Part of a wide-ranging General Motors presentation Wednesday to investors touched on the automaker's future electrification strategy and answered some questions about that powerful 11,500 pound-feet of torque claim for the upcoming Hummer EV supertruck.
GM President Mark Reuss revealed that the battery-powered truck coming later next year to GMC dealers will be offered with several drivetrain layouts.
"When we go to market, we'll have 1-motor, 2-motor, 3-motor versions, offering different ranges, different performance at different price points to meet the customers' needs whatever they may be," Reuss said.
It's near certain that it's the three-motor version of the Hummer EV that will crank out the claimed 1,000 hp and 11,500 pound-feet of torque. What Reuss didn't reveal is how the motors in the three-motor variant will be installed in the vehicle.
One possibility: an electric axle and hub motors on the other two wheels — which would not only mean four-wheel-drive capability, but it would also open up intriguing possibilities for turning and handling.
Tesla also plans to offer its upcoming Cybertruck with a three-motor lineup. But Tesla also has not divulged the mechanical layout.
Wheel hub motors have been tinkered with for years by a variety of automakers but have not made production for a number of reasons. They add a lot of unsprung weight, which affects steering and handling. Because the hub motors are so close to the ground — they sit just behind each wheel — keeping them cool, dry and protected from road hazards presents engineers with many obstacles.