The American giant is making muscles
What is it like to get a kick of 1,000 hp in the all-electric Hummer? How is the new Cadillac Lyric that has already arrived in Israel for maintenance purposes? And what about the Chevrolet Bolt? A visit to GM's holy of holies
Friday, August 19, 2022, 07:50 Updated: 07:55
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The Lyric is the first step on Cadillac's way back to the queen of American luxury, only on electricity (photo: manufacturer's website)
- "Do you know the route?"
the guide next to me asked me.
- "for sure!"
I answered with the super exaggerated confidence of someone who has just hit the track.
- "Then give it a head."
I didn't need more than that to leave the place in a cloud of dust, kicking up gravel that barely manages to make room for the four fat tires.
A slight blink and we crossed far beyond what seems appropriate for the off-road situation.
Nevertheless, the new electric Hummer has 1,000 hp. Yes, you read that right, both a Hummer and an electric one. Completely electric. 3 electric motors are responsible for moving the 4.1-ton thing, and they move it fast. Very fast. Fast as 3 seconds from a standstill for 60 miles (96 km/h).
A quick jump will also raise his nose as if he were on a launch pad.
The power that will come later will give the feeling that you are on your way to space (Photo: Manufacturer's website)
The name Hammer is mainly associated with a huge and gaunt fuel guzzler that looks at its best in the Iraqi desert landscape or when Schwarzenegger is used as a backdrop.
But what looks good on top of a dune, doesn't always translate to cash.
In the beginning the Hummer was a hit, the customers attacked but then came the crisis of 2008, the awareness of the bad impact of the huge SUVs that in the end only drive in the cities and the Hummer became a representative of everything that was bad in the car industry at that time.
In the process of its recovery, GM gave up marketing the Hummer, and simply closed the brand.
Like almost everything in the US, the fan base continued to pile up and from time to time mini-teasers were flashed that hinted at the return of Goliath to life (referring to Hammer, Schwarzenegger is still with us). So here, it happened. But in a completely different and electric format that should enchant everyone. Even those who loved him in the past and received much more in the new model (design, equipment, off-road capabilities and driving), and also for those who previously disliked it because it gave the impression of a polluting coal station - and now they have lost the main reason for hostility. And in the context of Schwarzenegger,
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Everything about this vehicle exudes terrain.
From how everything looks to how everything is operated (photo: manufacturer website)
So it's big, very big.
Very impressive and elegantly combines elements from the heritage, such as the blunt grill and the ventral shielding.
Climbing into the cabin will unfold before us the rest of the look, in an incredibly modern presentation.
With a digital dashboard (12.3 inches) and a multimedia screen that controls almost any 13.4 inch system.
The appearance, the materials, the options, all convey off-road, and accordingly also the equipment, such as a multitude of locks (electronic rear and mechanical in the front), separate air suspensions in each corner that raise the headroom up to 40 cm for challenging off-road driving and return it to a 20 cm space When you re-enter the road, and no less than 18 cameras that report on what is happening at every possible point.
Electric GMC Hummer (photo: manufacturer's website)
One of the interesting features is the unique 'Crab Walk' which is possible thanks to the four-wheel steering.
Usually with this kind of steering, the rear wheels turn opposite to the front ones to reduce the turning radius in urban traffic.
It exists here as well, after all we are talking about Jamus in Silverado dimensions.
But with the push of a button, it is possible for the rear wheels to turn with the front ones.
No one has that (for now), so you can drive diagonally.
It feels weird, and the feature might be effective in traversing an unruly boulder stuck in the middle of Utah, but GMs are also aware that it's mostly a nice gimmick.
Like the visualization on the multimedia screen when you switch to drag mode, then you see Hummer towing a space shuttle.
Nothing like a little self-humor to lighten the mood.
And if we're talking about an open atmosphere, then the roof itself is freaky, in a style seen in the near-competitors: Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco.
The parts can be stored in the non-engine compartment in front on dedicated rails (and there is also a special cover for an additional fee).
