Every vehicle is tested to the extreme before it his the market. Usually, it’s done while the model is wearing camouflage, first, usually in mule form then in a more final state as production nears. GMC has been pulling the curtain back on its testing as the automaker builds excitement toward the launch of the 2023 GMC Hummer EV.
First, the battery electric truck was shown taking off for upstate Michigan to undergo winter weather testing. Now, it’s shown scaling the rocks in Moab, Utah. This, combined with the pronounced arrival of Ford’s Bronco concept cars at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari are a shot across the bow at Jeep’s decades of off-road dominance.
There’s a big difference between the Jeeps and Fords, and the GMC. The Hummer EV’s climb is quiet thanks to its all-electric powertrain. The electric vehicle (EV) is based on General Motors’ Ultium architecture, which keeps the battery at the bottom of the car between its wheels.
According to GMC, driving at Moab included testing and calibration of the adaptive air suspension hardware, Extract Mode, Terrain Mode, one-pedal driving, electric four-wheel drive (e4WD), torque distribution, electric lockers (eLockers), stability control, rear steering, CrabWalk, and more.
GMC is working to make one-pedal driving a solution to the accelerator-brake routine of traditional off-roading with its capability extending to low-speed operations. One-pedal driving is traditionally used on rural roads and in busy city traffic.
“One-Pedal Driving offers a great feeling of control by optimizing the regenerative braking, friction braking and drive motor torque all through the accelerator pedal,” said Aaron Pfau, GMC Hummer EV lead development engineer. “Drivers will quickly realize the benefits once they try it off-road.”
Extract Mode is designed to raise the height of the truck by approximately six inches to help the vehicle negotiate extreme off-road situations, such as clearing large rocks and fording deep water.
“The GMC Hummer EV was a blank slate that was filled out by a dedicated team of engineers who are hardcore off-road enthusiasts,” said Pfau. “Features like One-Pedal Driving2, Terrain Mode and Extract Mode1 result in an absolute off-road beast that will take you to new places.”