Between diagonal driving and ‘pull-out’ mode, the Hummer EV also tackles the desert with ease. At the head of the team that has worked to equip the electric Hummer with all those devices that make it unstoppable even on the roughest terrain, is Mike Colville, senior manager of GM and leader of the team that created the Crabwalk mode, who allows the Hummer to move diagonally, as does the pull-out mode, which literally lifts the Hummer from the deep ground, and the Ultravision, which adds waterproof cameras under the vehicle to avoid large boulders and the like.
Many of the features come from Colville’s experiences in off-road racing. In his career the GM manager has hand-built 12 cars that compete in endurance races and which can be powered by large V8 engines, up to 800hp, and fly across the desert at speeds of over 100mph. “It was scary, fun and exhilarating – Colville said of his passion for racing – and there was nothing I liked more than driving in the dust. I brought that competitive spirit to me.” It was also his off-road experience that brought him into the Hummer project.
Just back from China in 2019, where he developed performance features for cars, he enjoyed talking about off-road racing with Josh Tavel. Tavel was the lead engineer on the Hummer project, so he invited Colville to the team. “In my racing car – said Colville – I was constantly breaking half-shafts and so I designed something to protect the Hummer’s half-shafts”. Ride height control was another feature Colville wanted because ground clearance, especially when rough, is an important factor for off-road racing. Hence, the Hummer’s ‘pull out’ mode, which lifts the car up to 6 inches to allow it to overcome obstacles.
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