Show Notes for Podcast #86
The 2022 Hummer EV
Is the new Hummer EV the Ultimate Superlander? Matt Swartz and Scott Brady test the new Hummer EV Supertruck off-road and overland in the deserts of Arizona.
My name is Matt Swartz and I owe my love of the outdoors to my Grandfather, a PHD Ecologist, and photographer who was years ahead of his time. Every visit to his house was filled with hiking adventures where we’d collect and identify insects, or trips to a nearby creek to fish and look for water snakes. We’d also regularly sit on the couch together, pouring over the latest National Geographic while my Grandfather provided additional commentary, always getting deeper into the science. His knowledge was endless.
With those early childhood experiences in nature, it feels fitting that I’ve built a life full of adventurous outdoor sports, travel, photography, and writing. From my first camping experiences on the East coast to bigger adventures, like exploring the West coast of South America, or hiking from the border of Mexico to Mammoth, California, I find that time spent outdoors gives me an incredible sense of well-being.One of my biggest pieces of advice to the aspiring adventurer: passionately pursue your dreams, and don’t let society convince you that a high net-worth is more valuable than a life full of rich experiences. @m.b.swartz
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
This episode sponsored in part by
Scott Brady: [00:00:00] I think we're good. Thank you, Paula. Awesome. Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady, and I'm with my cohost, Matt Swartz.
Matt Swartz: Hi there.
Scott Brady: And we're going to talk about, it's an electrifying subject. We're going to, we're going to terrible pun. I'm like, yeah, dad jokes.
Matt Swartz: Got to get him in there every chance you can though.
Scott Brady: So we're going to talk about the Hummer EV, which I will say off the bat is an extremely exciting vehicle on specification and in practice. And we're going to talk about our experience with that vehicle over the last two days in, in Arizona. Um, and we're going to go through the specs. We're going to go through all of our impressions and our [00:01:00] opinions on the vehicle and, and what it does great at and what it doesn't do so great at, um, but really fun vehicle overall. But before we do that, what's, what's new man. What's going on?
Matt Swartz: Oh man. Um, lots of stuff, honestly. Um, so just have the truck in at Summit 4x4, which is our local specialty off-road vehicle shop up here in Prescott. And, um, those guys were installing a new AEV lift in our 2,500 Ram. And so I..
Scott Brady: Looks so good.
Matt Swartz: It looks really good. It looks really good. Yeah. It changed the character of that truck so much. And in addition to the lift, we put on some 17 inch wheels, um, also from AEV with 37 inch tires. And so yeah, going from the OEM, you know, like standard on the road.
Scott Brady: Sure.
Matt Swartz: Uh, wheel tire combo to what is really like a proper wheel for overland driving off-road adventures. It's totally different.
Scott Brady: Uh, it just matches [00:02:00] the flotation to the weight of the truck. So it's just going to really improve your, you'll find in the snow it's going to do better, you'll find in the sand, it's going to do better mud it'll do better, a little more flotation. But it looks, it looks great. And I've always been such a huge fan of the Tradesman. So to see the Tradesman project coming along like that is great.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. I'm, I'm really looking forward to producing some video content around this, this upgrade specifically because, um, I was lucky enough to have AEV support with the new, uh, dual sport suspension package that they're doing. And so that has the new Bilstein 8,100, uh, shock in it, which is a remote reservoir shock. And it's, it's just like, it's so beefy. Um, and you know, AEV tunes, everything so that you get like a very close to, oh, wait, well, you, you maintain OEM performance, right? You maintain your, your OEM springs. So you have those same spring rates and everything. So performance is not diminished in any way, as far as towing, uh, more payload, but you have just such a much [00:03:00] more comfortable ride. And even in the minimal amount of driving, I've done since getting the truck back, it's already noticeable. I mean, it is, it just feels so much more plush and, um, you know..
Scott Brady: Do the tires help as well?
Matt Swartz: Definitely.
Scott Brady: Do you have more carcass that can absorb energy from the road and impacts and like attenuate a little bit. And you, you did a, uh, General Tire look like.
Matt Swartz: Yup. Yup. We, uh, we put General, uh, ATX um, AT tires on there. So they're aggressive. They've got, you know, some serious tread coming down onto the sidewall. So you get that protection and that extra traction when you air down the tires. But, um, I think they're a great tire for someone like us who does a lot of towing too. You know, they're not overly aggressive, like a mud terrain. Um, they're not going to hopefully affect our gas mileage quite as much, but they have a, they have a really good warranty on them. I think they're 50,000 miles. Um, and yeah, you can I think, I think we're supposed to run them at about [00:04:00] 50 PSI, which is a little bit less, um, at the high end than what we're used to, uh, the truck calls for 60 PSI in the OEM tires. So, uh, even that yeah, softens the ride to just a little bit.
Scott Brady: It will make a difference. It'll make a difference also on the trail and everything else. So now that you can go so much lower on air pressure. Well, and you already took the truck out for a little bit of a, an evaluation. So it'll be fun, fun to get your thoughts and future videos. You just dropped your first segment video on that truck. So you can, everybody can check that out on YouTube and you're getting ready to leave Arizona where you heading?
Matt Swartz: Yeah. So, um, my partner, Amanda and our dog Royal, and I are all gonna load up the Airstream and we're going to head up to grand junction, uh, to start off. So I'm going to be hopefully doing some paragliding there. There's a great spot for ridge soaring. And I also have, um, two of the most important people to me. Um, there are others, but two of them, uh, one of my brothers, my youngest brother, Tom, and one of my best friends in the world, Ethan, they're both going to come out from [00:05:00] the east coast and, uh, uh, they're going to join us. We're going to do a four day backpacking route, um, back behind the Colorado National Monument.
Scott Brady: Amazing.
Matt Swartz: Yeah, it's going to be nice. Lots of solitude. There's a wilderness area back there, that few people visit. And so in the few times I've been there, I've, I've seen like one or two other people.
Scott Brady: Oh, that'll be magic. That's amazing.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. What about you? What's going on with you?
Scott Brady: You know, we're getting ready for the Overland Expo West. So we're starting to get ramped up for that. I'm getting a new Scout with some updates that they've done. We didn't have any issues with the Scout we have now, but they wanted to make sure that we were able to evaluate some of these new updates that they've been doing, which is great. They've got some new door configurations, they simplify things a little bit, remove some weight. So it's, it's even more durable and, and minimalists than it was before, which is for me is awesome. So I'm excited to get that new one.
Matt Swartz: You like a camper that's very simple, analog?
Scott Brady: As analog [00:06:00] as possible because what you really want I find, or what I should rephrase that what I really want in a camper is a quiet, comfortable, and then warm if necessary place to sleep. And the Scout just like totally rocks that for a reasonable amount of money. So..
Matt Swartz: With, without the complication of a lot of the systems that are right, kind of standard in, in other campers.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And it everybody's going to have different needs. And for me, I'm happy with just having like a Goal Zero in there and very minimal electronics and very minimal systems. I don't need it to make hot water for me or have a water pump or anything like that. I just, I want a really comfortable, comfortable, quiet place to do work and then a comfortable, quiet place to sleep at night despite the conditions. So for me, the simplicity was king for sure. Yeah. So a lot going on with us, with, uh, with the Overland Expo coming up, that's an exciting time [00:07:00] of year. And, uh, we've got a couple more vehicle launches coming up that are also really exciting. Some other new full-sized truck products that are coming out with a lot more capability that we're going to be able to evaluate so that the full-size truck segment continues to blossom. You know, like we had the Power Wagon. That was it. But now, now we've got super trucks and, and, uh, other vehicles with front and rear lockers and everything else. So it's pretty exciting.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. It's hard to deny that payload. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It really makes a difference. I mean, we were talking about that in the, in the truck this morning, driving up of just like this AT4 is just, it's just like a great car to drive. It's just, it's great. On the highway. It, I can take it to Home Depot and get whatever I want to grab and throw a camper in the back of it. Yeah. Go do most trails. I mean, they are definitely size limited. There's no question. It's not as capable as like my G Wagon was, for example. But, um, [00:08:00] it really does a lot of tree, a lot more trails than you'd think.
