# Putting the GMC Hummer EV SUV’s 11,500 LB-FT of Torque in Perspective—It’s Actually a Lot Less

#### Wherein we compare GM’s reported torque figure for the Hummer EV to other torquey trucks and SUVs.

*Read more about the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV and everything it offers by clicking here. *

A separate story on this site on the GMC Hummer EV truck and freshly revealed SUV's technical highlights has debunked the jumbo 11,500-lb-ft torque figure GMC has been bandying about for top-performing models in its forthcoming Ultium-based electric models. (Long story short, the number incorporates the multiplicative effect of the drive ratio, which is unlike other manufacturer-supplied torque numbers, including those from GM.) Now let's dig a little deeper, make some educated guesses about the actual torque specs for the entry-level Hummer models, and put those heroic wheel-torque figures in some perspective by doing some comparison with other torquey trucks and SUVs.

### First, a Refresher: What Is Torque?

When talking about motors and engines, torque expresses how much *work* the device is performing, while power refers to the *rate* at which that work is being done. Each "pound-foot" of torque represents enough work to lift up one pound by one foot when working against Earth's gravity. (The latter point is worth noting, given there's a Tesla headed for Mars orbit.) Late in the 1700s, Scotsman James Watt determined that the typical draft horse could lift a 550-pound load one foot into the air in one second, and this came to define the mechanical "horsepower." To compute the work done by a motor or engine whose rate of operation is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm), power is determined by multiplying torque (lb-ft) times rpm and dividing by 5,252 (that's 550 pound-feet/sec times 60 sec/min divided by 2 x Pi radians/revolution).

Now, you can appreciate the mathematical conundrum posed by a truck claiming 1,000 total horsepower (or 830 for the SUV) and 11,500 total lb-ft (dividing these peak figures by three on account of three motors doesn't change anything). Let's assume the motors make peak torque at zero rpm and maintain that peak for a while. Horsepower will reach 830 at 379 rpm, and 1,000 at 457 rpm. In order for those to be the power peaks, the torque output would have to be plunging downward by that point, to something far, far, far less than 11,500 lb-ft, which wouldn't make the Hummer very useful.

### Wheel Torque Versus Shaft Torque

So that 11,500 lb-ft figure represents combined torque at the four wheels after multiplying by the "leverage" afforded by the reduction-gear drive. Higher numerical gear ratios provide more leverage. Industry folk call this "shorter" gearing, because it limits the vehicle's top speed, while "tall" gearing (numerically lower) enables higher top speeds.

We recently learned that all Hummer EV 3X and First Edition models will attach the front motor to a 13:1 single-speed reduction drive. With two motors driving the rear axle, there's less need for torque multiplication there, so those motors each spin a 10:1 reduction drive. If we can assume all motors are identical in spec and receive the same amount of power, then the combined shaft torque pencils out to 1,045 lb-ft (that's 348 lb-ft per motor). Now, we can imagine peak torque lasting for 4,000 rpm or more before gently tapering, with peak power possibly arriving in the 5,000 rpm or higher range (such dyno curves are seldom divulged for electric motors).

A quick note about in-wheel hub motors: These often boast very high torque numbers to go along with more modest power figures. That's because most don't benefit from any of the torque multiplication provided by axle and transmission gearing. The good news is they often feature a larger diameter that places the magnets and field windings farther away from the axle, where they inherently generate more torque. And with tires the size used on a Hummer EV, a road speed of 100 mph equates to less than 1,000 rpm for the wheels, so the math outlined above never becomes problematic.

### What's the Torque on Two-Motor Models?

GMC has announced power and torque peaks of 625 hp and 7,400 lb-ft for the two-motor Hummer EV 2 and 2X models, but is still guarding most other details of these variants, which are scheduled to follow the 3X and First Edition models to production by several months.

All we were able to determine is that they will utilize the same reduction drive ratio front and rear, and that said ratio will fall between the ratios used for the front and rear on the three-motor models. A 10:1 ratio would result in 740 lb-ft at the shafts, 13:1 would mean 569 lb-ft; our gut suggests the ratio will fall closer to 12:1, for 617 lb-ft total or 308 lb-ft at each shaft.

