(Napa Valley, California) Beware of appearances. The green of her dress announces nothing. The new Hummer emits zero CO2, but remains just as excessive as before.

The retro tropism that drives some manufacturers is perhaps the shortest way to re-enchant the automobile. For GMC, bringing the Hummer back to life may make it easier to sell the zero-emissions conversion to customers still convinced “it was much better before.”

Electrifying the car fleet is not enough. Rehabilitating performance, diversifying the offer and – why not – reviving some glories of the past are also on the agenda of manufacturers. As long as they have a story to tell. Renault revives the 5, Volkswagen, the Microbus (ID.Buzz). And GMC, the Hummer. Nostalgia has gained confidence in this era of transition. Sometimes she adorns herself with exoticism and, in this case, cultivates excess.

Some observers will see the Hummer’s return as a snub to the environmentalists who once attacked it so ardently. Others will see it as an unprecedented waste of energy. Which side are you on?

A form of exhibitionism that was once not very well accepted, the Hummer redeems itself for driving. The social view of the eccentricities of this behemoth has changed, but only in appearance. We can expect the idea that it no longer emits CO2 when driving, but this evidence certainly does not make it a “clean” vehicle. Its production and that of its accumulators mobilize much more energy and raw materials than a petrol model. It is also necessary to take into consideration the source used to produce the electricity and the price thereof.

With its three thrusters and its huge battery (its power has still not been communicated by the manufacturer), this Hummer will remain for some a waste of resources.

Never mind, the Hummer still enjoys an incomparable aura. His intimidating physique has a lot to do with it. Square and equipped with generous ground clearance (you literally have to climb on board), it comes in four versions, which are driven by two or three motors. The Edition 1 that is the subject of this test bed has three, like Tesla’s Model X Plaid, one of its rivals. One in the front and two in the back. All connected to a lithium-ion battery developed in collaboration with South Korea’s LG Chem. General Motors does not disclose the net power of this one, but it can easily be estimated at around 200 kW. In its current configuration, the Hummer allows a range of some 480 km and takes about eight hours to recharge on a level 2 terminal, claims its manufacturer.

First, press the pedals to the floor. You press a button twice. Now hang on! You just release the brake and the Hummer then takes off like a rocket without leaving the ground! Three and a half seconds are enough to reach 100 km/h and hold a Porsche 911 GTS in check.

After a period of learning, you can stop driving with your eyes glued to the ends of your bonnet. This SUV is less apprehensive about city breaks than you might think. Its small turning circle makes you smile (a Chevrolet Bolt does no better) and the device that allows it to move like a crab leaves you speechless. A particularity that is especially appreciated in the open air and on hostile terrain.

As long as you are not afraid of damaging it, the Hummer SUV wades with ease in the marshy paths. In addition, using its air suspension, this Hummer climbs to 404 mm of ground to attack the slopes, to climb the rocks, to cross streams and to face slopes.

In case of failure? No doubt, the problem is then between the seat and the steering wheel as the Hummer appears invulnerable.

Thoughtful handling, progressive braking (one-pedal driving possible) and efficient, the Hummer SUV inspires confidence as soon as you get used to its size. Need a little more time? The semi-autonomous driving device (Super Cruise) allows you to escape some of your responsibilities. And to better acclimatize you to the low height of the mirrors that surround it and the massiveness of the interior furniture. Both combine to create the illusion of being aboard a Leopard 2. Or is it an Abrams?

It’s hard to be so understanding, however, of the heavy rear leaf – luckily electrically assisted – that opens towards the curb. What about that metal rib that gets in and out of the rear seats? There are also those removable glass panels – all can be stored in the huge trunk up front – but handling them requires some physical strength. Finally, this Hummer will be criticized for its high noise level (hissing at the level of the exterior mirrors in particular) which is exacerbated by the “all-terrain” tires offered as an option.

The Hummer is not an everyday utility. However, its irritating elements won’t deter those who fantasize about taking control of a tank.

From $108,598 to $154,193

480 km range (manufacturer’s estimate)


First deliveries this spring

Phenomenal crossing abilitiesAmazing agilityPush the limits

Waste of resources High noise level Intimidating driving

Sometimes it is in virtue that one encounters the worst excesses.

Hummer was a brand, now there are two models operating under the GMC banner. This subsidiary of General Motors is proud to distribute them since they attract customers who have never put their butts in a GMC (75%) or even in a GM (50%). Some 90,000 consumers have so far raised their hands to purchase one. Unexpectedly, the SUV is not a cut-and-paste of the pickup truck released last year. This one is even more imposing and occupies more space in the street. It is also more powerful and just as heavy as the SUV.

Like the pickup truck, the Hummer EV SUV is built on General Motors’ Ultium architecture. The most noticeable difference is the battery capacity. The latter consists of 24 cells on the van (independent to facilitate their replacement), compared to 20 for the SUV. As a result, the pickup produces more horsepower (1000 hp) and provides a longer range (560 km, according to GM’s estimate).

La Presse will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: BMW 2 Series, Ford Mustang, GMC Canyon, Ioniq 6, Nissan Ariya and Toyota GR Corolla. If you own one of these vehicles or are expecting delivery, we’d love to hear from you.