Matt Swartz: When you have that awesome low displacement diesel engine that it just like gets incredible gas mileage considering the size of that vehicle.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That's the winner for me. I mean, if I was to say anything about the truck that I love the most it's that drive train, it's the three liter turbo diesel with a 10 speed automatic to get like even in a 400 mile evaluation range on fuel economy, I've gotten as high as 24.8 miles per gallon.
Matt Swartz: Wow.
Scott Brady: And that's, it's got larger tires on it, right. It's upgraded to a BF Goodrich, almost a 35. It's got a little bit heavier wheels on it as well. Other than that, it's pretty stock, but yeah, it's incredible. The gas mileage it gets.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: I mean, we were seeing 20 today on I17 with a Putco rack and an iKamper, roof tent on the top of it.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. Yeah. That doesn't exactly, uh, I mean that, it sticks out a little bit.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it does. Yeah, it [00:09:00] does. Yeah. So it's pretty interesting there just keep getting better and better. So awesome. We'll talk about getting it better and better. I mean, we just tested a super truck for a couple of days in Arizona, which was, which is a great experience. We're going to rift through a couple of the considerations around the vehicle, but Matt and I thought it would be fun to talk through some of the key specs. I actually ran out of room on my piece of paper and I needed to move some of the segments down. Cause there's so many, there's so many crazy things about this vehicle. Um, and we can start with something that has nothing to do with overlanding, but it has to do with life is short and you might as well have some fun.
Matt Swartz: Joy.
Scott Brady: Yeah. There's just joy. Yeah, exactly. This is right within the joy category, which is zero to 60 in three seconds. Which we experienced tje other day.
Matt Swartz: Oh yeah, we have the GoPro footage to prove it.
Scott Brady: We do. And w we'll probably be able to put that here in the podcast, like our expression.
Matt Swartz: I already watched mine. I have a stupid look on [00:10:00] my face, you know, obviously a big, a big grin afterwards.
Scott Brady: Oh, I haven't, I haven't watched mine yet. That's so yeah, I should pull it up right now. Get like the real, the real time..
Matt Swartz: The reaction of your reaction.
Scott Brady: Oh, wow. Yeah, it was, uh, yeah. You like, you feel your vision actually narrowing because the acceleration is so prodigious.
Matt Swartz: Oh yeah, a hundred percent. Yeah. Just getting pressed back into that seat. Like you're in a rocket ship.
Scott Brady: It felt like a rocket ship and it just doesn't make any of the traditional internal combustion engine noises. So it's just, just like this violent access acceleration, which was, that was super fun. So we'll go into that a little bit more and it achieves that, uh, with 1000 horsepower and 1200 foot-pounds of torque at the motor. Now we did some research because GMC Hummer, they talk about 11,500 foot pounds of torque. [00:11:00] Um, and we actually found out like, what does that actually mean?
Matt Swartz: It takes some math to get there. It's not, it's not, it's, it's kind of unique to an electric vehicle. What will not just an electric vehicle, any, but a lot of vehicles. If, if you did the math out exact way, they're doing, uh, could advertise a higher torque output, right?
Scott Brady: Correct. So it seems like this insane number, but it's actually requires some context. So the 11,500 foot-pounds of torque is the torque that's at the wheels. And which means that it's going through this, they have a motor drive unit and that motor drive unit has gearing and that gearing affects the leverage of the torque that's available for, from the motor. Now, the thing that we don't know for sure is how the tire diameter, how that factors in like, is that when they say at the wheel, is that, is that at the hub of the wheel or is that the, is that at the outer diameter of the wheel? It doesn't specify [00:12:00] that. Um, so that might be interesting for us to find out at some point, but as an example, we, we, we were watching a YouTube video trying to learn, learn the difference between the two and the guy who was speaking was talking about the example of a Dodge Damon. So, uh, that is a vehicle that has just under 1000 foot pounds of torque at the motor. And because it goes through a transmission with a first gear of 4.72, and then it goes through a final drive in the rear axle. I believe it was 3.09 was the number of downs, right. That he used. It actually ends up generating 14,000 plus foot pounds of torque at the wheel. So when you compare them like a Dodge Damon, it's a, it is a crazy fast car. In fact, I think it's one of the fastest production, zero to 60 quarter mile production vehicles that you can buy. So that's amazing. So when we put that in the context of [00:13:00] the super truck, it just shows how fast it is. So those numbers are similar. Um, in fact, the Damon makes more foot pounds of torque at the wheel. Then the super truck does. Um, but. This 10,000 pound Hummer goes zero to 60 in three seconds.
Matt Swartz: I mean, that's, that's the part that really catches you off guard.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Matt Swartz: It's a 10,000 pound vehicle. It is not small at all.
Scott Brady: No, it's like just the dimensions of it, not just the weight.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. Yeah. But it, it drives like a smaller vehicle.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Which we found out during the testing. And we'll talk about that in a second. Um, it has three motors on board. It has two motors in the rear, so it has this very interesting, like combined motor drive unit, the castings that keep these things attached to the chassis are massive. Um, it's independent front and rear with front and rear steering and the half shafts are massive. I mean, they look like, like something that, you know, you would [00:14:00] see in a. F 450 or something like that. They're absolutely massive.
Matt Swartz: I remember you pointing that out. I mean, when we were looking at the, when they had the bare, you know, the Ultium platform chassis for us to have a look at, and I found that really interesting. And I also was really interested. I mean, you just mentioned it has the three motors in electric vehicles. I think we've gotten used to seeing the, the motor unit in the hub right at the wheel, but yeah. And, uh, but the Hummer EV is different. The, it is the motors are, um, on the inside on the chassis and that provides actually some, some advantages in some ways.
Scott Brady: It does. It provide it's allows for the opportunity for a larger motor with more power. It also allows you to do some really effective cooling around it.
Matt Swartz: That was the one that was the one I remembered. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And I know that the Rivian for example, under certain conditions, the motors can get really hot, low speed, high torque, uh, low air flow. [00:15:00] Um, the ones in the wheel, they can only dissipate heat so much, whereas they had..
Matt Swartz: During movement, right?
Scott Brady: Correct. Yeah. Like low speed movement. Whereas the Hummer has these oil cooled it at the way that the engineer described it to us is that you have this oil reservoir and it pumps oil through the electric motors. And then that oil goes through a heat exchanger, which is actually a glycol loop.
Matt Swartz: That's right.
Scott Brady: Um, and as I remember, they use some of that also to generate heat within the cabin. They do a lot of very cool things that help them do that. And then each individual battery cell or not cell, battery pack, which has 20, they have 24 battery packs, 24 cells per pack. Each one of those is cooled with a cooling plate. So very clever how they manage heat with all of that. All of that current, I think we, when we were, when we were getting to the trailhead, it was this monster Arizona storm, and I was saying like, how does it feel [00:16:00] to be like in, in this torrential rainstorm sitting on 1.3 gigawatts of, I mean, there's so much power. Like, you feel like you can like power an entire block with that thing.
Matt Swartz: Totally. You need the flux capacitor, like right behind your shoulder.
Scott Brady: Oh yeah. It didn't want, like, one of the engineers said, like, if you look in the icons of all the icons, you can pick for the accessories, I think there might be a flux capacitor in there. So it's just fun. The little have the little easter eggs, I think are really awesome.
