New Model News

Is GM bringing Hummer back?

Rumor has it that General Motors is reviving the Hummer nameplate.

Photo by Getty Images

The electric pickup truck wars appear to be getting reinforcements. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that General Motors will revive the Hummer name and use it to launch new, all-electric pickup truck and SUV models under the GMC brand in 2022.

When AutomotiveMap reached out to GMC for comment, however, a spokesperson said, "The WSJ story is speculation and we don't have anything to confirm or comment on."

Hummer GM All-Car Showdown A Hummer is driven at the Annual Rollin' 24 Deep: GM All-Car Showdown held at Paramount Pictures on July 12, 2005 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Getty Images

Early in 2019, it appeared GM would be moving into this space with help from EV startup, Rivian. That deal fell through in February, however, and Rivian subsequently formed a partnership with GM's crosstown rival Ford. Ford is moving forward with an electric F-150 and Tesla reportedly received over 200,000 deposits for its Cybertruck just days after its unveiling. So it's no surprise that GM would build an electric pickup truck. What is surprising is the use of the Hummer name.

In the early 2000s, Hummer was the darling GM, selling over 250,000 high-priced, high-margin SUVs from 2002 through 2007. But, when gas prices spiked and the housing bubble burst sending the stock market tumbling, Hummer's sales followed suit. Just two years later GM sold fewer than 4,000 Hummers and pulled the plug on the brand.

The original Hummer H1 was a civilian version of the military-spec M998 Humvee, produced by AM General. Its very first customer was Arnold Schwartzenegger, who purchased two. GM expanded the line to include the H2, a full-size SUV built on its heavy-duty truck platform, and H3, basically a re-skinned and re-badged Chevy Tahoe.

H3T Hummer Truck A Hummer H3T truck is displayed prior to the start of the 2004 Greater LA Auto Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center December 30, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Getty Images

Rumors of a new Hummer have been around since 2018, but only gained traction in November of 2019 after the GM/UAW strike ended. In the settlement GM committed to keeping its Hamtramck, Michigan assembly plant open to build electric trucks for Cadillac, Chevy, GMC, and a mysterious "M-brand."

If ever there were a time to bring back the Hummer re-imagined as a high-end electric vehicle, this is it. Sales of luxury SUVs and trucks are at an all-time high as premium manufacturers flock to the segment. You can now get highly capable, high dollar SUVs BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Lexus, and even Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Mainstream manufacturers like Jeep, Hyundai, Ford, and Ram are expanding the availability of luxury features like heated and ventilated leather seats with contrast stitching, premium audio systems, and digital cockpits into their pickup trucks and SUVs.

Some have questioned the wisdom of reviving a name that is known for gas-guzzling as a brand for an electric truck. In an editorial just last week, Detroit Free Press auto critic, Mark Phelan wrote, "Not to put too fine a point on it, but a lot of people hate Hummer. Particularly the educated, wealthy, early adopters GM would want to attract with a line of electric luxury SUVs."

Will GM revive the Hummer? If the Wall Street Journal is correct, we'll know for sure on Super Bowl Sunday. They're reporting that LeBron James will star in a commercial for the Hummer during the big game. AutomotiveMap be keeping our eyes on this one and have more news on the new all-electric Hummer as it develops.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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New AWD performance car

The Subaru WRX is all-new for 2022

The new WRX's body cladding is already stirring up controversy.

Subaru

The Subaru WRX is a rally-bred performance car that offers a unique mix of rowdy all-wheel drive fun, a value price, and youthful styling. The car is long overdue for an update, though, and Subaru is doing just that for the 2022 model year. The fifth-generation WRX is all-new, and features a more powerful engine, along with several go-fast upgrades.

2022 Subaru WRX Both a manual and an automatic transmission will be offered.Subaru

A new GT trim joins the WRX lineup for 2022. It features a new automatic transmission, adaptive dampers, and drive mode selections. With various customization options available to the driver, the system offers up to 430 different settings combinations. The GT's interior adds Recaro seats wrapped in Ultrasuede with red stitching. The GT also gets exclusive 18-inch wheels.

Though still a Boxer engine, the 2022 WRX's powerplant is new and more powerful than before. It delivers 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as a broader torque curve. Subaru says that the larger engine plus an electronically controlled turbo wastegate and air bypass valves improve responsiveness and acceleration.

2022 Subaru WRX A larger 11.6-inch infotainment screen is on board. Subaru

All WRX models come with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel drive system and active torque vectoring, which can shift power to individual wheels that need the most traction. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a new Subaru Performance Transmission is available, which features faster shifts and other features to improve performance.

The 2022 WRX also gets a tech upgrade that brings a large 11.6-inch tablet-style touchscreen. It runs Subaru Starlink infotainment, handles HVAC and vehicle controls, and offers split-screen functionality for two apps to run simultaneously. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and HD radio. An upgraded version of the system also offers navigation with three years of free map updates.

2022 Subaru WRX Subaru will offer a new GT trim with upgraded suspension and finishes.Subaru

As it has done with many of its other vehicles, Subaru is equipping every WRX with its EyeSight suite of advanced driver aids. The packge includes lane departure prevention, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and more. A new available automatic emergency steering system works with the car's pre-collision braking feature to help avoid collisions at speeds under 50 mph.

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