Payne: Hummer-inspired Extreme E racer unveiled, evoking dune buggy

Posted by Talbot Payne on March 18, 2021

Behold the GMC Hummer EV race car.

Chip Ganassi Racing and chief sponsor Segi TV unveiled their muscular Extreme E racing livery this week as the team prepares to take electric racing to the farthest reaches of the earth. The Extreme E racer will make its debut at the Desert X Prix in AlUla, Saudi Arabia on April 3rd — the same day the production Hummer SUV is unveiled during the NCAA tournament.

The Chip Ganassi Racing/Segi TV Extreme E racer is inspired by the GMC Hummer EV.

General Motors Co. says its future is all electric and the estimated $70,000 Hummer EV — produced as both a SUV and pickup — is a key part of that strategy. The Ganassi race team has made its mark in IndyCar and IMSA racing, and is one of 10 entered in the inaugural Extreme E season.

Like sister brand Chevrolet and its Camaro-inspired NASCARs, GMC’s Extreme E Hummer bears little resemblance to the actual production ute. The racer takes its design cues from GMC’s first electric offering with an apparently non-functional, six-slot Hummer signature light graphic — H-U-M-M-E-R spelled on each slot — anchoring the front fascia.

Similarly, the Camaro ZL1’s distinctive bowtie and headlight graphic highlight Chevy’s NASCAR — though the elements are non-functional stickers applied to a body designed to series’ rules. In addition to the front graphic, the “Hummer EV” logo is emblazoned on the windshield sun blind as well as on the rooftop. The red, white, and blue racer (the only American team entry) also carries the Segi TV logo.

Overall, the Extreme E looks like a super-sized dune buggy — sharing no chassis or body components with the Ultium battery platform that undergirds the production Hummer. The Ganassi/Segi TV entry is built on a battery-powered, 550-horsepower spec chassis called the Odyssey 21.

The battery pack has been developed by Williams Advanced Engineering, an offshoot of the Williams Formula 1 team.

The Chip Ganassi Racing/Segi TV Extreme E racer is managed by the race team of IndyCar fame. Segi TV is a streaming service dedicated to diversity and climate change programming.

In keeping with the series’ woke ambitions, Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc.’s Segi TV is a new streaming service dedicated to programming about racial diversity and global warming. The series’ mission is to travel to global venues that highlight what Extreme E says is a climate emergency. Gannassi has announced a female/male driving team in keeping with the series’ strict gender rules meant to promote “a level playing field.”

“What Extreme E is doing right now is pretty incredible,” said Ganassi female driver Sara Price, an experienced off-road racer. “It is going to be able to provide girls who have incredible talent that’s never been seen before, a chance to showcase it — that itself is huge for women as well as for motorsport.”

Price will be joined by co-driver Kyle LeDuc, the only all-American duo in the field. The series has attracted drivers from across racing disciplines including ex-Formula 1 ace Jensen Button, Australian Rally Champion Molly Taylor, and IMSA sportscar star Katherine Legge.

“I am extremely excited to be partnered with the Chip Ganassi Race team and associated with the Hummer EV to bring global exposure to issues like climate change,” said Sycamore CEO Edward Sylvan, himself a longtime go-kart racer. “The positivity of this race series along with the core values of this championship series are sure to resonate with our audience worldwide.”

The Hummer SUV will be produced alongside the EV pickup that the brand unveiled late last year. Both are slated for production at the Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center starting later this year.

The Extreme E series will globe-trot to five remote regions of the world — desert, ocean front, Arctic, rainforest, and glacier. It will be broadcast stateside by FOX Sports.

Season 1, 2021 Extreme E calendar:

Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia: April 3-4

Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal: May 29-30

Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland: Aug. 28-29

Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil: Oct. 23-24

Glacier X Prix: Patagonia, Argentina: Dec. 11-12

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