Matt Swartz: Totally.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So it's got three motors in two in the rear, one in the front, and then it does have a differential in the front, um, at, with an electric locker. So the front is a e-locker, electrically activated mechanical driver, actuated locker. In the rear is, I would call it like a V locker, a virtual locker. So it has two motor drives. So they matched the motor speeds very tightly. There are some, some factors that can influence that, uh, but they match the motor [00:17:00] speeds very tight in RPM. So you end up with essentially the effect of I have a locker with no wheel spin from one side to the other. Uh, but it's very clever how it does it, because even like in a really tight turn, if it's noticing a lot of scrub, then the vehicle can actually loosen up that locker a little bit. So I didn't get quite the same scrubbing that you would feel with a mechanical locker.
Matt Swartz: So it's not kind of fighting you on those tight turns and things like that?
Scott Brady: Correct. And it also allows them to put in some safety guards as well, where if one particular wheel is at, uh, some extreme amount of torque, um, or extreme amount of pressure, they could probably back that off a little bit to help preserve some of the mechanical components. So even though it says it's locked, um, and in every effect, it was. Like yesterday, it worked exactly how you would want to locker to work. So I don't want to take anything away from this, actually think like it it's an electric electronic locker, but better. Uh, so it does all of the things you want.
Matt Swartz: Like a smart locker?
Scott Brady: It is [00:18:00] for sure. Which is, which is awesome. So a very interesting how they set that up. It's got ultra vision, which is their 18 camera view camera system.
Matt Swartz: The number of camera views is insane.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Matt Swartz: And it's awesome.
Scott Brady: It is really impressive.
Matt Swartz: I mean, especially for a vehicle of that size, you know what I mean? Like there's no ego in this. Like if you're piloting a vehicle of that size, it's so helpful to have some cameras to look at it really just, it, it gives you a lot more confidence as a driver.
Scott Brady: What was your favorite view overall?
Matt Swartz: Um, I mean, I think the one that felt most practical to me was, was just the front view, you know, below like kind of grill height looking forward. Um, because there were a lot of instances on, on the test drive where, you know, we're cresting steep little sections where all I could see with sky.
Scott Brady: Right. It's a big hood.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. It is. And, and, you know, being able to easily glance down at the infotainment screen, which was giant, it was like 12 inches.
Scott Brady: At least.
Matt Swartz: Um, and being able to just drive off of that [00:19:00] for two seconds until I had a view of the trail out the windshield again, it was, it was fantastic.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I like that combination of that view with the overhead view where it's this like compilation of all of the camera views that they, that they stitch into this, like basically like a drone view perspective of where the vehicles out on the trail. I found that really helpful as well. I liked the fact that it had those under chassis cameras.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: So they, they use a hydrophobic coating that helps to keep water from collecting on the lenses. And then they even have little sprayers to clean them off because of course under the chassis gets a bunch of, of dirt and grime. But the thing you notice right away is this, the underbody is completely flat.
Matt Swartz: Yeah, it looks, it almost looks like a, like a toy car on the bottom. There's like, but there's nothing to get hung up.
Scott Brady: That's right.
Matt Swartz: It's just like a smooth, one giant smooth skid plate that can just glide off of anything. Yeah.
Scott Brady: And they had so [00:20:00] many specifications around preventing these batteries from getting punctured on rocks and everything else like that because they wanted to build the ultimate electric off-road vehicle. So they had all these intense requirements around performance, but that means you're rock crawling and everything else so you can come down on skid plates and it's just this full length boron steel skid plate, so super strong, super light, a high degree of puncture resistance, um, and totally flat. There's just a couple of little holes for probably air cooling and stuff like that. But yeah, pretty interesting. Cause we're, we're used to seeing exhaust, hanging down and differentials hanging down and shock mounts hanging down and all of that is tucked up with the independent suspension and that skid plate.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. Yeah. That's a whole different mentality that you can take onto the trail when you're not so worried about ripping something off or damaging something it's going to disable your vehicle.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And then what did you think about the range?
Matt Swartz: Um, I mean..
Scott Brady: At 350 miles..[00:21:00]
Matt Swartz: I drove all day, literally all day and had power to spare. When we got back to our final destination.
Scott Brady: We did, I think we came in at just about 50% based upon the bar graph.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. We left in the morning. We drove an hour to the trail.
Matt Swartz: An hour of highway driving. Um, and then..
Scott Brady: Which we drove entirely at the speed limit.
Matt Swartz: Of course, you know, would never exceed ever the speed limit.
Scott Brady: Under any conditions.
Matt Swartz: Never. Um, and then hours of off-road driving.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And then we did it twice. So we had a pre-lunch off-road route and then a post-lunch off-road route. And they were several, I think probably about two hours, at least each.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. Now it wasn't nonstop, you know, we would pause cause we were in a group, but it also wasn't like getting out every five minutes and hanging out, like we were driving.
Scott Brady: That's right.
Matt Swartz: Um, with some, you know, some obstacles that required some significant accelerator input.
Scott Brady: For sure.
Matt Swartz: You know, not just a forest service road, there were [00:22:00] some technical sections.
Scott Brady: I thought so.
Matt Swartz: Yup.
Scott Brady: And then to come back another hour, drive back to the hotel and we got there and we were like half a tank.
Matt Swartz: Yeah, half battery.
Scott Brady: Half a battery. Yeah. It was pretty impressive. I, that surprised me.
Matt Swartz: I think, I think a lot of people who are concerned about range with EVs it's, I don't want to say it's unfounded, but there's an anxiety that we have of not being able to fill up kind of at will and EV. But I think that in practice, when you get behind the wheel and you, and you really take one out that, you know, one purely in EV, not a hybrid, but, um, an EV that has a significant range like this, you find that it's fine.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And they didn't, they say that like with this, with the equivalent of a supercharger, you can go from 20 to 80% in 40 minutes. Was that the spec that we heard?
Matt Swartz: That's what I remember hearing. Yeah.
Scott Brady: That's impressive. I mean, like the, you know, just go have a nice coffee or, or enjoy lunch and I write..
Matt Swartz: I may be [00:23:00] mistaken, but I remember them saying you could get a hundred miles in 10 minutes of charging.
Scott Brady: That's fast.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That's great.
Matt Swartz: Yep.
Scott Brady: And that's all the things we're learning. I mean, they're, we're just at the beginning of all of this and they're learning stuff so quickly, there's so much pressure on innovation in this segment because they know the problems, they know the resistance that consumers have to electric vehicles, and they're actively trying to take away those reasons to say no.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Uh, the, the suspension is it's four wheel independent airbag suspension. So it has currently three modes on height. There's an entry access mode, height. Um, when you go to Watts to freedom for the zero to 60 launch, it lowers the vehicle down quite a bit as well automatically. And then it has like a normal mode that you can drive around. And then it has this off-road mode with a future update. They said that there's going to be an extract [00:24:00] mode, which essentially lifts the Hummer six inches. And, um, so, and we saw one parked out in the parking lot in an extract mode and it's like, it is way up there. I mean, the a-arms are at a, quite, quite the angle, but if you were high centered on a ledge or you were stuck in a little bit of mud, or, you know, you came down on a, on a log or something like that, it'd be really easy to get out without I thought that was really clever.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Um, so really, really cool suspension system. We'll talk a little bit about that more in a few minutes. And then it's got, and it, yeah, it's got this infinity roof that I thought was really interesting logically.
Matt Swartz: Uh, so when we're on the trail and it hailed on us, because of course we got some really interesting weather out there, which is actually what we want when we're testing a vehicle like this, you know, we want to kind of have some extremes to do, to see how it performs. But, um, I remember I was distinctly aware of how much [00:25:00] glass there was in the roof and how much visibility I had because the hail was hitting it. And it was like amplified.
