New Model News

General Motors deciding to make a new Hummer pickup is actually on-trend

Hummer H2s sit on the lot of Weil Hummer May 17, 2004 in Libertyville, Illinois.

Photo by Getty Images

General Motors's Hummer brand was ahead of its time. While originally based on a military vehicle, the brand expanded to offer a few different large, chunky, gas-guzzling SUVs before the SUV craze really started to hit. Factor in the GM bankruptcy and you have a recipe for a failed project.

But the Hummer brand itself apparently isn't dead. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, General Motors will be resurrecting the name for an upcoming electric pickup truck. That's right, an electric pickup. In addition to the name coming back, the company is allegedly buying a spot during the Super Bowl and recruiting LeBron James to help sell it.

Chevrolet Buick GMC Rogers dealership sign A sign marks the location of a GM dealership on July 23, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Getty Images

Additionally, the article claims that the truck will be sold at GMC dealerships. AutomotiveMap reached out to GMC for comment, and as expected on speculative news like this, the company did not confirm nor deny the report.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra has committed to an electric vehicle (EV) future for the company's products and there have long been rumors that the first one would be a GMC pickup. This news fits into that mold.

Electric pickup trucks are coming sooner rather than later, it seems. Ford has committed to the F-150 being the platform for their EV pickup (and even have a video of a prototype towing a locomotive). Rivian – a startup with $500 million in Ford investment and equal that from Amazon – has both an electric pickup and an electric SUV coming. Another startup, Bollinger, is slated to build EV trucks and SUVs in Detroit. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk announced the Cybertruck recently.

Tesla Cybertruck Tesla recently debuted its all-electric Cybertruck.Photo courtesy of Tesla

An electric pickup truck likely won't be cheap. While we believe Ford is set to mass-market the electric F-150, the other trucks coming are likely going to have a premium price. This helps amortize out the cheaper products in the future, shifting the development cost onto buyers who aren't as price sensitive as the general buying public.

The first Hummer, the H1, was not cheap. People recognize Hummer as a premium nameplate. It makes absolute sense that an expensive EV pickup would have a premium badge, which is why the idea of it being a GMC made more sense than a Chevrolet. A Hummer sold at a GMC dealership? Jackpot.

Also, buyers are now purchasing pickups of all different prices. A new half-ton truck can quickly crest the $70,000 MSRP mark. A new heavy duty or Super Duty truck can easily pass $90,000. Buyers are no longer hesitant to shell out big money for pickups like they used to do on sedans.

Ford Super Duty Ford's Super Duty trucks can easily reach $90,000.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A Hummer pickup also lets GM continue their development of the EV technology that will eventually make its into their mass-market brands. It allows the company to charge more now and sell based on the hype of the nameplate as well as the fancy new technology. The product will attract EV fans and Hummer fans.

The real question is, "Will it look ridiculous?" Tesla's Cybertruck is the only electric pickup coming that looks significantly different from the 3-box pickup truck design we're all used to. While it's unlikely that the Hummer will be as extreme, it gives GM designers an opportunity to let loose in a way they wouldn't normally be able to. Hummers have always been ridiculous. There's no reason to change now.

Stay tuned because this segment is about to get really interesting.

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Chevy confirmed the new Z06 with 670 horsepower.

Chevrolet

After years of speculation, Chevy announced the mid-engine eighth-generation Corvette for the 2020 model year. Almost immediately, a new round of rumors took off around the potential for an even higher performance Z06 model. Chevy finally confirmed the car yesterday with a design and specs that improve on the standard Corvette in almost every way.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The new LT6 V8 features a flat-plane crank and an 8,600 rpm redline.Chevrolet

The star of the show is the new 5.5-liter flat-plane crank LT6 V8. The mill churns out an unbelievable 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, and can rev all the way out to 8,600 rpm. Power numbers aside, the sky-high redline lets the engine wail and scream in a way that we've not heard outside of Corvette racing cars. The hand-assembled engines are paired with a single technician through the build process and each unit carries a plaque with the builder's name.

To differentiate the Z06 from "normal" Corvettes, Chevy gave the car unique front and rear fascias, 20-inch front/21-inch rear wheels, and a configurable rear spoiler designed to improve high-speed stability. The Z06 is available with lightweight carbon wheels designed to reduce unsprung weight. The car itself is 9.4 centimeters wider than the Corvette Stingray to accommodate larger wheel sizes and incorporate larger cooling air vents on the side.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The Z06's interior features many upgrades over the standard car.Chevrolet

As a more track-focused Corvette, the Z06 comes with tech to improve performance and record drives. When in track mode, the Z06's Performance Traction Management system is activated, which offers five levels of torque reduction and brake intervention, and an electronic limited slip differential helps keep the rear planted.

Inside, the Z06 improves on the Stingray's cabin with seven interior color choices, three seat options, six seatbelt designs, and two interior carbon fiber trim packages. Chevy says that the car's interior has a bespoke and upscale feel that sets it apart from the standard Corvette, which itself already had a gorgeous cabin.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The Z06 is wider than the Stingray to accommodate larger wheels and bodywork.Chevrolet

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will be built at the automaker's Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. Chevy will build the cars in both left- and right-hand drive configurations when production kicks off in summer 2022.

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OTA software updates

Tesla rolls back FSD beta before issuing fix

Tesla issued a beta update but quickly pulled it back.

Tesla

Tesla's Full Self-Driving tech is currently in public beta testing, which means that the automaker allows a subset of its owners to download the software to their cars. Over the weekend, Tesla released FSD beta 10.3 and users started reporting issues almost immediately. Since Tesla's PR department is essentially CEO Elon Musk's Twitter account, he took to social media to outline the process to fix problems with the beta.

Tesla FSD Drivers reported issues with vehicle safety systems after updating.Tesla

Musk tweeted that public beta version 10.3 was rolled back to 10.2. "Please note, this is to be expected with beta software," he said. Issues began popping up with Tesla owners on various forums and on social media. Drivers reported that cars shut off active safety features without their input and some noted that their forward collision warnings and automatic emergency braking systems malfunctioned, causing the cars to apply the brakes without any apparent danger in the road ahead.

Tesla FSD A new beta was released this morning with fixes for the problems.Tesla

Early this morning, Musk tweeted again to note that beta version 10.3.1 is rolling out now, which would re-update users to the latest version with fixes. All of this illustrates how FSD is not final and has a way to go before it's ready for showtime. Developing software of any type is difficult work, made even harder by the fact that public roads are so unpredictable at times. So, while Tesla's public beta approach, which puts unproven functions into the hands of everyday drivers, may not be the most palatable for many of us on the roads at the same time, it's certainly netting the company plenty of data to work with.

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