PLUGGING IN THE HUMMER
According to urban legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger witnessed a military convoy of big rugged vehicles and had to have one so he talked the supplier into making a civilian version. So about 30-years-ago, military vehicle supplier A M General brought me their new Hummer to test. The big beast was an upholstered and stereo equipped Humvee (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) that looked like it had just been separated from its convoy. All I needed to do was find some old camouflage fatigues and I’d be properly suited up as a motor pool driver.
I confess that this hunk of military hardware was attractive in its unswervingly macho demeanor, but what value would it possess if Armageddon didn’t arrive soon? Taking a short drive down the highway seemed to punctuate that lack of relevance as a daily driver. At its near-top operating speed of 65 MPH, the diesel engine, high-mounted between the front seats, along with planetary gear drive, was far louder than the stereo system. And noise-cancelling headsets with microphones would be the best way to reach even a front seat passenger.
On the redemptive side, if you had enough trail width, you could go just about anywhere off-road. And if a small tree or two were in your path, you could just knock them down. Tread lightly is not necessarily a military virtue when getting supplies to the front. And climbing a vertical wall or running over concrete parking stops is a great way to amuse friends and family. Did I mention the sixteen inches of ground clearance? Just recently, I witnessed Schwarzenegger on a newscast filling a pothole in front of his home and asked myself why? Either of his Hummers would just laugh at potholes.
By Brian Douglas
Hugging the Planet
Fast forward to today’s Hummer EV. GM acquired the Hummer brand in 1998, relabeled the former Humvee an H1 and added its own H2 based on a modified Yukon/Tahoe platform and finally the smaller H3 with Chevy Colorado underpinnings. The macho fun ended in 2010 during GM bankruptcy reorganization but the company retained the Hummer name. And GM execs decided to bring the big fella back with all its swagger but power it with clean electricity to remove the planet-killing image. By all accounts, the decision is pure genius.
The new Hummer EV in a pickup or just released SUV style is not quite ready to go to war in H1 style, but is even more capable off the beaten path. Its four-wheel steering can crabwalk around obstacles that are too big (redwood trees) to knock down and the heavy-duty air suspension can raise this 9,074-pound bemouth to a military-like sixteen inches of ground clearance for those pesky boulders you might encounter. And eighteen camera views on all corners, sides and underneath let you know what’s going on with that terrain you’ve embarked upon.
Smooth and Quick
On the highway, just the big 35-inch tires create a hum but are easily outdone by the 14-speaker Bose audio system. And there’s more than 1,000-horsepower available that will launch this monster from 0-to-60 in just 3-seconds if you want to humiliate the lad in the Ferrari at a stoplight. And how about that 11,500 lb-ft of torque specification? Okay, the GM marketing people got a bit carried away with a measured at the wheel spec. The comparative reality is around 1,000 lb-ft and that’s impressive enough. If it was really their published number, you might be able to point a few Hummer EVs to the West and stop the rotation of the earth.
You could have all this for just $108,700 if you had acted quickly, but Hummers are all sold out and the waiting list full. Slightly used examples are available for $180,000 if you can’t wait for WWIII.
THE FINE PRINT
2022 GMC Hummer EV
TYPE: Battery Electric Vehicle
TORQUE: 11,500 lb-ft
BATTERY: 212.7 kWh
MPGe 51-city, 43-highway, 47-combined
BASE PRICE: $108,700.00
AS TESTED: $108,700.00