In June, General Motors announced that its GM Defense division was awarded a multi-million contract to produce and sustain the U.S. Army’s new Infantry Defense Vehicle (ISV), a military vehicle that shares about 90 percent of its mechanical bits with the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize pickup truck. Being the first major contact secured by GM Defense, the ISV is only the beginning as the division looks to future products, one of which could be a military variant of the upcoming GMC Hummer EV.
In an interview with GM Authority, GM Defense President, David Albritton, alluded to exactly such a possibility.
“GM has announced that it is coming out with a [GMC] Hummer battery electric truck in 2021. It’s a full-size truck with 400 miles of range, 1,000 foot-pounds of torque, a very highly-capable vehicle. That could provide a great base platform for an electric vehicle to be used in the military context,” Albritton says.
Though he specifies that there’s nothing definitive in the works today, Albritton also notes that “we’d like to position ourselves as the company that can provide those kinds of capabilities if or when they’re needed [by the client].”
GM has an intriguing history with Hummer. It all started in 1992, when AM General – an automaker focused on military and commercial sectors – began offering its High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) to the civilian market under the Hummer marque. In 1999, GM acquired the rights to the Hummer brand and continued to offer the original civilian Hummer as the H1 until June 2006.
The H1 was followed by the Hummer H2, which was built by AM General despite being designed and marketed by General Motors. The vehicle was launched in 2002 and was produced through January 2009. The H2 was followed by the Hummer H3, which was a full-fledged GM effort in terms of development, design, marketing as well as manufacturing.
GM shuttered the Hummer brand and discontinued all Hummer products during its bankruptcy. Several efforts to sell rights to the brand as well as the vehicles were made, but all ended up falling through.
Soon, GM will revive Hummer, though not as a standalone brand. Instead, the new Hummer will be a sub-brand of GMC. It will launch in the next year with two products – the GMC Hummer EV pickup truck followed by the GMC Hummer EV SUV. As the names imply, both models will be battery electric vehicles delivering 400 miles of driving range while offering earth-moving amounts of power and torque. The pickup is expected to begin arriving at dealers in the fall of 2021 as a 2022 model, while the SUV will appear about a year later. Both full-size, body-on-frame electric models will offer removable roof panels, healthy amounts of off-road capability and the latest in comfort and convenience tech.
If a military version of the GMC Hummer EV pickup does come to market, then it will be what the Humvee (HMMWV) was to the consumer-grade Hummer H1.