The Hummer brand used to be a symbol of belligerence. Ask a random passerby on the street what they think upon hearing “Hummer,” and they probably won’t use words such as “small” or “subtle.” Or “cool.”
Presumably realizing this, GM killed the Hummer brand about a decade ago, and thus had no marque to sell brawny, macho brodozers. For a while, GM had no brand they could pitch as cool and aggressive. And with the revival of the Hummer name, they still don’t.
The Hummer EV is equally stupid and awesome. It’s a convertible electric off-road pickup truck that will outrun an Enzo to 60 and go sideways through off-road trails off limits to a Rubicon. Theoretically. What it isn’t, though, is a Hummer.
Inexplicably, General Motors is branding this new vehicle the GMC Hummer EV. Which means Hummer is no longer the make, but the model. So the $100,000+ Hummer EV will sit at the top of the GMC model range, serving as sort of a halo car.
Except GMC already has a halo car, and a well-established one at that: the Denali. The Denali is sort of GMC’s thing, and carries similar cache to the Escalade name. Now Denali will play sidekick to the even halo-ier Hummer EV.
Another point to consider is by the time GM killed the Hummer brand, Hummer was well on its way to becoming deeply, profoundly uncool. Hummers were known as obnoxiously large and horribly inefficient barges for guys who yell at the TV in the Applebee’s bar in between belches. And GM has an opportunity to kick that reputation.
First off, Hummer is a cool name for an electric car brand. It just is. It suits the character of electric cars so well. More importantly, though, electric cars are cool right now for the same reason Hummers aren’t. So GM not only had an opportunity to capitalize on brand recognition, but to make the brand actually cool again. Why on earth would they not do this?
Instead, the Hummer EV is a model in GMC’s lineup. So, once it actually exists, you can go test drive it after walking by last year’s leftover Terrains at the dealer. Perhaps Chevy will make a Saturn EV too, which actually sounds like a better idea. Especially if it has those suicide doors.