The Detroit carmaker just announced its partnership with Ganassi, and we suspect it may have something to do with raising the profile of its upcoming Hummer EV. Though I will note the EV in the race will be a spec car and not a race version of the new Hummer. Still, the partnership is noteworthy given Ganassi’s pedigree and its notable drivers. Off-road champion Kyle LeDuc and upcoming star Sara Price will pilot the Extreme E Hummers.
The spec car running in the series is based on Extreme E’s Odyssey 21. It was developed by Spark Racing Technology and unveiled in 2019. The E-SUV is a ground-up design from Spark, whose electric powertrain has an impressive output of 410 kilowatts to move the 1,633 kg racecars.
All teams Extreme E series — organised by the FIA for pure EVs on closed courses in what it calls an X Prix — will have the chance to dial in their machines, and this is how Chip Ganassi’s off roader looked prior to the Hummer partnership:
I think the GMC influence has produced a cooler version of the off-roader, and I’m quite a fan of the Hummer EV in its Extreme E guise. It’s like a Raptor-Hummer mashup and I love it.
It somehow looks more imposing, yet sleek at the same time. And though the render of the XE Hummer appears wider than the production EV, they are roughly the same size. The production Hummer is rumoured to be about 238 cm wide, which almost matches the 2.3-metre width of the racing rig.
But these two are nonetheless entirely different machines, readily apparent in comparing their output. In its highest trim, the Hummer EV nearly doubles the output of its motorsport sibling with 745 kW. Be that as it may, I imagine most drivers will seldom get the chance to go all-out in their Hummer EVs. Meanwhile, XE pilots will depend on wringing every last kilowatt from their machines.
And Extreme E is set to be an interesting series, with impressive teams facing off in remote locations around the world. The event will subject the E-SUVs to gruelling conditions and prove their off-road readiness once and for all.
It’s one thing to pitch EVs as the solution to urbanisation and greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s another altogether to convince enthusiasts that EVs will be equally adept to take on trails and go off-roading where range anxiety is real and extreme environments may hamper EV performance.