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GMC adds spark to its Hummer brand

Australian market potential as Hummer announces electric SUV to complement EV ute

5 Apr 2021

HUMMER could be a new name for EVs in Australia after parent GMC this week released details of its second variant, a five-seat SUV planned for launch in early 2023.


The SUV, unveiled during the NCAA basketball tournament as an ad narrated by NBA star LeBron James, follows the Hummer EV ute that starts production by General Motors later this year.


Both share the same drivetrain and features including the “crabwalk”, a lateral drive mode courtesy of the Hummer’s four-wheel steering, and up to three electric motors.


GMC said the SUV will first be available as a top-spec three-motor version called the Hummer SUV Edition 1 in 2023 for about $US105,595 ($A138,600), about $US7000 ($A9200) cheaper than the equivalent ute.


Less expensive SUVs will follow from late 2023. The Hummer EV is expected to start at just under $US80,000 ($A105,000) as a two-motor model with a 250-mile (400km) range, offering features including an off-road package available at an additional $US5000 ($A6600).


Edition 1 features include 22-inch wheels, side steps and floor liners while the Extreme Off-Road package adds 18-inch wheels and 35-inch tires, underbody armour and rock sliders, front and rear electronic locking differentials and Ultravision with underbody camera views.


The Hummer would use the General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) conduit to sell into Australia if the vehicle is confirmed for right-hand drive and if it is deemed suitable for marketing in this country.


In its favour, the Hummer is seen as having the global company and dealer support of General Motors, unlike Tesla and the forthcoming Rivian brand.


The Hummer EV range uses GM’s proprietary Ultium battery and is claimed to have a range of up to about 300 miles (480km). The tri-motor has an estimated 830hp (619kW) and 11,500lb-ft (1560Nm) of torque with claims of 0-96km/h acceleration of 3.5 seconds.


GMC has already made the first Hummer ute which was produced for a charity auction. It sold in February for $US2.5 million ($A3.3m).


The Hummer Edition 1 ute, which cost $US112,595 ($A147,800), is already sold out of its first production run. GMC plans to make 1200 utes a year.


It sees the market for the SUV as substantially larger and has plans to make 23,000 a year once its Detroit plant is at full speed.


Buick and GMC global vice-president Duncan Aldred said in a statement that: “GMC Hummer EVs were envisioned to be the most capable and compelling electric supertrucks ever.”


“The new Hummer EV SUV is the next chapter, offering more options for customers to tailor the truck to their lifestyles, while continuing to encourage them to forge new paths with zero emissions."


GM dropped the Hummer brand after the intense rationalisation caused by the global financial crisis in 2009. It was purported to have been sold to a Chinese company in 2010 and then US-based Raser Technologies, but both deals collapsed and GM mothballed the name.


Now the return of Hummer is seen as potentially being a gold mine for GM both as a vehicle to showcase its EV technology to consumers and as a strong contender for the latest EV Jeep and upcoming off-roaders like Rivian.

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