In doing so, GM solved a storage problem, and also poked a finger in the eye of the competitors who received quite a bit of criticism for the storage of the freak items (partially present in the Bronco and not at all in the Wrangler).
The off-roaders will be happy to know that the electric Hummer has separate air shocks in each corner with a ventral space of between 20-40 cm, front and rear differential lock and 35-inch tires as standard (photo: manufacturer's website)
Brutal stepping, causes the nose to rise as if the vehicle is launched outside the atmosphere
Driving the Hummer was very short, about 15 km, which were done only in the field, mostly on a dirt bike and with a close guide, who luckily was quite permissive. It's not really impressive driving, and hardly enjoyable. So I can't report here on driving qualities, road capabilities, Off-road manners, or electric range, and what can I say, with so much power it's a pleasure to accelerate this beast. Still, 1,000 hp and 1,500 kg - although the absurd kg figure is misleading, because at GM they are talking about Torque in the wheel after multiplying the transmission ratio, and not on torque from the engines.
But let's leave you with the numbers, brutal pedaling, makes the nose rise as if the vehicle was launched outside the atmosphere, and even at high trail speed, the silence in the passenger compartment is maintained, and the comfort is excellent.
It is also easy to take the vehicle out for a virtuoso skid, and to return it elegantly to the track.
And if you thought that Hummer gave up on engine sound, then think again.
Under the auspices of a fine system from the Boage company, the tone of the sound is simply perfect: a combination of a beefy gasoline engine with an artificial electric motor in a spacecraft compound.
The price is very expensive and in the USA is around 120,000 dollars. More expensive than the Porsche Tayken 4S in Israel currently costs NIS 875,000 and is expected to become more expensive, like the other electric models, in January 2023 due to a change in the tax calculation method. Next year, additional weaker and cheaper versions will be added, as well as an SUV configuration. The price will still be expensive, around $85,000.With us next year.
Cadillac's new recreational vehicle introduces the brand to the electric world.
The range is 500 km (photo: manufacturer website)
After getting out of the saddle of the Hummer, I sat down in the seat of the Cadillac Lyric.
A new electric recreational vehicle in the dimensions of an Audi E-tron.
I was less connected to the exterior design which from certain angles looks impressive and from others a bit heavy.
But put that aside and flick through the photos of Lyric and Hammer for a moment.
Completely different, right?
So that's it, under the skin they share a common foundation.
This is a new modular electric platform called 'Altium' (a moniker originally used only for GM's battery technology).
The innovation here is in the compact case and the ability to pack the panels inside the batteries vertically (for recreational models) or horizontally (for sports models, maybe a future Camaro).
According to GM, their technology allows for super fast charging with a substantial increase in range.
10 minutes equals an additional 160 km in the Hummer and 120 km in the Lirik.
When it comes to batteries, the difference between the Lyric and the Hummer is only the quantity: the Lyric has 12 packs, while the Hummer (and the future electric Silverado) has 2 packs of 12 stacked on top of each other.
More cases equals greater range, although the Hummer is significantly heavier, almost double, so the electric range in the Hummer is over 550 km and that of the Lyric is 500 km.
The passenger cabin looks great, the materials are excellent, while the human engineering requires improvement (photo: manufacturer's website)
Once again, launch conditions of a few tens of kilometers, on the closed test track of GM in Detroit, do not really allow for a real test. And although the track included different types of asphalt, a paved area (to test the durability of materials and assembly) and also some pleasant curves, here too it is a basic impression Only.
The closing of the door silenced the hustle and bustle of dozens of demonstration vehicles that are concentrated in a limited area. Set off and the first thing that strikes you is how quiet it is. Even on the rougher asphalt, and with absurd 22-inch rims, Cadillac managed to keep the outside outside. The second impressive thing It's the comfort of the ride. Even on the high-speed section of the road, which can loosen dental fillings, Lyric manages to smooth out the bumps and offer impressive comfort. A touch of levity, which fits perfectly with the reclining seats. But as the speed increased to an unreasonable area, what was missing was also revealed: restraint. Suddenly a wavy section in the road confused the suspensions which continued to move up and down, even after the section had passed.