Scott Brady: It was totally.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. But having that, having that view is really, it's, it's really pleasant. I don't know. I mean..
Scott Brady: I think it makes it kind of like a convertible. I mean, you can take out all four of those panels. They all store in the front, in the, in the front.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: And then the rear window rolls down.
Matt Swartz: Kind of 4Runner style. The whole thing goes down.
Scott Brady: Exactly. So you really do feel like you're in an open air vehicle. I thought that was pretty clever.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. It's really nice. Especially, I mean like many of us go on the trails to enjoy and be in the nature. And so that really kind of gives. That opportunity.
Scott Brady: Well, and speaking of that, that was one of my most profound takeaways was the silence of the electric vehicle on the trail. I thought that was one of the most pleasant off-roading experiences I had had in that regard. In fact, um, one of the spotters was to bring in somebody down an obstacle, and then [00:26:00] here comes this like little ground squirrel completely could care less that this vehicle was coming towards it. Cause it doesn't sound like, you know, like a UTV screaming like a 12 year old. I mean, it just it's like, did I just say that? Um, it's like, it's very quiet. So it's, it's just super chill going through the trail. And then when we were coming back, we were all in a line, I mean, there was 10 vehicles or more maybe.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: And we're all just cruising along total silence. And here comes this little javelina and he's just, he's totally carefree. He's not..
Matt Swartz: Yeah, he wasn't running, he wasn't, he wasn't taking off because he was just kinda like going about his normal business.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And, and some of the engineers, uh, one of the engineers we rode with in the morning air and he was talking about how he just like, would surprise deer on a regular basis with this vehicle, because it was so silent.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. I mean, in, in my few other experiences in vehicles that are well in this case, a hybrid the four by, but driving under electric power, I had the [00:27:00] same experience. And, and with the Hummer too, I mean, yeah. It's so pleasant, just the silence, not listening to like motors, just idling and, you know.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And it's not the, I mean, I love internal combustion for all of the right reasons. Um, but this is actually I think an argument for it. It is you're very much connected to the experience, you know, you're just, and like we had this breeze coming through the window. It was just perfect. It was really, I thought, pleasant to drive with no noise. And you know, everybody else appreciates that too. I mean, the campers that you're driving by and the, yeah, the animals and the hikers, and like we're a multi-use community and we all need to do our part to make it as pleasant as possible for everybody. And I think this is a big step in the right direction, so.
Matt Swartz: I would agree.
Scott Brady: It comes with 35 inch tall tires, but they designed it to fit 37s, which I thought was really clever. Uh, so with no modifications, [00:28:00] 37s bolt up. So the wheel, well clearance is suitable for 37s.
Matt Swartz: Yup.
Scott Brady: It'll clearly affect range and some other things. And, and I don't even know that it needs it. This thing is really capable, but somebody will want to put 37s on their Hummer, I'm sure.
Matt Swartz: I mean, yeah, I do already.
Scott Brady: And then yeah, we talked about the full length bore on skid plates. What'd you think of the four wheel steering?
Matt Swartz: So cool. Yeah. It's so cool. And it's, it's new, but it's not. Um, and I think GMC even has they've produced other vehicles that have this feature. If I'm not mistaken, I don't remember which vehicle it was.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Like early 2010, they had a Denali that had, I think they call it Quadris steer or something like that, but it did have steering in the rear.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. I mean, I was shocked. I mean, as someone who drives a large vehicle as my daily driver, you know, I've gotten used to that. I remember that feeling of initially getting behind the wheel and being slightly uncomfortable with the clearances and trying to get familiar with turning radius and [00:29:00] stuff like that and hitting a few curves in the process. And, um, in the Hummer EV, it is, I mean, it's like a game changer. Um, when you're behind the wheel, it is executed so well though it doesn't feel like something alien. It just kind of feels. And I mean..
Scott Brady: It feels impossible like, how is that possible? I just make that turn.
Matt Swartz: I mean, we were navigating some really narrow parts of trail with cactus right up to the sides of the tracks. And I mean, it just kind of danced in between them and it's fun following another Hummer, EV, and seeing that in action cause the back kind of like swings out just a little bit.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's crazy.
Matt Swartz: And I thought it was really cool too, across the different driving modes. They changed the turning rate rate of the rear rails. So like for instance, in terrain mode, you get the most extreme, I forget what the ratio is.
Scott Brady: 1.2 to one. So yeah, the rear is actually turning faster than the front.
Matt Swartz: Right. And so it [00:30:00] kind of helps you pivot around obstacles much easier. And then, you know, when you're in off-road or, um, just kind of standard driving mode it's it's much..
Scott Brady: It was 0.6 or something. So yeah, the, the rear is kind of catching up to the front.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Interesting. I thought it was, and it makes sense because off-road, you're, especially in terrain mode, you're going very slow. So it gives the rear steering time to catch up. Whereas if you are on the street and you are going through like some like dynamic driving situations, you wouldn't want the rear to be trying to catch up to the driver inputs, which are very direct. Uh, so it does make sense that the rear would be slower to engage with that. And then you can turn it off or you can go into, into crab walk mode, which was very cool. You have to do this long press, which it seemed like it like an unnecessarily long press, like half of that time or a third of that time. I think it makes a lot of sense. I understand why they need you to confirm it. Cause the vehicle all of a sudden starts [00:31:00] to move in a direction. You better hope that you expected it to do that.
Matt Swartz: I saw it, uh, like you turn the wheel 180 degrees, but you're just kind of shifting. You're not actually, yeah.
Scott Brady: You're not, you're not actually turning.
Matt Swartz: Right.
Scott Brady: Um, yeah. And so I found a practical application for it. We were getting, trying to do some video work and we were in this line of Hummers and they were all very tight, like front to back. I mean, like a parallel parking situation. So I turned on crab walk mode and I basically just like came out of the line of trucks to the side to just like just scooted sideways out and off I went, it was pretty cool.
Matt Swartz: It was very clever. And I think it's kind of, it points to one of the funny things about just all of the technology and new features in this vehicle. You, you have to like rethink about what driving a car is like, because some of these new features are so alien to the average driver. It's like, you have to come up with, you have to figure out what the scenarios are, where these features become. But they [00:32:00] are useful. That's the thing. They're not just gimmicks. I mean, there is a real time and place for that crab mode just as there is the four wheel steering.
Scott Brady: Yup. Yeah. And I think crab mode would be great in compact city environments where you're, you're dealing with really tight tolerances and then on our way back out, uh, in one of the lead vehicles, they got high centered coming around the corner. So they just turned on crab mode and then pointed the tires to the right. And they basically just moved the vehicle off of the obstacle by, by shifting it sideways, as opposed to putting it further and deeper into the skid plates. So that was just like, it was very clever and it, it would be easy to dismiss it as a gimmick, but it's not a gimmick. It's pretty impressive. Um, I don't think you'll use it very often and if it didn't have it, it wouldn't be the end of the world, but the rear wheel steering, for tightening the turning radius. It's amazing. It's actually very similar turning radius to a two-door Jeep [00:33:00] Wrangler. Which is nuts.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: For something that big.
Matt Swartz: Yep.
Scott Brady: All right. We did ask the question about payload cause that's important to us and on these edition one vehicles which are heavily loaded with accessories..
Matt Swartz: And they have all the accessories, right?
