General Motors is bringing Hummer back in 2021, but there’s a major twist. The name will denote a model, not a stand-alone brand, and it will be part of the GMC lineup. And, instead of slurping gasoline, it will guzzle watts. The first new Hummer in over a decade will arrive as a rugged GMC-badged pickup that runs exclusively on electricity.
We should have seen the GMC Hummer by now, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic delayed its global debut. It’s now tentatively scheduled to break cover before the end of 2020, and it will enter production in Detroit the following year. While we wait, here is everything we know about the truck and the SUV it’s expected to spawn.
GMC’s electric Hummer will arrive as a four-door pickup developed primarily for adventure, not for construction sites. In spirit, it’s much closer to the Jeep Gladiator your buddy takes off-roading every weekend than to the Ford F-450 your local utility company uses to fix a power line. It’s aimed directly at the upcoming Rivian R1T.
Although we haven’t seen the truck in the metal yet, the dark preview image published by GMC suggests its front end puts a futuristic spin on the design language that characterized Hummer’s models during the 2020s. It wears thin, horizontal LED headlights that stretch into a back-lit piece of trim separated by seven vertical slats. Interestingly, GMC could have used Jeep’s prized seven-slot grille for its Hummer; the two companies are linked by common roots.
We don’t know what the rest of the truck looks like, and its dimensions are still shrouded in secrecy. All we can add is that the truck is widely expected to spawn an SUV shortly after it arrives in showrooms.
GMC confirmed the Hummer will be available with removable roof panels. It won’t be a full convertible — it doesn’t look like users will be able to leave the full structure behind — but the top part of the roof will come off in at least four separate pieces to let the light in. It’s a cool feature reminiscent of the soft top that was available on the gigantic H1 during the 2000s. There’s no word yet on whether the removable roof will be standard or if it will cost extra.
General Motors president Mark Reuss shed light on the Hummer’s technical specifications during a presentation made to investors in early 2020. He didn’t reveal too much, but it was enough for us to piece together key details.
“We’ll have one-, two-, and three-motor versions offering different ranges, different performance, and different price points to meet customers wherever they may be. If the customer wants a basic package, we’ll have that. If the customer wants true off-road capability, and towing capability, we’ll have that, too,” he affirmed.
His comments sketch an outline of a relatively comprehensive range of models built around the same Ultium battery technology General Motors is developing in-house. Driving range, charging times, and battery pack capacity remain under wraps, but GMC previously confirmed the flagship version will offer no less than 1,000 horsepower and a three-second sprint from zero to 60mph. Slower (and, consequently, cheaper) models will be part of the lineup, too.
GMC will introduce the Hummer during the second half of 2020, and production is scheduled to start in the fall of 2021, meaning the truck will be branded a 2022 model when it arrives in showrooms. It’s not unreasonable to speculate buyers who want to secure an early build slot will be able to reserve the truck online by sending the company a refundable deposit; that seems to be par for the course when it comes to hotly anticipated new vehicles.
General Motors will completely retool its Detroit-Hamtramck plant to manufacture the Hummer as well as electric models sold by some of the other brands it owns. The facility built the Chevrolet Impala until February 2020.
General Motors announced plans to sell Hummer to China-based Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery on the day after it filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Although details about the transaction remained private, sources hinted the Chinese were preparing to pay $150 million for the brand, which was a major bargain for a turn-key automaker with an established global reputation and several models in its portfolio. The negotiations stalled when the Chinese government vetoed the sale largely because it didn’t want a name associated with heavy, gas-guzzling SUVs moving within its borders at a time when it was making significant efforts to improve air quality in its cities.
Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery allegedly attempted to buy Hummer via an offshore company to avoid summoning a dark cloud of disapproval from Beijing-based lawmakers, but General Motors was in a rush and the transaction couldn’t be completed in time. Left with no additional options, Hummer shut down in 2010.
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