Remember the Hummer, the civilian version of a military vehicle? It’s back, but now it seems its story is playing out in reverse.
GM Defense, the division of General Motors that produces products for military use, has given us our first look at the EMCV, a militarized version of the all-electric Hummer.
Let’s start at the top. Back in the ’80s, vehicle manufacturer AM General acquired the contract to build the US Military’s next light utility vehicle. “Light” in the sense that these weren’t actually tanks, but rather versatile transports that would perform multiple rolls, a “High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle,” if you will. AM General’s HMMWV or “Humvee,” went into service towards the end of the decade and came to cultural prominence in the 1990s as it was ubiquitous in news coverage during the Gulf War.
Which brings us to Kindergarten Cop. Yes, the film. As the story goes, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger became obsessed with the military vehicle while during the film’s production. He then harangued AM General into producing civilian models and became closely associated with the project, even featuring one in his film Last Action Hero.
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It didn’t take long for the Humvee or “Hummer” to be a highly sought-after status symbol for those with a particular need to express their chest-beating nature with their car. General Motors scooped up the Hummer brand from AM General, who then produced the H2 and H3, SUVs built specifically for the consumer market with the Hummer nameplate. By 2010, Hummer’s oversized schtick was out of style along with being outperformed by heaps of other SUVs that offered more practical utility and efficiency for far cheaper. GM shuttered the brand amid financial woes at the time, seemingly for good.
To the surprise of many, the Hummer returned in 2021 as a full-on electric utility vehicle. The GMC Hummer EV is a reimagining of the Hummer for the electrified era. Boasting over 1,000 horsepower and over 300 miles of range, the 10,000-lb utility vehicle is a bonkers screw-it-why-not exercise in developing an off-road EV with capabilities to rival competitors like the Ford F-150 lightning or Rivian and its off-road-focused utility vehicles.
Though some wondered out loud, there was no real expectation that the Hummer EV would see military service like its forebears, but the US Army had been testing one out for a while, giving the speculation some credence. It all comes full circle with the official reveal of the Electric Military Concept Vehicle or EMCV.
As reported by The Drive, the EMCV is a concept built by GM Defense that’s essentially a stripped-out Hummer EV but fitted with FOX performance shocks, heavy-duty brakes and 37-inch tires. The body’s been tweaked to be more mobile and versatile for military use. There’s also a 46-inch gun ring, something you won’t find on the Hummer EV’s online configurator.
It’s easy to see how the ability to move a great deal of personnel and equipment around with a fleet of near-silent trucks would be of particular interest to the Army. What’s also noteworthy is how much power the battery packs bring to the field in terms of powering equipment.
Time will tell if the US Military actually presses the EMCV into service, but if it does, it would be interesting to see if it could even come close to the original Humvee’s versatility.
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