Scott Brady: I think, yeah, pretty much maybe not the, the dealer installed ones, but I think it has all of the, all the features, the features that you would get on a, on a build. Um, it still had a 1300 pound payload now, um, that what's interesting about that is that you can tow with this vehicle. So if you're towing a trailer, you have to figure in the fact that you may have a 500 pound tongue weight, which goes against your payload. So now you're at 800 pounds. It, if you've got four full sized guys, you're, you're banging up against that payload really, really quick. So it's important to, to note that 1300 pounds of payload is acceptable for sure. But what they said was that other models that are [00:34:00] less contented will have more payload. Um, but it is, I think, important to frame it within the context of you don't really need to modify this car. It's not like you've got to like, oh, I've got to put sliders on it. I got to put skid plates and I got to put, you know, heavy duty axles and I got to put in big tire. It's got all of that already. So there's not going to be many accessories. You're going to put on it in my mind that would take up payload.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. I, I think, I mean, that makes a lot of sense to me when, when you, hopefully some of you get, get the opportunity to drive one of these at some point, even if it's just for fun for a day. You'll, I think you'll find that yeah, you're not left wanting for anything. Not really features wise that it doesn't have.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It's pretty impressive.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Um, let's talk about super cruise a little bit.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. Super cruise is super cool, um.
Scott Brady: Yeah, cause we're going to talk about road, the road, driving impressions that you had.
Matt Swartz: Well, it's a good place to start. So super cruises is the Hummers version of autopilot. [00:35:00] Um, you basically push a button and it takes over. So it does the steering for you, it will lane change it, maintain speed, it will overtake other cars. Um..
Scott Brady: And at first did the lane change, how was that?
Matt Swartz: It caught me off guard, you know, because yeah, I didn't know what was going on. I, I, I came to grab the wheel, you know, I didn't take over, but I brought my hands back immediately. Um, and, and the reason being, because my, the only other experience I have in, uh, an autonomous car would be like a Tesla. And this may have changed now because it's been quite a few years since I drove that vehicle. But in the autopilot mode that, that had, I would have to manually put the turn signal on to have it changed lanes for me.
Scott Brady: Sure.
Matt Swartz: So the adaptive cruise control would, would obviously. Take into effect immediately when it was under autopilot and it would, you know, would catch up to a car, but maintain a safe following distance and slow down if it needed to, but it wouldn't change lanes. And..
Scott Brady: That was a trip.
Matt Swartz: Yeah, it was good. It [00:36:00] was entertaining. Um, and yeah..
Scott Brady: So for those that are listening, this thing will actually check the lane next to you. Check the blind spot, look for an opening. It will put on the blinker, it will move over a lane. It will pass the car and then it will go back into the lane that it needs to, if it, if it, if it needs to do that, it's like unbelievable.
Matt Swartz: It's so, yeah, it's so wild and it's, it's so nice though. I mean, like, again, this is a kind of thing that some people look at as like novelty, but when you use it, you immediately see the value of it. I mean, talk about a relaxing driving experience. Like you just kind of sit back and you can't disengage completely. Obviously, like we had times where the super cruise shut off and I had to take over. Partially that is because it's such a new vehicle and, and their, um, their data that allows for super cruise to operate is somewhat limited right now. I think they said they have about 200,000 miles of roads mapped where you [00:37:00] can use super cruise, which certainly sounds like a lot. But you know, in the context of the whole of, you know, the U S that means there's still a lot of roads that are not.
Scott Brady: Yeah. We had several roads that like, highways that didn't have it when we were doing the drive, but you know, the one-on-one did. And that was just like to watch it effortlessly. I mean, better than I will say, better than the average driver by quite some margin, because it stayed right in the lane. It wasn't wavering. In fact, I think I told you, I'm like, don't you feel like you need to pick up your phone and start texting. Oh, yeah. Sorry. But it's just what's happening right now is that people are just picking up their phone and texting, but they don't have the vehicles not paying attention for them. Like, I'm not suggesting for a moment that people should be reading or texting while they're in super cruise, but you know, people are going to do that. So the world is still better off that this technology exists. It's a lot less likely that the vehicle is going to run into something or go off the road and into a [00:38:00] ditch.
Matt Swartz: Exactly. Yeah, I think, yeah, those momentary times where we're not paying attention, like having something operating, uh, and trying to maintain a trajectory and speed and avoiding obstacles is great. Now it did, it did struggle a little bit, um, with some scenarios, like there was that one, um, kind of interchange that we went through..
Scott Brady: Right.
Matt Swartz: Where, um, it, it told me, it said super cruise, you know, disengaging or journey off deactivating and I had to take over. So, um, that's not entirely surprising, you know, that's kind of a complex scenario and. I'm fine with that. If I, if I need to be the driver again, that's fine. And I think they do a great job of visually making it clear that, um, it's going to stop. There's an actual kind of like illuminated, um, panel that's embedded in the steering wheel that lights up. So it's green when super cruise is on and it turns red and it's right in your face. So you kind of, it was, it was obvious to me that I needed to take over.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It was just so neat to [00:39:00] watch. Unbelievable.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: And then what else did you think on the road? I mean, how did the overall road driving experience go for you?
Matt Swartz: I mean, it's super comfortable, um, you know, for such a big vehicle, it was quiet inside the cabin. I thought.
Scott Brady: Yeah, we, we heard some tire noise, which would be expected cause these are aggressive tires.
Matt Swartz: Yep.
Scott Brady: But it's so quiet otherwise that you actually do notice other noises like on the trail, I even noticed like the air conditioned seats, like you would notice the blower, whereas if you were driving an internal combustion vehicle, the engine noise would drone out the, the blower for the air conditioned seats, but you actually could hear it, it was so quiet.
Matt Swartz: Yup. And it's kind of funny. They will pipe in noise, driving noise. Um, that's kind of, it's like manufactured, right?
Scott Brady: It's from speakers.
Matt Swartz: From the speakers. So you, you have that sense of kind of the, the, um, the sense of the noise of the [00:40:00] internal combustion engine, even though it's not there.
Scott Brady: So, yeah. And in some ways I like that, I believe that there's a way to turn it down a little bit. Um, I think you have to have it because as we noticed, in some obstacles, you get very deep into the throttle and I w I can see why the engineers would want to make the driver aware of the fact that they're getting deeper and deeper and deeper into the throttle. Because there's no other indication like the RPMs aren't going up, you don't see that like, right. Like you would in an internal combustion engine.
Matt Swartz: Right.
Scott Brady: So, but it was a little loud and maybe seem like more, more than you needed it to be. And I'd even like to see it go away completely at lower speeds and lower throttle positions.
Matt Swartz: Sure.
Scott Brady: Or a lesser throttle position. So, um, but it does make sense once you get into the throttle deeper that it's got to start telling you that, okay. You're, you're like you're getting close to that [00:41:00] 1,200 foot pounds of torque that you're asking of this engine. Like, is that really what you want to be doing right now?
Matt Swartz: Sure. That's a good point. Um, other kind of driving, you know, road related things. I really liked that, that regenerative braking paddle on the steering wheel. So it was on the left-hand side, kind of up at the, the 10 o'clock area of the wheel. You could, you know, it's a manual lever that you pull towards you and it, it activates like above average regenerative braking. So in situations where you don't need, um, an abrupt stop and you can slow down gradually, it kind of allows you to gamify this experience of extending the range to its maximum. So you can, you know, you can capture extra energy by breaking with that instead of the brake pedal.
Scott Brady: Well, and it was shocking to me how much power there is in the regenerative process, because like off-road using that same paddle, you can basically bring the vehicle to a [00:42:00] stop without using the mechanical brakes. It just provides that much resistance. So when you're going downhill off road, if you can, I wish that that paddle was kind of like a re-establish, feeding in a percentage.
Matt Swartz: Right? Cause it is either it's just on or off.
