Hummer has demonstrated the functionality and fun factor of the “crabwalk” feature embedded in its upcoming born-again electric ute.
With the ability to steer front and rear wheels independently, the new all-electric GMC Hummer pick-up truck cannot only tighten its turns but also drive on a diagonal forwards or backwards.
The crabwalk feature makes getting out of a bog or sidestepping obstacles that little bit easier, something that could revolutionise off-road driving.
It could also make parking a heck of a lot easier – and turn heads in the process.
And as parent company General Motors demonstrated, there’s also the ability to have fun on loose surfaces when the front and rear wheels are turned in opposite directions.
During a test day at one of its winter proving grounds, development drivers sent the Hummer EV into a spin.
As well as crab walking across a blanket of snow, the Hummer EV performed some dramatic tight doughnuts, complete with snow spitting off the chunky off-road tyres.
Like the latest Ferraris, McLarens and some Mercedes-AMGs, the Hummer EV also has a drift mode that uses the car’s stability control electronics to hold a slide at a particular angle.
GM warned the driving was done by a professional driver on a closed course.
The crabwalk function is one of a number of features Hummer is injecting in its upcoming electric ute to make it more capable off-road. Car makers believe electric motors will make EVs more capable off-road by allowing precise and near-immediate control of torque to individual wheels.
The air suspension system also has an Extract Mode that can raise the car by about 15 centimetres to clear a boulder or get through deep water.
And for those wanting more fun, there’s a Watts to Freedom mode that lowers the car and prepares the battery pack for maximum power delivery – up to 745kW, or almost 1000 horsepower – to unleash a race car-like launch. The large pick-up truck is claimed to reach 60mph (96km/h) in as little as three seconds.
The Hummer EV will also debut audio company Bose’s Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement technology that shakes the seat and provides an artificial sound to boost the sensation of going fast.