### GMC Hummer EV Pickup Versus Competitors on Wheel Torque

It shouldn't surprise many folks to learn that the heavy-duty dually 4x4 diesel pickups all provide more max wheel torque from launch than the Hummer EVs: 14,129 lb-ft for the Chevy Silverado 3500 Duramax, 16,528 lb-ft for the Ram 3500 Cummins HO, and 19,868 lb-ft for Ford's F-350 Power Stroke. Of course, even a base Ford F-150 3.3-liter V-6 4x4 in low-range develops more than 11,000 lb-ft of wheel torque. That truck's gas engine has a smaller torque plateau than the Hummer, though, and even with 10 transmission ratios, its wheel-torque peak could be a bit uneven and it'll start to decline below the Hummer's number at a low speed. The vast torque plateaus and multiple gear transmissions in the heavy-duty pickups mean they can probably continue to make better than 11,500 lb-ft of wheel torque well past the speed at which the Hummer's peak wheel torque begins to taper off.

Against the electric pickup competitors for which we know or can guess the relevant specs, the GMC Hummer EV ranks highly. The Tesla Cybertruck could eclipse it with shorter gearing (we don't yet have any firm stats on that one), and the Rivian R1T appears to trail just slightly at 10,363 lb-ft of combined wheel torque.

Pickup Truck Wheel-Torque Leaderboard |
||||||

total peak engine/motor torque (lb-ft) | axle ratio (:1) | 1st gear ratio (:1) | low range ratio (:1) | max wheel torque, high range (lb-ft) | max wheel torque, low range (lb-ft) | |

Ford F-350 4x4 Power Stroke | 1,050 | 4.10 | 4.62 | 2.64 | 19,868 | 52,450 |

Ram 3500 Cummins HO | 1,075 | 4.10 | 3.75 | 2.64 | 16,528 | 43,634 |

Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Duramax | 910 | 3.42 | 4.54 | 2.64 | 14,129 | 37,302 |

GMC Hummer EV Pickup |
1,045 |
11.00* |
1.00 |
- |
11,500 |
- |

Tesla Cybertruck | 1,000 | 11.00* | 1.00 | - |
11,000 | - |

Ram TRX | 650 | 3.55 | 4.71 | 2.64 | 10,868 | 28,692 |

Rivian R1T | 829 | 12.50 | 1.00 | - |
10,363 | - |

Ford Raptor | 510 | 4.10 | 4.69 | 2.64 | 9,807 | 25,890 |

*11:1 is the average of the Hummer EV's 13:1 front and two 10:1 rear ratios; 11:1 is purely an estimate for Tesla |

### GMC Hummer EV SUV Versus Competitors on Wheel Torque

The performance SUV world looks a bit different, however. Low-range gearing is rare on high-performance SUVs, with the exception of the Mercedes-AMG G63, which narrowly beats the Hummer in high range, with 11,594 lb-ft of wheel torque, and kills it in low-range wheel torque (33,972 lb-ft). Hummer edges out the Hellcat-powered Dodge Durango SRT and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk utes, which each develop 11,240 lb-ft total. The European torque-monster utes from Bentley, Lamborghini, and Porsche all register four-digit combined wheel-torque figures. Among e-SUVs, the Rivian R1S appears to register closest at 10,363 lb-ft, while Tesla's Model X Plaid generates a mere 6,959 lb-ft—of course, who knows what downloads Elon will roll out to reclaim the high ground for Tesla once the Hummer EVs start rolling out of GM's Factory One.

SUV Wheel-Torque Leaderboard |
||||||

total peak engine/motor torque (lb-ft) | axle ratio (:1) | 1st gear ratio (:1) | low range ratio (:1) | max wheel torque, high range (lb-ft) | max wheel torque, low range (lb-ft) | |

Mercedes-AMG G63 | 627 | 3.45 | 5.36 | 0.61 | 11,594 | 33,972 |

GMC Hummer EV SUV |
1,045 |
11.00* |
1.00 |
- |
11,500 |
- |

Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat | 645 | 3.70 | 4.71 | - |
11,240 | - |

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk | 645 | 3.70 | 4.71 | - |
11,240 | - |

Rivian R1S | 829 | 12.50 | 1.00 | - |
10,363 | - |

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E Hybrid | 663 | 2.95 | 4.71 | - |
9,212 | - |

Bentley Bentayga | 664 | 2.85 | 4.71 | - |
8,913 | - |

Lamborghini Urus | 627 | 2.86 | 4.71 | - |
8,446 | - |

Tesla Model X Plaid | 841 | 8.28 | 1.00 | - |
6,959 | - |

*11:1 is the average of the Hummer EV's 13:1 front and two 10:1 rear ratios |