Scott Brady: It felt that way. To me, that may not be the case. And we didn't ask the engineers that question, but it felt like it was pretty much an on or off situation. It would be nice to see it like ramp up and you could actually use it, uh, just for re regenerative only is what I want in this situation. Um, so you can add onto the range. Yeah. I thought that was really cool. What'd you think about comfort? Like the overall like interior, the way they interior looked, the, the technology that the electronics package on the inside?
Matt Swartz: Yeah. I mean, I think starting with comfort, um, comfort was, was above average. I would say for, for myself, I really liked the finishes on the inside and, and kind of just the visual [00:43:00] appeal of it. It feels very, uh, at once modern, but also kind of retro a little bit.
Scott Brady: It had a mid-century modern kind of vibe to it that those bronze, and vents.
Matt Swartz: They're like rectangular kind of big rectangles.
Scott Brady: Exactly.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. The, the materials choice I thought was very interesting and appealing to me. Um, which is funny because I like, I chose cloth seats for our truck. Um, just because they feel simple and easy to take care of and they're not fancy. And the Hummer's funny, it kind of feels fancy, but it kind of feels sporty. It's like a lot of different like synthetic kind of, uh, surfaces that are textured and there's nice contrasts and it's kind of a non absorbent surface everywhere, which was actually kind of nice. There was one point. I remember when it was, it had been dumping rain and there was a lot of water on the roof and I opened the window, like a bucket of water just about came in and it kind of splashed all over the armrest and [00:44:00] everything, but it kind of just like made its way down to the floor. It didn't really absorb in and stay wet all day, and it was dry pretty quickly.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that was something that I noticed in the rain is they may need to look at some kind of a, of a rain channel or way of, of moving that water off of that one corner of the window. Because when it's raining and you roll down the window at all, something ha it's like basically like the, the bucket mode, you go into bucket mode. Cause like the water just starts pouring into the, onto the door card. Uh..
Matt Swartz: It happened on both sides.
Scott Brady: It did on the passenger side and on the driver's side. So I thought that was really interesting. There's something about how those panels are made, that it's just channeling 100% of the rain that's falling on the vehicle into that one spot. It's like it, it got really wet. Like it, it really did. I mean, I'm sure that they take into consideration moisture because it has [00:45:00] removable tops and all that. Like there's gotta be some consideration of it getting wet, but it seemed a little excessive on the water pouring in.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. Um, but yeah, I mean, that's kind of comfort. I found a comfortable seats adjusted, well, air conditioned seats, heated seats, heated steering wheel. Um, I thought kind of the layout of the cockpit was nice. You get two massive screens, you've got your, your screen with all of your driving information right in front of you, that's digital. And then you also have the massive infotainment screen, which is touchscreen. And it's also got a couple of rows of piano keys below it. And, um, those are kind of neat. They kind of, can they change based on the particular menu or screen that you're looking at on the infotainment system. So it's kinda neat because another, none of the keys are labeled, but as you go through the different screens, you can kind of see what, what the individual buttons are, are assigned to.
Scott Brady: Okay. I did like that they, they weren't ashamed to like, put the performance attributes of the car, very front and center with [00:46:00] those piano keys. So, you know, rear locker, front and rear locker vehicle stability control off, parking guidance off. So they were, they were very prominent. And I liked the fact that there wasn't too many buttons. I think it maybe EVs there's this desire to make everything super techie, where you can activate anything with a button or some multiple menu pushing, but it felt like everything that I needed the car to do was right there at hand, which I liked.
Matt Swartz: And all the ones you just mentioned, those ones are static. They don't change what the memory is. So lockers and things like that. Those are..
Scott Brady: I did notice that in order, um, cause it's coming to mind right now to activate the front locker. You have to be in terrain mode, which I did not care for because the train mode activates the one pedal drive. Um, I would like to be able to, in some other mode or maybe that maybe it's possible. And I did forget to ask the engineers this, [00:47:00] but maybe there's some way to do a custom menu so that you can be in like a maximum off-road performance mode, not high speed, low speed technical terrain. And then you can turn the front locker on and off without having to have the one pedal operation, which we'll talk about in a few minutes. But, um, the, the fact that it has a front locker is a great thing, but it requires five, six, second hold to turn the front locker on. Um, and I think that that's too long. I think that, and there needs to be some, maybe give it a confirmation on the screen, push it. And then are you sure you want to lock the front diff and then click yes, because there's no other indication that you've held it long enough.
Matt Swartz: Right.
Scott Brady: Other than that, it turns on, so. I think that can be improved probably with a software update.
Matt Swartz: That's the nice thing about that. Yeah. That should be something that could be changed.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I think you need to be able to toggle through the front and rear locker without having to hold it for, I think [00:48:00] it was six seconds every time.
Matt Swartz: Yep.
Scott Brady: Because there's, there's uh, on a technical trail, you can be turning the front locker on and off regularly. Um, and you got to come to a complete stop, do the whole thing, you know, it'd be nice to see it be a little more reactive.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. I agree.
Scott Brady: Or maybe you just agree to it the first time you do it and then it lets it, it turned on and off actively until the next time you key cycle the car, how did the high-speed stability feel on the road? Like did it feel confidence inspiring you driving at speed?
Matt Swartz: It, um, it did. Yeah. I thought so. You know, we had a couple of times. I did bury the accelerator and just kind of see perhaps right. As long as you're, you know, there's no rule about how fast you can come up to speed, as long as you don't exceed the speed limit. Um, yeah, I remember one in particular that was, it was, you know, it was a curving on ramp and I kinda went for it. And you said, trust it, trust it. And I did. And, um, [00:49:00] I mean it held, it held the line that I, I picked pretty well. I thought.
Scott Brady: I noticed that as well. One of the things that we look for, we call it traceability, but when you're in a steady state curve, like on that on-ramp or in a, a large sweeper or any, um, turning event, um, when you hold the line, does the vehicle start to under steer off of that line? Does it require a lot of correction from the driver? Um, is it very traceable? Does it continue to maintain that arc? Uh, without a lot of other inputs, if the. External factors haven't changed. So if the vehicle is very traceable, it has a lot of, um, has low driver effort. It actually, um, increases the steering, the feel of the steering waiting, uh, because it is an electronic steering system, but it makes it feel firmer at road speeds, which I also like, cause it is a big truck and you should feel like a big truck. Um, but then when you get off road, they lighten that up. And then the steering [00:50:00] effort goes very, very low, which I think is also really nice. It reduces fatigue while you're moving through the rocks and everything.
Matt Swartz: That's a good point. And I do, I do distinctly remembered those, those two qualities of like the almost effortlessly turning the wheel in the off-road scenarios and versus yeah. More, more feedback, more tactile feel to the wheel.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Yeah. I thought the on-road presence was great. And like, if you go from let's call it 40 to 75, um, it happens so quickly that the speedometer can't actually keep up with, with the speed increasing. Like it was, it was like skipping like five, six numbers at a time.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. Just jumping.
Scott Brady: It was unbelievably how unbelievable, how fast it was. Um, as you can tell in the audio, like we, we had a good time with that, with the speed of this thing. Uh, let's get into the off-road a little bit what do you think?
Matt Swartz: Um, I, I mean, it was such a pleasure. Like I kind of mentioned it before, but it [00:51:00] almost felt like the course was like a dance. Um, and despite the fact that you're in this very large vehicle, it's, it's kind of pivoting and just, just kind of gliding between these features. I mean, the suspension was, was very set. Um, there is a sway bar in the front, correct. And, but not in the rear. So sometimes there is a little bit more, um, abrupt motion, um, when you approached an obstacle, but usually the rear end of the vehicle felt a little bit more settled through some of those things. Uh, one of the things that really blew me away was I would attribute it to the traction control, but its ability to still accelerate very fast on loose surfaces.
Scott Brady: Sure.
