GMC's 2022 Hummer EV pickup made its debut in late 2020 with a headline-grabbing 1,000-horsepower rating. Its SUV sibling broke cover yesterday with 170 fewer horses, so GMC executives had some explaining to do.
Al Oppenheiser, the EV's chief engineer, pointed out that the SUV's wheelbase is about nine inches shorter than the truck's, which is called an "SUT" in GMC-speak. It's also about 20 inches shorter overall. Size matters in the electric car world; GMC can't stuff the SUT's big battery pack in the more compact SUV, and this directly influences power.
He added that it would have been possible to build a 1,000-horsepower SUV by making changes to the battery pack's layout. His team would have needed to reduce cargo capacity and get rid of the flat loading floor, which were compromises that engineers were not prepared to make. Ultimately, 830 horses should be plenty for most drivers.
"Frankly, we are not sorry that it's only 830 horsepower. There aren't many internal combustion engines that can say that. Will we be able to grow horsepower in the future? We are going to push that capability, and as the technology gets to the point where our batteries are smaller and more efficient, we will improve performance with any chance we get," Oppenheiser said. It helps that the Ultium battery technology GMC uses is extremely modular.
Less powerful versions of the Hummer SUV are in the cards, too. At launch in early 2023, the model will exclusively be offered with the aforementioned 830-horsepower drivetrain, which offers around 300 miles of driving range. Pricing will start at $105,595 before options are factored in. Several months later, GMC will release an EV2X variant with up to 625 horsepower, about the same amount of driving range, and an $89,995 price tag before incentives.