GMC is dressing up an off-road racer in Hummer EV costume
GMC is putting its Hummer EV on the international racing stage with a new partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR). Well, sort of. The big rig’s style will be applied to the Odyssey 21 spec racer that CGR will campaign at all five events in this year’s first-ever season of Extreme E off-road racing. The season begins this April and the all-electric racing class—the brainchild of Formula E’s founder Alejandro Agag and former Indy car driver Gil de Ferran—will travel the globe for its initial race season.
GMC’s multiyear sponsorship with the championship-winning Chip Ganassi Racing will see the Hummer EV’s signature grille and body styling cues showcased on the racing SUV. Both the race truck and production Hummer EV are 100-percent electric, boast four-wheel independent suspension … and that’s pretty much the extent of the similarities.
Just like in NASCAR where the race-bred chassis and motor don’t share much in common with the production-car-inspired grille shapes and graphics on the outside, the Odyssey 21 off-road SUVs are purpose-built with a tubular steel chassis and cage. Unlike NASCAR racers, which are far more powerful than their production counterparts, the Extreme E racers will use a 550-horsepower electric drivetrain; the production Hummer EV aims for 1000 horsepower. Still, the relatively lightweight racers should make for exciting, evenly-matched racing as they’re capable of accelerating from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds. And that’s despite their massive tires.
“I can’t think of a better fit than showcasing the look of GMC’s Hummer EV in Extreme E with Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. vice president, Performance and Motorsports. “Both GMC Hummer EV and the Extreme E series are designed to be revolutionary—to challenge perceptions of electric vehicles and to showcase their true capability.”
Each Extreme E team will use a mixed-gender team of drivers that will share duties behind the wheel, alternating between driving and co-driving. Chip Ganassi Racing will pair Stadium Super Trucks driver and motocross rider Sara Price with Pro 4 champion and Baja racer Kyle LeDuc.
“It’s truly an honor to represent GMC, especially during such an exciting time in auto racing,” said Chip Ganassi, CGR team owner. “The new GMC Hummer EV is going to be a game-changer in terms of how the world views off-road EV capability, and we couldn’t be more proud to represent GMC in such an innovative new series.”
Extreme E’s inaugural season will include five races in extreme terrain to promote electric vehicle capability.
Season 1 Calendar
- Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia: April 3-4, 2021
- Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal: May 29-30, 2021
- Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland: Aug. 28-29, 2021
- Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil: Oct. 23-24, 2021
- Glacier X Prix: Patagonia, Argentina: Dec. 11-12, 2021
GMC is taking reservations for the Hummer EV, but if you want to keep up with the version in Extreme E racing, keep your eye on GMC’s social media.