle acceleration the four-wheel torque vectoring and output control gives you a lot of stability. The massive tires throw copious amounts of dirt behind you when under full throttle but the vehicle never felt unsettled or out of control. Since each rear wheel has its own motor and there’s a virtual locker for the front motor, torque can be routed instantly to whichever wheel needs it most. And because it’s electronic, adding torque to one wheel doesn’t take it away from another.
Off-road, the 13 plus inches of suspension travel give a really plush ride and smooths out even severe ruts and bumps. It’s extremely impressive how much each wheel can move vertically before disturbing the vehicle as a whole. Ruts are never harsh and any bumps are mostly smoothed out as if you were on a flat surface. The air shocks soak up any imperfections while also allowing you to adjust your ride height to match the situation.
Crawling over a set of boulders was a non-event. The low-end power, four-wheel steering, and suspension travel allowed the HUMMER EV to tackle the challenge with ease. It was really uneventful.
We also drove the HUMMER EV on road at highway speeds but unfortunately, GMC cut the footage and didn’t provide it to us to show to you. During that example, the low center of gravity gave the vehicle a sports-car-like handling feel. Acceleration is instant- with no delay from accelerator pedal to vehicle action. Corvette level of acceleration was on tap anytime you wanted it, despite being in a full-size truck. And those big tires and air shocks proved capable on pavement too. A simulated railroad crossing at 55-mph was no big deal and barely registered.
Despite its heavy 9,000+ lbs of weight, the Ultium battery packs are set for a low center of gravity. That means no lean side to side and a driving feel that resembles a 1500 pickup crossed with a Camaro… instead of a heavy 3500HD dually.
Watts To Freedom (WTF Mode) Demonstration
WTF mode, or Watts To Freedom as GM calls it, was the most impressive demo of the entire day. It allows you to launch the GMC HUMMER EV from a complete stop to over 60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds. From what we experienced, it may have been quicker.
Once at a stop, you tap the traction control button to active WTF Mode. The vehicle starts to lower and the batteries begin conditioning themselves. Special graphics display on the dash and center screen and exciting audio plays while the driver’s seat buzzes. When everything is ready, you push and hold both the brake and accelerator pedal, then release the brake. Instantly and violently you accelerate. And yes, you really think “WTF” as it’s happening.
The 9,000lb behemoth moves as if someone rear-ended it. It’s crazy considering the HUMMER EV’s weight. Like the foot of god came down and kicked your rear end, the HUMMER EV accelerates with ease to highway speeds from a stop. It’s smile-inducing and almost intoxicating.
WTF Mode also isn’t very battery intensive and can be run over and over again. Each WTF takeoff will use around 1% of your battery or less. So, get ready to show your friends over and over again how much fun you can have in the GMC HUMMER EV.
2022 GMC HUMMER EV – Final First Drive Thoughts
I left my time at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds even more excited than when I arrived and damn glad I put in my reservation for an Edition 1. If I didn’t already have one, I would have certainly put down the cash as soon as I got home.
You see, the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV is unlike any vehicle General Motors has produced so far. Sure, it looks like a truck but in reality, it’s so much more. The natural range of driving conditions where the vehicle is at home is immense. From Corvette level acceleration on asphalt to Jeep-crushing capability on the harshest of trails- there’s not much you can’t do in a GMC HUMMER EV, or so it seems. It’s truly an engineering marvel.
The entire package feels like GMC upsized an off-road electric RC car and offered it for sale. A Traxxas X-Maxx you can actually drive– but with even more features. A massive full-size toy for adults who want more power than a Ferrari, McLaren, or Lamborghini and more off-road capability than a RAM TRX, Jeep Wrangler, or Ford Bronco.
While my time behind the wheel of the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV was limited, my enthusiasm for buying one is not. I’m pumped to get more time behind the wheel someday and am beside myself that I’ll actually own one in the next few months.
Speaking of- You can still reserve your HUMMER EV Truck or SUV today, but time is running out and you may not get it for a while. Edition 1 models are sold out long ago but you can still score a 3X or less which will come in 2023 and beyond.
Head over to GMC.com to find out if you can still snag your copy sometime in the next few years. The deposit is refundable, so even if you think you only might want a copy- it’s best to get a place in line right now. As soon as people see our video above and read more about what the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV can do, I bet those last few reservations will fill up fast.
Stay tuned, GM-Trucks.com is slated to get more time with the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV soon and we hope to take delivery of our own later this year.