Matt Swartz: And you really kind of demonstrated that to me through some of those washes that the course followed. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Well, you'd be able to, we were down in a gravel wash and you'd come out of a corner and we were just kind of cruising through one corner and then there's this straightaway ahead of us, and, you know, [00:52:00] heavily corrugated in the beginning because there's lots of wheel hop and even axle wrap from other vehicles, not, you don't really get much axle wrap from the, uh, the Hummer, nothing perceptible, but you do get wheel hop. And so there's these deep corrugations in the start of the straightaway and the fact that it could hook up as well as it, as it did. I mean, it would just launch, um, down that, down that a wash, it was pretty amazing. And then we did some panic stop testing as well, or threat extreme threshold braking, maneuvers as well. And in those deep corrugations, like it maintained a lot of traction, but you can tell that there was a lot of wheel movement and we were banging off of the stops as well. Like you can actually hear a couple of these hard kind of hits going through these corrugations. Cause again, the front end is dived down. So you have very little uptrend. Uh, because you're under all this braking pressure and now you've got these big holes from the corrugation. So you could really [00:53:00] feel the suspension, um, banging up against the bump stops, which was pretty interesting, but very, very neutral at speed off-road, which is what we typically want. A lot of manufacturers bake in a ton of understeer for safety. They'd rather you end up in the ditch as opposed to oversteering and then rolling. Um, so they bake in a bunch of understeer, but that is not the case at all with the, with the Hummer. And you can turn off vehicle stability control for the most part there's ways to even disable it more, which I don't know is a good idea to share, share to the masses. But, um, you know, I'm sure it'll come out on the internet at some point in time, but you can really let the vehicle operate very analog and the way that they've got this battery pack so low and so centered on the vehicle, um, it is actually quite quick to respond to steering input and even more so to steering under heavy braking input. So [00:54:00] that's what I'm looking for is this, is this vehicle under steering on me? It's taking me offline or is that, am I getting a lot of braking effectiveness? And then is it turning in at a high rate? Is it turning in appropriately based upon the steering input? And it would turn in really nicely and they also don't, they don't cut the throttle either. So I could be heavy left foot braking in a corner, the front end dives down the front end, hooks up. It turns in, and I can actually start feeding throttle, which starts to rotate the rear end out. And it's just, yeah, it's super fun. So it is truly a super truck off-road, uh, it has 13 inches of wheel travel front and rear. So that's long travel, um, which does a great job of absorbing impacts and wallows and other irregularities in the surface. Uh, but it's also a heavy vehicle too. So it's important off-road to know that you don't have anywhere near the grip that you do on asphalt. [00:55:00] So breaking distances are going to be longer than you may expect. It's 10,000 pounds mass in motion, you know, it's, if there's only so much traction available to those tires to slow the vehicle down. So making sure that you pay a little bit of attention to the fact that you got a freight train in motion, so..
Matt Swartz: Yep.
Scott Brady: But so high speed off-road is kind of what you would expect it to be super truck territory, very fast, very confidence, inspiring, stable, safe. Um, and then you can go into a couple of different modes that even make it a little safer as well. But then we got into some slow speed technical stuff too.
Matt Swartz: There were some kind of steep, quick up off camber things with like large rocks and some ledges and things like that.
Scott Brady: Crossed axle holes.
Matt Swartz: Um, I mean it, uh, traction was great through those areas. Um, I, I don't think we made it [00:56:00] through all of the obstacles on the first round through when I was driving without engaging the lockers.
Scott Brady: That's right. And, and it was raining.
Matt Swartz: And it was raining and, and that's, and that's not to say that the team didn't select a course, that that was truly challenging. Um, I mean, this was made to appeal to maybe a broader range of drivers. Um, some folks with a little bit less. Off highway driving experience, which is fine and reasonable, but these were not gimmies either. You kind of had to pick a line.
Scott Brady: You did.
Matt Swartz: And, um, yeah, it was really, it was really fantastic how well it did without even needing those lockers. But then we did test the lockers obviously, too, because there were, I mean, I say we didn't need them. I saw some of the other trucks get some wheels spin and, you know, have some challenges. And I like to think that, um, maybe we didn't experience that because of some of our trainings that we've done and, uh, maybe helped us.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Well, I think we, we did a good job of maintaining the right momentum through there. Uh, one of the main reasons that I choose to select at [00:57:00] least a rear locker in most cases is I don't want to damage the trail. Like it's like, we need to be good stewards of these places. And this was a beautiful. It had no trash that I could see.
Matt Swartz: I saw one balloon.
Scott Brady: Got it. From the people driving the typical Arizona. Yeah, you'll see yeah, mylar balloons everywhere, but it was a beautiful trail. It was fairly remote. Um, but just rich density of saguaro and ocotillo. And like, you don't want to tear the trail up because that's when they close them. So for me, I didn't want to have wheels spin. So I engage that virtual rear locker in almost every climbing scenario and it just completely exceeded my expectations. I think it also helps the vehicle a little bit because one of the places that an electric vehicle struggles the most is just right off that zero RPM. So, a good example of that would be like in Moab, you do the Moab bump over, [00:58:00] over a ledge and you'll push the vehicle up against the ledge and you'll try to press the front tires into the surface so that they get a lot of grip and they can climb up and over. And then there's another maneuver that you do with the rear axle where you kind of bounce the chassis up and then you feed some throttles so the front end pulls the rear up against the shelf, and then you can climb up and over it. But these electric motors don't do well at that zero ish RPM range like that very low RPM. They can't start to develop all that torque. So I noticed that by kind of keeping it moving very slowly. Um, you didn't get into as much trouble anytime we saw another driver struggle. It's because they got onto the throttle it's spun, they got freaked out and then they stopped.
Matt Swartz: Completely.
Scott Brady: And they're, they're on a steep climb and they're trying to get going again so you can see the truck is struggling to get going and spinning a little bit and the brake traction controls trying to arrest it. And I think that's a very difficult problem for electric vehicles to solve. [00:59:00] So as drivers, we have to learn to adjust a little bit for these electric vehicles and very slowly again, like slow RPM, um, low RPM, um, continue with a little bit of movement through these obstacles so that it doesn't have to restart from zero again.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, overall slow speed off-road technical scenarios. It just was great.
Scott Brady: It was really impressive. Minimal head toss. So it was really comfortable for the driver and the passenger. Uh, the camera views took care of any of the visibility problems that you can just get from the way that it's designed and the size of it. I thought that was really impressive. The tires were great. They were designed specifically for this vehicle to be a combination of off-road performance and on-road range maintaining as much range as possible. So that was impressive. 18 inch wheel, which, I mean, these are big, they're really big tires on there. You can see, you can see how big they are. Um, and then all of the, all, like all of the electronic [01:00:00] packages worked great. The one pedal drive is really interesting. It's kind of like, uh, left foot braking, but with just one foot. Um, so you start to accelerate and the vehicle moves forward. Um, you start to let off the accelerator. It actually starts to slow down. Um, and not just because of like what we had experienced with an engine where it's compression breaking, it's actually starting to apply the brakes, um, without you touching the brake pedal. So it'll actually, if you lift off quickly, it kind of parks. You like, it, it, it jerks you to a stop.
Matt Swartz: It does. And that was, that was in the low range, right?
Scott Brady: Correct. In the L.
Matt Swartz: And I remember one of the other drivers mentioned that they got on the radio and, and kind of asked because they noticed when we were driving in terrain mode in low, the brake lights were on, on all vehicles consistently. And they said, what does that mean? Do those ever go off? And the engineers kind of got back to us and said, it's because there is a little bit of brake being applied the entire time, and, [01:01:00] um..
