First Drive Review – 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 Pickup – Supercharging GM’s Ultium Ambitions

The pages of history are quickly turning at General Motors. It wasn’t too long ago that the idea of a pure EV offering from GM would’ve been seen as laughable never mind one with the Hummer badge dubbed the Edition 1. In those days, Hummer was known for two things, delivering the goods on off-road capability, and laughably low fuel economy. But the times have changed, and GM has brought back the Hummer moniker (as a sub-brand this time) to not only spearhead its assault on the EV market but also storm the pickup segment as the world’s first “supertruck.” But how well does the 2022 Hummer Edition 1 fulfill this role, and will it eventually morph into a potent sales machine for GMC?


Edition 1, A Rolling Showcase

To find out, GMC invited us to come down to Paradise Valley, Arizona to spend a few days with the Hummer and to get a better grasp of what this latest iteration is all about. The Hummer pickup will eventually expand the family with more trims, but for now, the only model that you will see cruising the roads is the fully loaded and completely sold-out Edition 1 which serves as the first year only model. Edition 1 models provide a glimpse into the broader styling direction for Hummer and it’s clear that GMC designers wanted to provide a mixture of old and new traits. The front fascia is bold and expressive with the front lightbar replicating the seven slat grille that once defined past Hummer models. The fenders proudly flaunt their bulges but GMC designers revealed that they also wanted to add more refinement and polish to the Hummer’s lines and that’s evident in some of the soft edges and curves that dot the truck’s design versus the slab-sided brick motif of yesteryear.


The side profile leads the eye to the 5-foot long bed with the LED taillights purposely being designed to wrap around the shape of the rear fenders. The tailgate doesn’t feature a lightbar like a few of its other rivals, but GMC used the space to not only mount the MultiPro tailgate but also large Hummer badging to let observers know that this is a special rig. Colors on the Edition 1 are limited to a combination of white and black with the white lower paint being contrasted by the upper black accents. GMC was inspired by outer space and the moon landing in the design phase and from some angles, the Hummer looks like a puffed-up moon buggy albeit one that has far more technology and amenities than that 60’s era exercise in functional minimalism.


Luxurious Edition 1 Interior Almost Delivers The Perfect Opulent Experience

Make the climb inside the Hummer EV (sidesteps are standard) and you will find an interior that has been tailor-made to maximize both luxury and the ability to truly sync with nature. Material quality here is top-notch and the same black and white color scheme also makes its way into the interior. Faux leather is used on the steering wheel and the seats to promote sustainability but the material still does a good job replicating the feel of real leather and the thrones themselves were comfortable on long journeys. Bronze accents were also used on the vents and they helped add depth to the design and GMC even added some clever Easter eggs including the footprint of Neil Armstrong (or any other lunar astronaut) in a few spots on the dashboard and the speaker grilles.

The headline item here though is the sheer amount of technology on hand with all Edition 1 models coming equipped with a massive 13.4 inch touchscreen infotainment system. This massive slice of digital real estate is powered by the Unreal graphics engine which has made prior appearances in popular video games like Fortnite. This potent software plays a big role in much of the sensory experience that the Hummer provides thanks to the crisp graphics as well as how various drive modes are displayed via distinct brief movie clips of the Hummer traversing digital realms. They include a dystopian style red desert for off-road mode as well as the surface of the moon when placed into Terrain mode.

The screen is also where owners can access all 18 of the Hummer’s available camera views but during our time with it, we discovered that the system prefers to go through the motions at its own pace, and abrupt changes (especially on the trail) produced unsettling moments of lag. That minor gripe aside, the screen does offer other handy features for drivers to use including integrated Google maps navigation that can help locate charging stations on your route, three digital partitions to split content, and the ability to mirror some content onto the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Roofless Fun For All

When you’re not exploring all of the Hummer’s technology, the truck also gives you the ability to soak in the open-air driving experience thanks to its four removable roof panels. Edition 1 models get transparent only panels for the time being, but the brand did promise that other models will eventually get completely opaque panels for those that prefer a style alternative.

Removing the panels themselves is easy with owners only needing to use a few steps to effortlessly remove them from their spots in the roof. The panels were designed to fit in the frunk and they even come with two sets of labeling to help owners put them in the right spots when it comes time to put them back on. GMC also has separate bags available for the panels when the frunk is needed for hauling cargo or other items on the daily commute. The rear window can also be powered down to further enhance the open-air effect and this allows the Hummer to be a potent adventure vehicle with the open-air moving all around you.


Super Truck Performance Cements Hummer’s Place In Market

As mentioned earlier, the Hummer lineup will eventually expand as the model family gradually emerges and that includes performance with some trims offering a single or double electric motor setup. Here though, the Edition 1 doubles down on performance with three electric motors providing the Hummer’s motivation. GMC claims that the Hummer Edition 1 produces over 1,000 hp and 11,500 lb-ft of torque at the wheels with each motor producing 1,200 lb-ft of torque. All of that translates to a very fast truck with the Hummer making the sprint to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds flat.

That figure comes when you engage Watts To Freedom mode (WTF mode) which unlocks the over 9,000 lb truck’s full acceleration potential. Activate it and it goes through a preparation sequence this side of a Cedar Point thrill ride with mode exclusive graphics, sound effects and even tactile buzzing through the seats helping you prepare for the wave off acceleration that’s to come. Get your feet properly synced (it took us two tries) and the Hummer launches hard like a rocket and 60 mph blows by in a blur of digits. The Hummer’s brakes are certainly up to the task of bringing this behemoth to a stop and delivered stable stops with only a moderate amount of nose dive. It also generates plenty of reactions and we have included my slightly comical take in the video below.

