We figured it was only a matter of time before someone in Detroit would come up with the idea of an electric full-size pickup. We never guessed it would turn out like this. Hummer was an automotive icon, of sorts, during the 1990s as the original military version became a sweetheart of the first Gulf War. The civilian Hummers that followed became a favored bauble among celebrities, but really failed to gain any meaningful traction in the greater marketplace, largely due to their unwieldy size and gargantuan appetite for gas. The swiftly organized network of Hummer dealerships collapsed en masse when a General Motors bid to sell the brand to China fizzled. So it was especially ironic, we’d say, when GM confirmed that the Hummer is coming back.
This time, Hummer will be a sub-brand of GMC, a GM brand that’s always kind of squirming to establish an identity. And the revived Hummer is going to be an all-electric pickup truck, formally called the HUMMER EV, all upper case. The big reveal will take place Sunday during Super Bowl LIV, with the actual vehicle rollout set for May. The HUMMER EV, despite running on electrons, will still be all about excess, folks: GM is pledging that the rig will be able to reach 60 MPH in three seconds flat, and will generate the equivalent of 1,000hp and 11,500-lbs.ft. of torque. That’s no typo. Eleven thousand pounds of torque? That’s the kind of output normally associated with vehicles that have Union Pacific or Norfolk Southern lettered on their sides. The beast will be built at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, which churned out new Cadillacs for generations, and which GM announced this week is being repurposed for 100 percent production of electric vehicles. The first EVs, including the self-driving Cruise Origin, are expected to start rolling off the historic Hamtramck line in late 2021 following a $2.2 billion retooling of the plant to support the new powertrain technologies.