2022 GMC Hummer EV Has Underbody Cameras, Jacked Air Suspension for Off-Road Prowess

2022 GMC Hummer EV On Rocks

Manufacturer images

By Brian Normile

By now you’ve probably seen the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup truck’s headlines — 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 pounds-feet of torque (but really more like 1,000-1,100 by traditional measurements), a 0-60-mph estimate of 3 seconds — but let’s focus on what could make the Hummer EV Edition 1 a truly capable off-road monster. The Hummer EV Edition 1 is the fully loaded, most off-road capable version of the truck available in fall 2021 for $112,000; more affordable and less capable versions will launch between 2022-2024 calendar years

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Calling it a “moonshot,” GMC’s Hummer EV all-electric “supertruck” has jumped toward the head of the line of the coming electric truck offerings with wild specs and features that might make it capable enough to take on the surface of the actual moon. (And since the Hummer EV is all electric, maybe you could.) 

Knowing the Angles

GMC is playing a lot of Hummer EV details close to its vest, but we do know some capabilities according to GMC simulations — actual production numbers are subject to change. The standard driving specs are impressive, with ground clearance of 10.1 inches and water fording depth of 26 inches, along with approach, departure and breakover angles of 41.5, 31.6 and 22.3 degrees respectively. In the Terrain driving mode ground clearance is increased by nearly 2 inches to 11.9 inches and is meant to be used in slower, rock-crawling scenarios. It gives the Hummer EV an approach angle of 44.3 degrees, a departure angle of 33.7 degrees and a breakover angle of 25.4 degrees. In this mode, the Hummer EV also has a water fording depth of 28 inches. 

Let’s compare that to two internal-combustion off-road supertrucks. The 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew’s approach, departure and breakover angles are 30.2, 23 and 21.8 degrees, respectively, and its ground clearance is 11.5 inches. The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, meanwhile, has 11.8 inches of ground clearance and its approach, departure and breakover angles are 30.2, 23.5 and 21.9 degrees.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Water Fording Simulation

If that’s not enough, air suspension-equipped models like the Edition 1 will come with an Extract mode that — as the name suggests — should get you out of many sticky situations. It can lift the Hummer EV up to nearly 6 inches, giving the truck 15.9 inches of ground clearance. That changes the approach angle to 49.7 degrees, the departure angle to 38.4 degrees and the breakover angle to 32.2 degrees. Water fording depth also increases to 32 inches. In either mode, GMC estimates the Hummer EV’s wall-climbing ability at 18 inches and suspension travel at 13 inches.

The Right Equipment for the Job

Standard tires on the Hummer EV Edition 1 are 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler All Territory MT but GMC says it can also accommodate 37-inch tires if buyers want even more capability. 

2022 GMC Hummer EV Tires

Full underbody protection and rock sliders should help protect the important bits on the underside of the Hummer EV, and available four-wheel steering (standard on the Edition 1) improves maneuverability. GMC claims the Hummer EV has a 37.1-foot turning radius with four-wheel steering. The 2021 Ford F-150’s, for comparison, measures from 41.2 feet with its shortest wheelbase to over 52 feet with its longest. 

An adaptive damping suspension also keeps occupants from getting too jostled over the rough stuff. A Heavy-Duty Off-Road Package — standard on the Edition 1 and available on the mid-level 3X and 2X — adds a front e-locker and virtual rear lockers for improved traction and heavy-duty ball-spline half shafts to improve articulation.

Visibility and Off-Road Data

Edition 1 models come with a camera system called UltraVision that provides up to 18 different camera views to help drivers see off-road obstacles. It even includes forward- and rear-facing underbody camera views to help drivers avoid testing the underbody protection too vigorously. The underbody cameras also have a washing system to remove mud and debris and replaceable lens protectors in case the camera goes in for too much of a close-up on an obstacle.

2022 GMC Hummer EV UltraVision Display In Dashboard

As part of the Hummer EV’s development, GMC partnered with video game maker Epic Games and uses Epic’s Unreal Engine to display real-time, 3D graphics to keep drivers informed when off-road. The off-road “widgets” in the Hummer EV display things like torque output and vectoring, pitch and roll, locker engagement and a whole lot more. 

Navigate Narrow Spaces

The Hummer EV “fits inside the footprint” of the GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 and is about as wide as an F-150 Raptor (you’ll note the marker lights along the roof of the Hummer EV, required by law on vehicles 80 inches and wider).

The Hummer EV is listed at 216.8 inches long with a 135.6-inch wheelbase. Width measures at 86.7 inches without the side mirrors and 93.7 inches including them. Track width is 73.3 inches front and rear. Compared to the Raptor SuperCrew, that makes the Hummer EV more than a foot shorter in length with nearly a foot shorter wheelbase. It’s also slightly wider than the Raptor but with a slightly narrower track. Weight is still unknown, though it’s unlikely the Hummer EV will be considered “lightweight.”

2022 GMC Hummer EV Overhead View

The Hummer EV’s large size will make narrow trails and obstructions more difficult to negotiate than smaller vehicles, but GMC has a solution that takes advantage of the four-wheel steering. Called CrabWalk, the feature turns all four wheels to the same angle and lets the Hummer EV move diagonally. It’s limited to low speeds, so you won’t be doing crazy high-speed maneuvers or changes of direction, but it should help owners avoid some dings and scratches to their $100,000-plus truck.

Range to Explore

GMC estimates “350-plus” miles of range for the Edition 1, which should give owners a fair amount of off-road play time before needing to plug in and recharge. And assuming there’s a DC fast charger near your favorite off-road park, you’ll be able to add 100 miles of range in about 10 minutes of charging according to the automaker’s estimates. Charging time estimates for other methods aren’t currently available. Regenerative braking will help as well, with engineers mentioning low-speed downhill off-roading as a key opportunity to recapture energy, though just how much wasn’t specified. Terrain mode includes a unique form of one-pedal driving that GMC believes will make off-roading even easier (there’s normal one-pedal driving for on-road situations, too).

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We’ll know more about the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 over the next year as we get closer to its fall 2021 production date, but if GMC can deliver a production vehicle even close to these specs we’re going to have an extremely capable off-road vehicle on our hands.

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