Predictably, the Hummer offers ridiculous levels of performance. The Edition 1 model we tried featured the top-spec tri-motor powertrain, with one motor on the front axle and independent motors for each rear wheel. Even on loose gravel, the Hummer is propelled forward with scant regard for the laws on physics, and it’s not until you go to brake and turn into a corner that you’re reminding you’re driving a four-tonne pick-up. Even then, the excess of power available is enough to overcome any hint of mass-induced understeer you might feel.
The Hummer’s power isn’t purely about making it fast, though: GMC has used it to give the machine incredible capability. The armour-lined underside and adaptive air suspension offer tremendous off-road ability – we clambered rock-strewn hills and traversed huge bumps with ease.
The electric drivetrain plays a key part in its undoubted off-road ability, too: there are multiple drive modes, headed by Watts to Freedom mode (or WTF for short…), and the tri-motor set-up gives the ability to distribute torque to each wheel as needed.
That freedom, combined with all-wheel-steering, also enables the Hummer EV’s party trick: it can crab walk. In practice, it matches the angle of the front and rear wheels, enabling the Hummer to move diagonally. It’s surreal in practice, and also useful, allowing the Hummer to duck around obstacles it would otherwise be unable to steer around.
Frankly, though, you can probably drive over most obstacles. And given the high riding position, when traversing big bumps you’ll be glad that the Hummer offers a front-facing camera that can give you a view between the front wheels.
Of course, if you live in the UK and tempted by a desire to thread the Hummer down our narrow roads that it really isn’t designed for, the obvious caveat is that the Hummer EV isn’t offered for sale here. General Motors is gearing up for a return to the European market, and there are suggestions that the Hummer could be part of its line-up – although its size and weight could well preclude that. Even if it somehow does reach the UK, you’d want to think very carefully about paying a likely premium for an electric car that would offer limitations in usage due to its dimensions, and which you’re unlikely to ever really use to its full capability.