NAPA VALLEY, CA – Last year we tested the GMC Hummer pickup introduced as the top-of-the-line Edition 1 trim, and we were impressed with nearly every aspect of the monster battery-electric truck weighing 9,063 lbs. (4,111 kg) and priced north of six figures.
Powered by General Motors’ next-generation Ultium platform, a 400V, 24-module battery pack drives three motors (one in front, two in the rear) for a combined 1,000 hp and 1,200 lb.-ft. (1,627 Nm) of torque, while maximum electric range is 329 miles (529 km) and 800V, 350-kW DC fast charging can add 100 miles (161 km) in 12 minutes.
We recently had the chance to drive and learn more about its sibling, the ’24 Hummer SUV. To call it smaller than the Hummer pickup is like saying LeBron James is slightly teenier than Giannis Antetokounmpo. And like those two NBA superstars, both the pickup and SUV are phenomenal performers and have their own specialized skills despite the size difference.
Variance in Off-Road Performance
The SUV’s length is 196.8 ins. (4,999 mm) compared to the truck’s 216 ins. (5,507 mm), and its wheelbase is 126.7 ins. (3,218 mm) while the truck’s is 135 ins. (3,445 mm). The latter explains the SUV’s tight turning radius: 35.4 ft. (10.8 m) compared with the truck’s 37.1 ft. (11.3 m) when equipped with the 4-Wheel Steer feature – both tighter than the Mustang Mach-E’s 38 ft. (11.6 m).
These differences in specs speak to the significant variance in their off-road prowess: a departure angle of 49.0 degrees for the SUV and 38.4 for the pickup and a breakover angle of 34.4 degrees for the SUV vs. 32.2 for the pickup. While both models have the same 10.1-in. (256-mm) ground clearance, off-road performance is aided by the Extract mode feature that raises the adjustable air suspension approximately 6 ins. (152 mm), allowing either Hummer BEV to wade through 32 ins. (812 mm) of water.
Although in both vehicles the battery pack is mounted between the wheels on the floor – or is the floor – the difference in dimensions impacts battery size. With its shorter wheelbase, the SUV has a smaller battery and an estimated maximum range of 300 miles (483 km) compared with the pickup’s EPA-confirmed 329-mile (529-km) range.
The top-trim SUV produces 830 hp to the flagship truck’s 1,000-hp output, which gives the truck a half-second advantage in a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) sprint – an estimated 3 seconds vs. 3.5 seconds – when the optional Watts To Freedom mode is engaged. Power also can be directed to a single wheel to maintain momentum when climbing 60% forward or reverse grades or scaling 18-in. (457-mm) inclines.
“The SUV’s proportions and shorter wheelbase make it a master of maneuverability, providing incredible capability both on- and off-road,” says Mikhael Farah, director, GMC and Buick communications.
A new technology feature exclusively found on the Hummer SUV is a Power Station generator that produces 3 kW/120V/25A and is standard on all but the EV2base model. With what GMC calls “enhanced vehicle hardware,” the Power Station generator can even provide a charge to other EVs at 240V/25A/6kW (pictured, below). The SUV’s design includes a standard fullsize spare tire mounted to a power swing-out tailgate for better access to the rear cargo area.
Relatively Equal Large Vehicles
In most other aspects the two large vehicles are relatively equal, with both using a three-motor drive setup and standard all-wheel drive. A two-motor setup is in the works, but is not in production yet. An optional Extreme Off-Road package on both vehicles adds 18-in. wheels with 35-in. tires, underbody skid plates and rock sliders, underbody cameras and more.
4-Wheel Steer combined with the adaptive air suspension, which is standard on all but the base trim, enables the unique CrabWalk feature that allows the Hummer EV to move diagonally. This is not only a cool parking lot trick but also can get the vehicle out of tricky situations on trails, such as sliding sideways to avoid rocks and trees in close proximity. Like the pickup, the SUV comes standard with removable panels to create what GMC calls an open-air Infinity Roof.
An enhanced version of GM’s Super Cruise that allows for hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles (322,000 km) of roads has a new automatic lane-changing feature that determines when to initiate the maneuver. We found it worked surprisingly well on crowded Highway 101 at 65 mph (104 km/h), and during California’s recent heavy rains.
The pickup’s 5-passenger layout is the same as the pickup, but the SUV’s rear seats fold flat so there’s 81.8 cu.-ft. (2,316 L) of cargo space. We find this rather small for such a large vehicle, but additional storage space is available under the load floor and smaller compartments are integrated into the side trim. The frunk offers 11.3 cu.-ft. (320 L) of space and can house the rather large removable panel that makes up the roof.
Other commonalities include a 13.4-in. (34-cm) infotainment screen (pictured, below) and a 12.3-in. (31-cm) digital instrument cluster and a shared base price of $79,995, although the entry-level EV2 SUV trim won’t be available until spring 2024. The higher-end trims available now, such as a fully optioned flagship Edition 1 model, easily push the price past the $100,000 threshold. Standard features on EV2X, EV3X and Edition 1 trims that will be available for order by this spring include 4-Wheel Steer with CrabWalk, Adaptive Air Suspension with Extract Mode and 22-in. wheels with 35-in. Goodyear all-terrain tires.
“Designing the pickup and SUV simultaneously helped us give each their own unique features to maximize utility,” says Phil Zak, Hummer EV design executive director. “The SUV’s tight proportions create a distinct profile and spacious cargo area while maintaining a roomy and architecturally inspired cabin.”