Scott Brady: Yeah, and we did, we did smell a little bit of break smell at one point from one of the vehicles in front of us. In fact, the driver got up and did a walk around. Cause it, you know, he, he had been in terrain mode for clearly a very, very long time. So I think you want to move in and out of it, you want to be in terrain mode and really technical obstacles. But that's where I would like to see the front locker being available without one pedal drive. So if you're doing a long trail the brakes are going to get hot. You're using more energy from the battery than you need to cause you're having to overcome the braking. Um, I would like to see the ability to engage the front locker without one pedal drive and without the vehicle brakes being applied.
Matt Swartz: Sure.
Scott Brady: I think that would be an advantage, uh, front rear departure angles, front approach, and rear departure angles are great. Uh, you can improve the break-over angle with an air suspension. You can go into a high mode, um, there's rock sliders that come on this edition of the vehicle that really protect it. And then of course that full length boron, skid plating underneath. So quite the [01:02:00] beast on the trail and because of that four wheel steering, it's way more nimble than you'd think.
Matt Swartz: Oh yeah. Yeah. It was incredible. Again, just, I mean kind of dancing through these narrow sections of trail, like it drove like a much smaller vehicle than it is.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Yeah. It was, I think overall impressive, off-road.
Matt Swartz: Yeah, I totally agree.
Scott Brady: Well, what was your kind of thoughts around overlanding one of these things?
Matt Swartz: I mean, you know, uh, let's just quickly redefine overlanding it's vehicle based travel. So it's actually a pretty broad thing that we're defining with this one term. So I think, yes, absolutely. It could, um, you know, charging infrastructure is going to be one of the major considerations, but as we found out, we got a whole day of driving with hours of off-road off highway driving and, and we still had plenty of battery life left to get back to where we started, so..
Scott Brady: And most trails are fairly short. I think you could easily do the Alpine Loop. I mean, where I think you run into trouble is like, you want [01:03:00] to go camping for quite some time and you're, you've got fridges running and all kinds of other accessories that are drawing on that battery pack. I think that starts to be more of a consideration, but. At least in the 48 states, there's just not many scenarios where you're going to run out of range.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. And I think, you know, a lot of times when we use the term, overlander people tend to think of full-timers, you know, people who are traveling for months at a time. So maybe kind of what you just alluded to with, you know, needing a bunch of accessories or auxiliary things like those could draw some, or those could bring up some, some challenges for this particular platform. Maybe not ideal, but also realistically based on the price, probably not a vehicle everyone's going to choose for it, but that doesn't mean it couldn't do it. You, you talked about it has 1300 pound payload, so maybe for a couple, plus camping gear, you know, that's..
Scott Brady: Not a problem.
Matt Swartz: Totally sufficient. Um, it has enough of a bed that maybe we'll see some cool innovative company come up with a lightweight camper.
Scott Brady: Okay. Yeah. I'd love to see like, Go Fast style.
Matt Swartz: Yeah, exactly.
Scott Brady: I think [01:04:00] that would be, I mean, it is a Go Fast Camper. This is a go fast truck.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: It kinda, it kinda needs one on the, on the back. I think that would be really clever.
Matt Swartz: It might be the perfect test of the Huck ability of that camper.
Scott Brady: Um, yeah, no doubt.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. So you've got that bed. You've got the utility of the bed. Um, you know, and, and also there are some accessories that will be available right away that would be useful. So we saw one of the vehicles at the initial facility. It had crossbars and it also had, uh, some, some tower was, was it like towers on one bed, on the sides of the bed. And there was, uh, a rooftop tent.
Scott Brady: That was Freespirit Recreation rooftop tent up top, you can get two spare tires in the bed. Bunch of light packages, of course. Uh, but it, it would be very easy to, to camp out of that thing. And I think it's, it's much more of a North American overlander than we would think. And that's because it has a 350 mile range. Like we, we were able to experience an entire day of driving on road [01:05:00] and off, and we came back with a half full battery. So it definitely, I think will solve, I suspect it will solve most of the problems that a, a North American overlander would have.
Matt Swartz: And I think even in the back country, even for longer pavement bound road trips, I really think it'll do just fine here. Um, when you consider the fact that it can go from 20% charge to 80% charge in 40 minutes, uh, I mean, you're driving an internal combustion vehicle. You're going to have to stop to use the restroom. You're going to have to stop to refuel, maybe pick up a meal. It's like, it's not, it's not going to be that different in this vehicle.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That's very true.
Matt Swartz: Um, yeah. Yeah.
Scott Brady: I think there'll be a bunch of accessories that'll come out. I think integrating a winch with this will be really interesting. Uh, it'll be fun to see how people start to solve problems. Cause it is 10,000 pounds. So it's going to be, it's not going to do great in snow or sand or mud because it's not the Hummers fault it weighs 10,000 pounds. So you can only have so [01:06:00] much flotation needed even out of a 35 inch tall tire. So I think having a winch would probably be a good idea, so yeah.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Very cool. Well, any final thoughts on the, on the Hummer super truck?
Matt Swartz: Can I have one?
Scott Brady: Um, we just need one at the office for like I'm feeling a little stressed.
Matt Swartz: Yeah.
Scott Brady: It goes zero to not stressed in three seconds.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. I don't. I, nothing else comes to mind, man. We've we've covered quite a lot today. Yeah, I just it's cool. It's just so cool to see these, these vehicles coming about with so much innovation put into them. You know, I, I really now I want to go and watch the A and E documentary that was produced on this even more for a couple of reasons. One, we met a bunch of the people who are in the documentary featured prominently, and I would love to see, um, what the behind the scenes was like. And, and, you know, for those people that are unfamiliar, the timeline for production of this is like ridiculous.
Scott Brady: Two years.
Matt Swartz: Right. Which is what, like half of what a normal vehicle. And they [01:07:00] were designing it from the ground up.
Scott Brady: And during the pandemic.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. I mean..
Scott Brady: So it's really interesting how they accomplish that.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. So I think there's probably a really interesting story there. And so, yeah, I would love to go and watch that and just kind of soak more in about this.
Scott Brady: Yeah, we're seeing a vehicle like this from a major OEM, you know, we're not just seeing it from some disruptor tech startup. We're seeing an OEM deliver an electric super truck in two years with an enormous amount of capability and the manufacturing capability to actually deliver units. And they're already delivering Hummers today. So now they are booked out. I think they say till 2024 or something like that, that you can't even get one, um, get on the list or something like that. So it's impressive how many they've already sold, but it's going to be very exciting to see the big OEMs addressing EVs and making more and more interesting vehicles.
Matt Swartz: I was going to say, I think, you know, my takeaway is like, well, this is a vehicle I, I personally probably wouldn't [01:08:00] own for a variety of reasons. Not because it's not fun, you know, things like that. But you know, um, the development of vehicles like this, there's a lot that comes out of this that will trickle down into things that are maybe more accessible to a wider variety of people. And that's really exciting. I mean, that's, yeah.
Scott Brady: I think they've announced an electric Sierra, so we're going to see a half ton standard pickup with electric capability soon.
Matt Swartz: Yeah. Awesome.
Scott Brady: Well, thanks Matt. It was really fun to go out there and do that. We're going to have a full video on this on YouTube. It probably will have already launched, um, by the time that you hear this or on the same day. Um, so we've got uh, video coming out that Matt and I produced from the experience, you can see all of that stuff we were talking about, um, live as it's happening, including Matt and my's expression on the, on the zero to 60. Unless Paula wants to drop a little, a little easter egg into the YouTube video for the, for the podcast, but it'll be pretty fun to see the [01:09:00] video come together. We'll have a full article on Expedition Portal as well, and then also an article in Overland Journal.
Matt Swartz: Cool.
Scott Brady: Well, thank you, Matt. We appreciate you all listening and we will talk to you next time.