Automobile

2022 GMC Hummer Prototype First Drive Review: Electrification Creates the Best Hummer Yet

The Hummer name returned to GM’s lineup officially when it was revealed to the world several months ago as an electric pickup truck to the tune of “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. In its reveal video, it triggered an earthquake, tore open a big crack in the earth, and broke the sound barrier. The 2022 GMC Hummer EV isn’t actually capable of doing any of those things, of course, but when General Motors invited me to the company’s Millbrook Proving Grounds in Michigan to be one of the first to drive a prototype version of the truck, I accepted in a hurry. It was time to see if it lived up to all the hype.

Because there is a ton of hype. I’m sure you’ve probably seen all the Hummer EV’s impressive specs online: 1,000 horsepower, more torque than God, and the ability to drive diagonally, to name a few. But as soon as I climbed into this new beast all those things—all of these separate features—added up in ways I didn’t expect. Because it’s an EV, it’s just different than any other big truck that I’ve been in before. It has a flat floor which makes it feel awfully roomy, and its four-panel glass roof makes the whole interior feel airy, like a greenhouse. 

Those were just my initial impressions when I stepped in, too. Everything changed as soon as I started to snoop around that massive center screen and put this thing through its paces. This preliminary drive represents what I experienced during one afternoon spent behind the wheel of the Hummer EV—but keep in mind that what I drove was still a prototype, so things may differ between this and the production version. It’s also why this first drive review is missing the usual spec box—GMC didn’t provide me with any production specs.

Gizmos and Specs

The array of gizmos that are embedded in this truck—and by extension, its 13.4-inch center display—are pretty top-notch. There is everything from suspension settings to steering configurations to traction modes, and that’s not to mention comfort features like the heated and cooled seats. It’s all in there, but there’s also a slew of physical switchgear that makes it all very accessible and easily selectable.

What makes the Hummer EV impressive doesn’t necessarily stem just from all the gadgets that are crammed into it, either. GMC wouldn’t confirm this detail, but this thing is very likely just over 9,000 pounds. It also has 35-inch tires and air suspension that provides a maximum of 15.9 inches of ground clearance. It rode like an aircraft carrier. Actually, scratch that—it rode like a continental plate. 

What’s even more impressive is that didn’t maneuver at all like those things. As the GMC engineers were so eager to tell me, its turning circle is just as tight as a Chevy Bolt’s thanks to its four-wheel steering. In fact, it was clear that the engineering team was not only concerned with removing the stigma of a Hummer being a massive gas-guzzling SUV, they also wanted to address its size. It’s a super truck with a Hummer badge on the front, sure, but it doesn’t drive like a road-legal locomotive.

Big Truck, Big Moves

This thing has more cameras than you would think possible to put on a car—18 in total. They’re absolutely everywhere, surveilling vital parts of the truck like the underbody, the wheels, the rear, the sides, everything. But they were necessary because, between the ride, maneuverability, and technology, they made the truck very approachable despite being so large. And being an EV meant the agility at speed was a little frightening at first. 

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