The ride comfort is excellent, and the noise insulation is excellent.
But without restraint (photo: manufacturer's website)
Lyric's hospitality space is simply huge.
Not that it's surprising when the wheelbase is 309 cm - a parking signature larger than that of a Chevrolet Traverse. In front of the driver's eyes, and the whole world, there is a huge 33-inch screen that is responsible for the entire driving and entertainment experience. the habits of logic. For example, the direction of the front seats is done by an electric command on the door. All in all, comfortable and logical.
But should the seat cooling mechanism also be there?
Even after I returned to Israel, I wrote what you are reading here before forming a solid opinion about it.
We also got used to the whole world entering the screen, but do yourself a favor and release some shortcuts, such as choosing the driving modes.
On the other hand, there are highlights such as linear braking by pulling a lever behind the steering wheel, and not just switching between different degrees of braking.
With a rear electric motor that produces 340 hp, there is no lack of power and the initial movement is very agile. The pumping sensation moderates as the speed increases, although it is still very fast. If you want more, then next year a dual drive version with 500 hp will be added.
The price is over 60,000 dollars, which in Israel translates to about 350,000 shekels.
First models are already in Israel undergoing standardization procedures and towards planned marketing later this year.
Leisure version of the family highlight.
The appearance, dimensions, power, range, are similar to those of the electric Kia Niro (photo: manufacturer's website)
Remember the Chevrolet Bolt that was introduced in 2016 and was also supposed to come to us?
So from last year it has a raised brother, called Bolt EUV.
The two brothers share the same electric platform (which is different from the 'Altium' platform mentioned above), the power unit, most of the assemblies, the design of the passenger compartment... in short, everything except the dimensions.
Those of Bolt EUV are inflated in every direction, to give it a leisurely look.
Something in the style and dimensions of a Kia Niro.
The interior space is large and will satisfy every family need and the appearance is quite ordinary despite the excellent and quick to operate screens.
The materials are also more or less what is found in the group, high quality in the upper part of the dashboard and simple in the lower part of the console and on the doors.
This is a vehicle that should be mainstream, and as such it holds the right cards in hand.
The passenger cabin is spacious, and well equipped (photo: manufacturer's website)
A front electric motor that produces 200 hp is responsible for moving, which again is similar to what is offered in the group and this is also the actual result. For the distance, a 65 kWh battery guarantees a range of 397 km. They also meet the "electric family car standard". The comfort of the ride Good due to a soft basic calibration that swallows annoying disturbances, and perhaps also because the power is reasonable, and the weight is relatively reasonable, the suspension is better than Lyric's.
Besides all this, I had the opportunity to experience once again the capabilities of the 'Super Cruise' - GM's automatic pilot that allows hands-free driving on highways Mapped. Currently only in North America. It's a system that works great, even improved from the last time I tried it (in 2018), now that it also offers automatic lane change. Without a doubt, it's one of the more successful systems in the industry.
On the way to Israel: GMC in Danley, Corvette, Chevrolet Colorado, Tahoe and Suburban versions and in the future also an electric laser (photo: manufacturer's website)
Towards the bang
The little taster, in the long text written here, was part of a multi-model and even more future information event held by GM.
Here I only talked about 3 and a half models, but the event included a handful of new and renewed models such as the facelift of the Silverado, Corvette Z06, the GMC Sierra AT4X, Cadillac Escalade V, Blackwing versions of the CT4 and CT5 and more.
The event had two goals.
One, to show the world that even though the corona disrupted plans, the American giant just bowed its head a little to let the tiny virus pass over it.
To prove that the pause was well used to plan the next phase, which is already around the corner.
The second goal was focused on the Israeli market.
For years now we've only had a trickle of GM models.
This time the people of the importer promise - the story is different, and they have backing from the top of the concern on almost everything possible including Hummer, including GMC versions, 'Denley' editions and more.
Based on the warm attitude we received there, it seems that a multitude of models, versions, as well as new-old brands, are going to make their way to Israel.
We will only benefit from the supply.