GMC Hummer

The Hummer name stretches back to the 1990s when defense contractor AM General altered its military transport vehicle, the HMMWV, for consumer use. These were branded as Hummer and sold successfully to the public. For many, the original Hummer represented the largesse and waste of consumerism of the ’90s, while others saw it as a status symbol and a representation of personal success. Eventually, the brand was sold to General Motors and became another motor division of the company, building and marketing successive models based on existing truck chassis.

The Hummer brand sold well until the double whammy of economic slowdown and rising gas prices of the late aughts spelled demise for the brand and GM pulled the plug on Hummer in 2009. 2022 sees the revival of the Hummer legend in a new and impressive EV truck, this time as a GMC model rather than its own brand. The new truck is wholly unique and cannot be easily classified in any other category but Hummer. While the Hummers of before were seen as detrimental to the environment for their huge carbon footprint stemming from low fuel mileage and excessive weight, the introduction of this new vehicle seeks to revive it as a more eco-friendly version of itself. However, some consternation remains as it weighs nearly five tons and its actual ecological impact is yet to be seen. Regardless, it is a new vehicle with plenty of parlor tricks and this is a list of the coolest 10 of them.

Driving modes

GMC Hummer

The new Hummer is an off-road vehicle with all-wheel-drive and, according to the manufacturer, is powered by either two or three motors, and utilizes multiple driving modes to handle a variety of terrain. Most Hummer owners will likely rarely use anything but the normal driving mode, tuned for street driving. But once off the pavement, the Hummer affords the driver a couple of options, Off-Road and Terrain. According to Cars.com, Off-Road is set up for driving on loose services and handling trail driving and soft ground. Terrain mode is meant more for extreme, low-speed high-torque driving, such as rock crawling. In each mode, the computer sets slip and gearing and torque vectoring that is appropriate for conditions.

The Hummer has another mode of driving that comes from a unique four-wheel steering setup. The rear wheels are lined such that they can turn up to ten degrees in either direction to aid in steering. That means this large vehicle can turn a circle as small as most compact cars. However, it has another trick up its sleeve that no other car or truck has, Crab Walk. The Hummer can turn, as Edmunds explains, front and rear wheels both in the same direction to cause the vehicle to drive sideways. In practice, the truck moves forward and to the left or right while continuing to be parallel with the road. It is a novel feature that is probably most useful as a party trick than anything, but very cool.

Watts To Freedom

GMC Hummer

The electrification of a truck opens many possibilities for what a truck is capable of. The nature of electric power means that torque is available instantly, but can create a lot of heat for the batteries. That is why the new Hummer has a launch function called Watts To Freedom or WTF.

It is not immediately apparent who at GM thought anyone who buys a giant and extremely heavy truck needs to get it moving as fast as possible, but that is what WTF is for. The Drive explains that when engaged, WTF lowers the suspension and sets up the battery with a special cooling process to prepare it for maximum power and, when ready, displays "FLOOR IT" on the driver screen. That is the point where you are to remove your foot from the brake pedal and mash the accelerator as far down as possible. At that point, the nearly 10,000-pound monster of an EV can propel it and its occupant to 60 mph in less than four seconds. It hits 60 mph in less than four seconds! Again, there is no clear idea who thought it necessary to accelerate a hurling hunk of metal, plastic, and lithium to 60 mph so fast, but WTF is definitely cool. Furthermore, the Watts To Freedom is a refreshingly unexpected moniker from an old, stodgy legacy automaker.

Whimsy

Hummer Moon Map

This may not sound like a feature, but the Hummer includes plenty of it. Auto companies are inherently conservative (not in the political sense, but in management style). Due to having a very long development cycle, they adopt a conservative approach to design such that their products don’t become quickly dated and certain features are not obsolete the minute they come out. This approach leaves little room for mucking about. However, the Hummer is a bit different.

