According to a recent article in The Drive, GMC Hummer EV chief engineer Al Oppenheiser shared that the mammoth electric pickup truck was actually capable of popping wheelies early on, though the feature had to be "tuned out." Perhaps a paid over-the-air software update is in order?
Jokes aside, this just goes to show that electric power is truly incredible and even unexpected at times. Electric pickup trucks are coming to market that can outrun sports cars, the quickest car production car ever built is an EV, and automakers are going to great lengths to improve performance even further.
As the story goes, The Drive's Peter Holderith was fortunate to spend some quality time with a prototype version of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV in October of last year. He writes:
"Driving a 2022 GMC Hummer EV prototype back in Oct. 2021 was an eye-opening experience. Never before had I driven something so big, so heavy, and so quick. The Hummer is a truly gargantuan off-roader that can spin all four of its 35-inch Goodyear tires off the line when Watts to Freedom (WTF) mode is engaged. More impressively, it can still turn as sharply as a Chevy Bolt hatchback."
To take it a step further, Holderith did some of his Hummer EV driving with Oppenheiser in the passenger seat, and the two also switched seats at times. Needless to say, they had plenty of opportunities to talk about the electric pickup truck in detail.
The engineer opened up about early tests and experiences his team endured as the development process moved forward. The chat included the fact that the Hummer EV was able to perform some "unexpected" wheelies. Due to digitally developing the truck, there were some real-world tuning concerns to iron out to make the truck as safe as possible. Oppenheiser told The Drive:
"In the early days when we were just trying to balance the front and rear torque, I got the front end to lift. We had to back off the torque on the front end."
We credit Oppenheiser and his team for making the decision to tweak the electric pickup truck. If a driver were to experience an "unexpected wheelie," it would not only prove scary, but it could also be incredibly unsafe. We already know some test drivers literally freaked out when the Hummer EV's Watts to Freedom (WTF) launch control mode was engaged.
Oppenheiser went on to clarify that, when properly tuned, the Hummer EV is definitely capable of a true "wheelstand." He even said he could retune the electric truck to prove it, but that's not likely something that's going to happen.