Few vehicles symbolise the United States’ automotive obsession, quite like the Hummer.
Originally designed, and used, as a military vehicle, the Hummer was strangely repurposed to a civilian vehicle by General Motors (GM). The second-generation Hummer was enormous both in size and capability. But there were issues.
The revival of Hummer
Most of the H2 Hummers were too wide for off-road trails, limiting their use as true adventure vehicles. GM took cognisance of this and made the third-generation vehicle much smaller.
The company’s H3 Hummer was also built locally, in right-hand drive, and was about the size of a Toyota Fortuner. It was regarded as a very capable off-road vehicle in the calibre of Toyota’s Prado or Land Rover’s Discovery, and finally went out of production in 2010.
After a hiatus of many years, GM is reviving the Hummer brand.
The launch date is late 2021 and there will be both a station wagon and double-cab bakkie configuration.
Big battery tech
GM has leaked teaser images of the new Hummer’s front and silhouette, allowing us to deduce that it will be every bit as big and boldly proportioned as one would expect.
What is most amazing about this Hummer revival, is the absence of a petrol or diesel tank. GM is relaunching Hummer as a battery-powered adventure vehicle brand and that means you plug it in to recharge, instead of refuelling at a petrol station.
Although GM has not divulged exact technical details about the new Hummer’s platform or powertrain, it is claiming a 745kW peak power output. That number does appear radically overstated and would need an enormous battery pack.
By comparison, the largest production battery pack, fitted to Rivian’s double-cab bakkie, produces notably less than 745kW. In reality, customers will probably see a lower power output, with selected surges for overtaking of steep incline off-road routes.
GM has invested a lot of money in the new Hummer’s Ultium battery packs, which should deliver a very useful 600km driving range. Aware that recharging lag can be an annoyance for electric vehicle owners, the new Hummer’s battery architecture will accept 800-volt input volumes, allowing it to use the most powerful 350kW fast-charging stations.
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