Space.com says that the Hummer is GMC’s "moonshot" vehicle, aiming high and setting new standards the way the NASA Apollo 11 mission did. Therefore, the Hummer is littered with moon and space references throughout. The speaker grilles feature a textured map of the surface of the moon, and that design feature extends to the dashboard as well. Screens on the center display also show representations of the moon’s surface throughout. The Off-Road setting shows the truck on what looks like Mars’ red rocky surface and the towing mode shows it pulling a NASA rocket. The launch feature instructs passengers to "FLOOR IT," and it has a function called WTF. You can assign icons to your auxiliary buttons on-screen and choose from a lunar capsule, dinosaur, bigfoot, loch ness monster, and more. The amount of fun little details is impressive and there are enough of them to warrant a full article just for that. YouTuber Doug Demuro does a good job of showing them in detail in his video review of the Hummer.

Physical switches

GMC Dashboard

Sometimes discussing features of a new vehicle can wander into fairly mundane territory. Not much time is usually spent on the buttons of HVAC controls in any review. However, with the integration of screens into nearly all new cars, the dashboard landscape is changing all the time. Tesla prides itself on having the most minimalist interior possible, eliminating nearly every traditional element from the interior, such as vents, levers, and buttons, and moving all the controls to a touch screen.

Having controls on a touch screen is an acceptable practice, but some people still enjoy the tactile feel of pressing a button. Having a button to depress may prevent the need from taking eyes off the road to find the proper place to touch a screen to increase airspeed or temperature, for example. The GMC Hummer has delightfully opted to keep some traditional buttons and take them a small step further. Engadget reviewed the truck and noted the row of buttons that change function based on what controls are active, which are labeled on-screen just above each button. It allows the labels of each button to change and use nested sub-menus for additional settings for a particular function. Again, this seems like a small thing but it is a different approach and shows some forethought into the design and layout of this vehicle that, in so many other ways, seems to work to stand out from the crowd.

Roof panels

GMC Hummer

While die-hard Jeep fans are not likely to emigrate over to GMC territory for this one truck, it could sway a few folks on the fence who can afford it. Part of the allure of a Jeep has always been the open-air experience and the ability to shed doors and roofs in order to experience the great outdoors on a whim. While the Hummer won’t be leaving its doors behind at the garage, it gets pretty close to the open cabin experience with removable roof panels.

The Hummer features removable panels over the front and rear passengers, as detailed by CNET. GMC calls this its Infinity Roof as it is made with tinted glass, offering a full-time view of the sky. Upfront, the roof panel comes off much like a Targa top, leaving an unobstructed view from door to door. There is also a central bar that possibly adds some support when the panel is installed, but it can also be removed. In the rear, two panels come off much like t-tops from sports cars of the 80s. Add to the removed roof panels a rear window that rolls down and the open-air experience is complete. It is another small but cool feature that helps make the Hummer a more attractive off-roader for the true enthusiast.

Mystery button

GMC Hummer Interior

To change the driving mode in the Hummer, there is a dial on the center column much like many other cars have these days. The center of the dial is a button similar to a d-pad for video games that gives the user four options related to the truck. You can raise the truck’s suspension, lower it, and initiate the crab walk function. The fourth one is unique.

Being a new vehicle in a fairly new vehicle category, GM has put a lot of thought into how this truck will be used and how to make it unique. It shed many ideas on how a truck should be built and took on the notion of GM as an old company that can’t think outside the box. That is why the Hummer includes a mystery button. The fourth function icon is something like three triangle points around a Hummer H. Its function has not yet been determined. According to Inside EVs, that is the official line from GM. When pressed, it displays a screen with the text, "Your Mode. Your Misson. EpicIdeas@GMC.com." The idea from GMC is that they will have a use for this button in the future, but want ideas from owners as to how it can best be used, and its function can be activated from an over-the-air update. That’s forward-thinking for a legacy automaker.