Another key feature is the Hummer’s trademark Crab Walk mode. Select it and after a separate graphics package and a brief prompt, the Hummer’s four-wheel steering enters a specialized program that allows the truck to move like its crustacean namesake. The effect certainly takes a moment to get used to, but the mode offers an impressive degree of control and poise. GMC claims that it’s supposed to be used in certain off-road situations, but look for it to be mainly used as a conversation starter among your friends at the next gathering.



@gmc gave the #hummerev some #sweetmoves check out #wtf and #crabwalk modes here and #staytuned for more #hummer coverage #fyp #gmctrucks #pickupsoftiktok #wattstofreedom #crabstyle

♬ original sound – Carl Malek

Super Cruise Likes Structure, Road Projects Still Confuse It

Our time with the Hummer was split between on and off-road commuting with GMC reps having us meet them at a trailhead just outside the Quintero Golf Club 30 miles out of Phoenix. But before we could experience the trails, we had to get there and GMC gave us a route that had even amounts of city and freeway driving. Around town, the Hummer’s four-wheel steering helped it feel way smaller than it actually is with the truck having an impressive degree of nimbleness that would otherwise be absent in a traditional four-wheel-drive offering.

Shift to the freeway, and the Hummer morphs into a mile soaking cruiser with the advanced air suspension delivering a soft ride and the steering bringing an impressive degree of communication to the driver. The freeways were also supposed to be an all-encompassing demonstration for GM’s latest iteration of Super Cruise which now incorporates automated lane change capability that allows an equipped vehicle to automatically pass a slower vehicle before moving back into the lane. We had the chance to first experience this at the Milford Proving Grounds in a pre-production Sierra sometime ago, but out in the Arizona landscape, the lane change capability proved to be a helpful aide in real-world situations on mapped roads.

On that note, the mapping system turned out to be a lingering weakness of Super Cruise itself. GMC had planned for all the freeway portions of the route to be mapped, but recent resurfacing work in sections of this portion of the drive threw off the mapping and caused the system to give back control in large slices of our highway route. Super Cruise is a revolutionary technology that has evolved significantly over the past few years, but it will ultimately need mapping software that’s more resilient to the changes many road maintenance projects can bring to help it be a true long-term hands-free solution.


Off-Roading Is A Day In The Office For Hummer Edition 1 EV

Eventually, we made our way to the trail and after a brief safety meeting, we set off on our journey. The rugged trail GMC picked snaked its way through the Arizona desert and while the desert wildlife largely chose to stay hidden, the obstacles made themselves known right off the bat with our route being filled with all kinds of obstacles including sharp hill climbs, fields of rocks to crawl over, and even flat washes for higher speed off-roading. All of these would be formidable tests of the Hummer EV’s trail worthiness and we’re glad to say that this EV lived up to the “super truck” moniker.

The Hummer’s Off-Road mode proved to be the perfect fit for this unforgiving terrain and when paired with the in-house built platform that GMC engineers made for the truck, it transforms the Hummer into a near-unstoppable force on the trail. All Edition 1 models come with meaty 35-inch off-road tires (we were told that the platform can accommodate bigger 37-inch off-road tires), a front e-locker with an accompanying virtual rear locker, rock rails, and five skid plates protecting the vulnerable parts of the Hummer from harm. The rock rails proved to be a lifesaver at one point when our tester clanged off an errant rock that fell out of visual range of the underbody cameras. The rail absorbed the impact and allowed us to keep trekking toward our eventual destination, a peak over 2,000 ft up from our start point.

With all the cameras on hand, we discovered that our best setup was a default front view with the 360 view cameras helping us keep an eye on the sides of the truck. The underbody cameras are a nice touch, but our encounter with the rock revealed that they had blind spots, and after a while, we decided to not use them any further. In addition to the built-in Terrain and Off-Road modes, the platform itself has also been beefed up to handle the rigors of off-road living. GMC engineers mounted the battery packs low and towards the center of the truck which not only helps create an enhanced feeling of control but also helps create ideal off-road measurements with the Hummer having shorter overhangs and a desirable break-over angle too.


Value Quotient:

As mentioned, the only Hummer model available right now is the Edition 1 with these models starting at $112,595. GMC is still running a reservation program for both the pickup and the SUV with prospective buyers going through a simple four-step process with their local dealership to get on the reservation list.

For those hoping to get an Edition 1 model, you missed the boat, with GMC filling up all the spots for that particular model. Instead, buyers will now get to choose from three remaining variants (EV2, EV2x, and EV3x) with those three starting at $79,995, $89,995, and $99,995 respectively. As the name implies, the first two models have a dual-electric motor setup while the EV3x has a tamer triple motor arrangement that still produces 836 hp which will be more than enough for most buyers to use.

An SUV version is also coming in 2024 and like the pickup, all the Edition 1s are sold out with the aforementioned remaining trims still being available. That model will have much of the pickups core DNA, but will also have a number of unique touches including a lunar map design on the cargo floor and a slightly lower amount of battery modules with the SUVs design forcing engineers to reduce the figure to 20 (versus the pickup’s 24 modules.)


When looked at as a whole, the 2022 GMC Hummer Edition 1 EV pickup is a rolling revolution for both the brand and for GM as a whole. It’s a wild showcase of what’s possible and is a bold statement of where GM’s EV ambitions are currently at. The Hummer has the potential to be a potent sales force for GMC with the brand reporting that demand and early sales for the Hummer have far exceeded their expectations. That effect could be magnified once the broader Hummer SUV family emerges into the open especially as GMC’s formal EV offerings also appear in the spotlight. Big things are happening at GM, and models like the Hummer Edition 1 are glimpses into what will eventually be coming to all customers.