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Henry Payne: Five cool things to know about GM's Hummer EV

By Henry Payne, The Detroit News on

Published in Business News

True to its military roots, the GMC Hummer EV is big, brawny, and blingtastic. And now it's electric.

The gas-guzzling celebrity toy has transformed into an electron-guzzling celebrity toy. The $112,595, three-electric motor "Edition 1" launch model (the base model starts at $80k) will roll off the line in late 2021 on massive, 35-inch off-road tires — loaded to its removable roof with the latest in automotive technology. Promising "zero limits" performance to go with its "zero-emissions" drive-train, General Motors Co.'s Hummer hopes to be as fashionably athletic as its new spokesman, Lebron James.

In an indication of Hummer's performance ambitions, GMC pirated long-time Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser to create the OMG EV. "It's an absolute off-road beast with a unique e4WD drive system that provides maneuverability unlike anything GM has ever offered," said the muscle car veteran.

Here are five cool things to look for:

Crab mode

With four-wheel steering, the Hummer will have the ability to move like a crab. That is, diagonally, in order to get in and out of tight spots off-road. Officially dubbed "CrabWalk," the system steers the front and rear wheels at parallel angles at low speeds, enabling sideways movement. With its underbelly armored with skid plates, the Hummer is designed for harsh terrain like its Army Humvee predecessors.

 

Power

Perched high off the ground with four-wheel-drive and enough Ultium batteries to take it 350 miles off the grid, the Hummer is a monster. But with three electric motors making 1,000 horsepower (a number usually associated with hyper-sports cars like the Aston Martin Valhalla), the silent rhino will hustle from 0-60 in a neck-snapping 3.0 seconds. Compare that to Tesla 's upcoming, 1,100-horse Model S Plaid trim that promises a run to 60 in 2 seconds.

Star view

Like a Jeep Wrangler, the Hummer wants to put its passengers closer to nature. The big pickup's roof panels come off (including a front compartment T-bar) to offer an unobstructed view of the sky. Unlike the Wrangler, the Hummer's doors are frameless, meaning the view won't be obstructed by door frames. Where to store the panels? GMC has made room in the front trunk — or frunk, as it's called. Ditching a gas engine for batteries stashed in its belly, Hummer now has plenty of storage under the hood.

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