The Hummer EV Almost Brought Back The Avalanche’s Midgate

Illustration for article titled The Hummer EV Almost Brought Back The Avalanche’s Midgate
Photo: GMC

General Motors recently resurrected the infamous Hummer off-roader as the GMC Hummer EV. The all-electric truck has some neat tricks, like its dramatic Watts to Freedom launch control and the Crab Mode feature that allows the rear wheels and front wheels to steer at the same angle at low speeds, creating a “crab walk.” I love the little space exploration Easter Eggs and the giant light bar up front that also indicates charge level. General Motors had another trick up its sleeves with the idea to bring back the midgate, a prominent feature from the Chevrolet Avalanche.

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If you’re like me you’ve probably noticed two things about the GMC Hummer EV. It has a short bed, and that bed isn’t separated from the body.

Illustration for article titled The Hummer EV Almost Brought Back The Avalanche’s Midgate
Photo: GMC
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Admittedly, the design reminded me a bit of the first-generation Honda Ridgeline. And like the Honda Ridgeline, this presents a potential problem with the utility of the truck. What if you need to load something in the bed that’s longer than 5 feet? Well, one of GM’s solutions borrowed a feature from the old Chevrolet Avalanche: The midgate

Illustration for article titled The Hummer EV Almost Brought Back The Avalanche’s Midgate
Photo: Chevrolet

This feature allowed Avalanche owners to drop the window and wall at the back of the cab to add extra length to the bed. I think it’s a neat way to have a bigger bed without having a bigger bed.

Speaking to Muscle Cars & Trucks, Hummer EV Exterior Design Manager John Mack confirmed the GMC Hummer EV once employed this feature in early design proposals:

There was [a midgate] early on.

[...]

We opted for the functionality of the drop glass in the back. With the package layout and things like that it was not advantageous to pursue that one. And the 5 foot bed was kind of the industry standard in regards to price of entry in that segment.

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So, GM wanted to see the feature added to the Hummer EV’s list of neat tricks, but they couldn’t find out a way to make it work with packaging.

Personally, I’m disappointed that 5-foot beds seem to be the current industry standard for pickups. If I’m going to own a truck, I want to use every inch that bed offers. I used to own an old long bed Ford Ranger and it comfortably fit motorcycles, the contents of entire apartments, and piles of car body parts. A five-foot bed couldn’t fit my old Goldwing even with the tailgate down.

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That said, perhaps I’m in the minority about bed lengths as trucks with short beds continue to sell like hotcakes.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Loves all types of vehicles!! Smart Fortwo (05, 08, 12, 16), International 3800, VW W8, Jetta TDI (04, 12), Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Suzuki Burgman, Yamaha U7E, Honda CBR600

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DISCUSSION

shanemorris
Shane Morris

Even with the tailgate down, this bed isn’t going to fit... heck, even some smaller dirt bikes. I don’t think the bed is supposed to be functional for anything other than having a “dirty area” for those little runs to the Home Depot garden center. Anyone with real truck needs isn’t choosing the new Hummer.

The new Hummer is for Joshua, the VP of Sales at Big Sky Solar. He needs a way to show you he’s pulling in a cool $200,000 a year with subsidy-laced bonuses. He doesn’t ride dirt bikes. He doesn’t haul. But it’d be nice to have a bed for the tailgate party when Team USA Men’s soccer plays a friendly against Guatemala.