Cargo storage

GMC Hummer Frunk

GMC has clearly made great effort into maximizing the space in the Hummer and using it efficiently. The Bed of the truck and the front trunk are clever uses of the space and will be huge benefits of buying the Hummer. Unlike Ford embracing the frunk terminology, Gm’s preferred naming convention for its front trunk is the ETrunk, an unfortunate choice for sure.

Terrible name or not, the ETrunk is clever. The ETrunk takes up all the space between the wheel wells and extends all the way to the front. This allows the hood, or ETrunk lid, to open up exposing a low floor with no lip, making it very easy to load up and it has loads of space with up to 11.3 cubic feet available for gear.

The tailgate folds down just like any traditional truck but adds a small inset that serves a couple of helpful functions. The inset folds down to provide a step up into the bed and can then be used as a place to help secure long items when closed. GM Authority tells us that GMC has added an optional premium sound system by Kicker that includes a set of 100-watt speakers mounted to the inset such that they fire outward toward the rear of the truck for a perfect addition to a tailgate party or campsite, especially with the inclusion of a power generation panel in the bed.

Front light bar

Hummer Light Bar

Part of the iconic look of the original Hummer and its successors comes from the large grille and round headlights. There is no mistaking a Hummer at first glance. The new truck continues the look but this time is purely aesthetic.

With plenty of images released on the GMC Hummer website, it is easy to see the headlights of the Hummer are mounted low at either end of the bumper rather than where they would be expected, at either end of the bar. They look more like fog lights but are actually projector-style headlamps. Stretched across the front of the truck are the letters spelling H-U-M-M-E-R illuminated in bright white LEDs with elongated glowing H lights on both ends where you would expect a headlight to be. On both sides, the H lights are replaced with a chasing row of red lights for turn signals but the really clever bit is these turn signals are replaced with blue LEDs when it is plugged in and are illuminated to show charge level much like the bars shown on a mobile phone. It is an ingenious idea that allows you to see charge status with just a glance at the front end. GMC shows this function in a video posted on their website. The lack of radiator grills is giving auto designers a new playground with which to play and come up with innovative ideas of how to use this space, and the Hummer seems to do it well.

User interface

GMC Hummer Graphic

With the ever-present and growing screens in cars of late, engineers and designers have had ample opportunity to include myriad functions and clever graphics. Tesla may have pioneered the in-car screen, but at the risk of bounding into the realm of hyperbole, GMC may have mastered it.

The GMC Hummer user interface is unique in a few ways. The previously mentioned integration of physical buttons will please many drivers who wish to retain some of the tactile experience in driving a vehicle and the integration of Android Auto fully into the system will please more. Perhaps the most novel facet of the system, as reported by The Verge, is that GMC is the first automaker to use Unreal Engine to build its user interface. Unreal Engine is the design software from Epic Games that drives the immense hyperrealistic worlds of some of the most popular video games. GMC has used that technology to create graphics, animations, and user menus that have striking detail integrated with a fascinating array of high def animations throughout the menu. This means all the menus are fresh and vivid, with most options having unusual quirks and animations that make the system feel anything but stale. This approach to creating the software for the Hummer is yet another way in which GMC has worked diligently to create a vehicle that breaks molds.

Onboard cameras

GMC Hummer

GMC has included an elaborate system of cameras dubbed Ultravision with the Hummer. It uses up to 18 cameras to provide a more than complete view of the surroundings. Many new cars include a multitude of cameras, but this may be the most seen to date.

GM Authority explains how to use them for views all around the truck, including underneath. GMC is touting this camera system as the ultimate aid for off-road adventures. Through the central screen, users can choose between views of the front, rear, side, and forward or rear-facing cameras underneath. Those views can then be set in split-screen or for the full display as well as 360 views. The cameras underneath even have washer nozzles to spray mud and dirt off the lenses and the truck comes with replacement lens protectors. GM says this is its moonshot for making EVs, and additions like these seem to show it is serious about making an impression.