Autos

GM resurrecting Hummer as an all-electric 'super truck' with 1,000 horsepower

Key Points
  • GM confirmed plans to resurrect Hummer, best known as a gas-guzzling, military-style SUV, as an all-electric "super truck."
  • The GMC Hummer EV will feature 1,000 horsepower; 0 to 60 acceleration of three seconds; and 11,500 pound feet of torque.
  • GM has no plans to build a gas-powered Hummer with an internal combustion engine, according to company executive.
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GM revives the Hummer as an electric truck

DETROIT – General Motors is resurrecting the Hummer, best known as a gas-guzzling, military-style SUV, as an all-electric "super truck" with massive horsepower, acceleration and torque.

The Detroit automaker confirmed the plans Thursday and released three online teaser videos for the "GMC Hummer EV" pickup ahead of a 30-second Super Bowl ad for the vehicle featuring NBA star LeBron James. The spot is scheduled to air during the second quarter of Sunday's game.

The Hummer EV pickup, according to GM, will feature 1,000 horsepower; 0 to 60 mph acceleration of three seconds; and 11,500 pound feet of torque. It didn't announce a price.

"It's a combination of an incredibly capable truck and a supercar. Those sorts of times are in that ballpark," Phil Brook, GMC vice president of marketing, told CNBC. It's an "all-electric super truck."

The Hummer EV pickup is expected to go into production in the fall of 2021 at a plant in Detroit, followed by sales starting toward the end of the year.

The teaser videos detail the specifications and preview the front of the pickup, which features a new iteration of Hummer's well-known slotted grille with "HUMMER" backlit across the front of the truck.

"It is very different from anything we've ever done before," Brook said. "This is the start of big things in the electric space. … This is GMC and how we're moving into that space in a big way."

GM is branding the Hummer EV as a "quiet revolution." It's a play on the quietness of all-electric vehicles and the performance of the Hummer EV. It's also the title of the Super Bowl ad.

Brook declined to discuss additional information, including plans to potentially produce an all-electric GMC Hummer SUV, ahead of the pickup's global debut on May 20.

GM's previous Hummer brand included an SUV and a short-lived pickup variant. The design was based on the military vehicle known as the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or "Humvee." During the early 2000s, the Hummer was a popular vehicle but also a source of criticism because of its size and poor gas mileage at around 15 mpg.

The Hummer brand was discontinued as part of GM's 2009 bankruptcy amid stalling sales, high gas prices and a sour reputation for polluting the planet. The automaker stopped production of the vehicles in 2010.

GM has no plans to build a gas-powered Hummer with an internal combustion engine, according to Brook.

The plan to sell Hummer under the GMC brand is expected to save the automaker substantial capital compared with launching it again as a stand-alone brand. It also will provide GMC with its first all-electric vehicle as part of GM's pivot to all-electric vehicles, including releasing at least 20 new vehicles globally by 2023.

The GMC truck and SUV has become a profitable workhorse for the Detroit automaker with an affluent and educated customer base. Adding the Hummer EV, which is expected to command high transaction prices as a lifestyle pickup, will likely add to the brand's profits and customer base.

"I think there's an opportunity for us not just to extend where GMC is today from a customer base but also bring new customers in who hadn't considered us before as well," Brook said.

The GMC Hummer EV is expected to be part of a new lineup of all-electric pickups and SUVs for GM that will extend across brands and price ranges. GM President Mark Reuss on Monday broadly detailed those plans when he announced plans to invest $3 billion for the production of such vehicles.

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Why the Hummer disappeared from America

"Our offering won't just be one pickup," Reuss said at the Detroit plant that will build the vehicles. "This is architected to be scalable and used for multiple brands with multiple variants with multiple customers."

The Hummer EV is expected to be part of a surge of new all-electric pickups to enter the U.S. market in the coming years. Ford Motor, Tesla and Amazon-backed EV start-up Rivian are expected to release pickups through next year.