GM has been going all out at CES and the latest tidbits we’re working our way through are a pair of little updates about the Hummer EV. These are one-pedal off-road mode, and the guitar-riff-laden sound designed to communicate the power of the EV.
The first is, pretty simple, but actually a solid idea. As we all know by now, EVs use regenerative braking. Essentially, they use the movement of the car to spin a wheel that charges a battery, slowing the vehicle down.
This is handy, because it means, in a surprising amount of real world cases, you can get away with not using the brake at all. On the road this is nice, but you wouldn’t really call it important. In off-road driving, though, it could actually really help.
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As you’re climbing over rocks or crossing a ditch, you really want to be able to switch between accelerating and slowing down quickly and having to move your foot from one pedal to another costs time that could end in a crunched bumper.
“Terrain Mode One-Pedal Driving” doesn’t just use regenerative braking, though, it also uses the friction brakes to really give you as much control as possible, according to Aaron Pfau, lead development engineer for the Hummer EV.
“It combines the fine control of the immediate torque provided by the EV propulsion system and the friction brakes to deliver a level of modulation that is beyond anything we could deliver from a gas or diesel-powered engine,” said Pfau in a GM presentation. “It is a smooth experience, providing finely modulated power control that can dominate the most difficult terrain.”
WTF Mode and a mix of electric guitar and Formula E sounds
Sounds pretty good. We also know that the Hummer EV will be able to provide power on-road, though, and that requires audio cues to help drivers understand what’s happening being that its powertrain is virtually silent.
As a result, this will be the first use of “Bose Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement Technology.” In the case of the Hummer’s “Watts to Freedom” launch control mode, as you depress the accelerator and prepare to launch, a sound will play through the speakers and the seats will even rumble to get you excited for the spring you’re about to enjoy.
“[The sound] incorporates guitar riffs, high frequency feedback, and inspiration from Formula E motorsports to communicate the sensation power and torque that you’ve unlocked in Watts to Freedom,” says Pfau. “It is a truly immersive sensory experience that brings you in direct contact with your vehicle.”
And it all sounds like a bucket of fun. The Hummer EV is expected to go into production this fall and will be sold as a model year 2022.