GMC's Hummer EV will offer several powertrain options

All of them will be electric; don't look for a V8

General Motors confirmed plans to resurrect the Hummer nameplate on a GMC-badged electric pickup, and it's beginning to release details about the drivetrain that will power the model. Speaking to investors, company president Mark Reuss announced buyers will have at least three drivetrains to choose from at launch.

The few specifications that have already been announced are impressive. GMC quoted a three-second sprint from zero to 60 mph, at least 1,000 horsepower, and 11,500 pound-feet of torque, though that latter figure undoubtedly corresponds to wheel torque rather than the powertrain's basic output. Most truck buyers don't need Lamborghini-rivaling acceleration, and they'd rather not pay for it, so GMC will also offer more basic versions of its Hummer.

"When we go to market, we'll have one-, two-, and three-motor versions offering different ranges, different performance, and different price points to meet customers wherever they may be. If the customer wants a basic package, we'll have that. If the customer wants true off-road capability, and towing capability, we'll have that, too," Reuss said. He stopped short of revealing additional specifications about each configuration.

While that sounds expensive to develop and certify, Reuss explained General Motors is keeping costs in check by making the Hummer's powertrain as modular as possible. He compared the platform to an ice cube tray. Its overall dimensions are fixed, but people can choose how many rows they fill with water. What he's likely alluding to is a scalable battery pack whose capacity can be increased or decreased by adding or removing cell packs.

As for the motors, we're expecting the entry-level, rear-wheel drive Hummer will come standard with a single motor mounted over the rear axle. The mid-range variant will likely gain a second motor positioned over the front axle to deliver through-the-road all-wheel drive, and the range-topping trim will receive individual rear motors (though they won't be integrated into the wheels) for jaw-dropping performance, and improved off-road capacity. 

Economies of scale will come into play, too. While the Hummer is the only electric off-roader whose launch has been confirmed by General Motors, Reuss stated the company's other brands will benefit from it, too.

"We'll have a complete lineup of EVs, including the [Hummer EV] and its stablemates," he said. Nothing is official yet, but it's not too far-fetched to imagine a Chevrolet-badged model to compete against the electric variant of the next-generation Ford F-150, and rumors of a battery-powered version of Cadillac's new Escalade have swirled around the internet for the past few months. It's currently difficult to make money while selling electric cars, but Reuss made it clear the firm will take advantage of its size to profitably enter the segment.

GMC will introduce the Hummer EV on May 20, and it plans to start deliveries in the fall of 2021. "It's going to change a lot of minds about what an EV can do, and what it is," Reuss promised.

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