In June 1990, the Earth’s macho man Arnold Schwarzenegger was filming a 6.7-rated movie in the American Northwest.
It was a small step for the film industry, but a significant one for the automotive industry. At the scene, Schwarzenegger encountered a fleet of 50 military Humvees, which would later resemble the political landscape. He stopped to watch and announced resolutely, “I must have one.” According to an unauthorized biography, his agent said he went insane like a monkey on the spot.
Under the influence of protein powder aesthetics, Schwarzenegger contacted AM General, the manufacturer of the Humvee (which was later transferred to General Motors in 1999), and strongly urged them to introduce a civilian version. After two years of insisting, the civilian version of the H1 was finally launched. Every Hummer enthusiast owed Schwarzenegger a movie ticket.
Apart from the addition of air conditioning and a radio, the civilian version of the H1 was useless as a civilian vehicle. It was rough, uncomfortable, and impractical, with helicopter hooks on the engine hood for paratroopers, which, however, was in high demand.
Of course, Schwarzenegger was the first global Hummer owner to take the delivery. He also embodied the typical image of a Hummer owner —— a pure man with a strong masculine aura.
Until I participated in the joint test drive of General Motors’ high-end imported cars organized by “Dorongge,” including the all-new Hummer EV. I found that the strong masculine aura was not only a mask of male hormones but also a defense mechanism against the old-fashioned patriarchy, especially in the automotive industry, where it is a new weapon to deter those who want to be fathers inside and outside the car.
## New Deterrence Weapon
Civilian Hummer has never abandoned its military implications.
Some teachers call it Humvee, but Humvee specifically refers to the military version, while the civilian version is called Hummer. It is not only burly, but also deliberately crafted to be burly, just like a muscular man is more likely to find occasions and angles to show off his muscles. The standard configuration of 18-inch rims and 35-inch all-terrain off-road tires can be upgraded to 37 inches, lifting the chassis and raising all components above the waistline, matching shallow windows and vertical sidewalls, highlighting the sense of expansion as if holding one’s breath for 20 years.
Even without talent, direct destructive power can be generated solely by its body – not just the destructive power of easily pinching one’s groin when short-legged people get into it.
Last week, the recently launched “Call of Duty：Warzone 2.0” provided interesting evidence. The game just introduced the Hummer EV as the latest vehicle. Although the press release touted its off-road capabilities, players quickly found the correct way to use it – directly using the car body as a weapon for crushing hits.
Its size is similar to many World War II tanks, and weighs nearly 9,000 pounds (about 4 tons). Imagine this thing appearing in your rearview mirror, getting bigger and bigger, so big that suddenly the left side turns black – you will understand the profound meaning of Hemingway in the artificial eclipse: man can be destroyed, but not defeated. Because at the moment of defeat, there is no chance for the experience.
At the same time, you will also be grateful that the real world still has laws. Because those who make it or own it somewhat lack common sense control. There is no normal driving scenario that requires such excessive redundancy in qualities and abilities.# Hummer EV
The Hummer EV is equipped with three motors, with a maximum power of 1000 horsepower and a maximum wheel torque of 15,592 Nm.
These parameters are presented in the Watts-to-Freedom (WTF??????????) launch mode with an amazing degree of alignment of the driver’s name. The center screen first plays a cool animation to set the atmosphere, and then the car body lowers down as the battery cooling system and inverter are prepared. There seems to be a surging electromagnetic wave under the butt. Then, you step on the brake and accelerator, release the left foot, the car jumps like a beast, ignoring Newton’s second law of motion, driving the heavy body to nearly 100 km/h in just three seconds.
With the amazing off-road capability, the Hummer EV heads towards the mountain. In off-road mode, the adaptive air suspension can be raised by 15 cm, the response of the accelerator is dulled, the speed is limited to below 20 km/h, and the rear wheel steering ratio is doubled compared to default. There are 18 cameras around the car (including one under the car) that can display real-time views and all parameters including suspension/distance/tilt/torque distribution of each wheel/GPS coordinates on the center screen.
Traditional off-road driving experience and route planning requirements become insignificant. No matter how steep the slope, or how big the rocks, you can push it hard and let it survive. You feel like a loophole in the universe’s cause-and-effect karma. There is no such thing as an idyllic life, only nobody can carry the burden for you.
Electricity brings double bravery and unprecedented exquisiteness.
For example, the front grille of Jeep, the ancestral seven-grid grille that Chrysler tried hard to prevent, was joyfully cut into six grids under the new electric design, with each letter radiating high lumens.
Opening the hood reveals a spacious and exaggerated front compartment. A regular front compartment can fit one piece of luggage, showcasing integrated technology. Meanwhile, the front compartment of a Hummer is enough to hold an illegal immigrant with luggage, demonstrating political attitudes and magic. More prominently, the removable roof and sunroof can be placed in the front compartment after removal, allowing you to own an open-top Hummer.
The car’s UI is thought-provoking. General Motors found the game development company Epic Games (Fortnite!) and utilized its game engine technology to create real-time 3D for the central control display. Then, they combined it with the visual designs of Perception, a future technology design company that contracted for the sci-fi devices and scenery of the Marvel universe, from Stark Industries’ holographic screen to the entire Wakanda. Top-tier Hollywood movies come to life in the Hummer EV.# Hummer EV After Cyber Renovation
Through the grabbed icon, the loading animation of each special skill, and real-time visualization, it provides complex and oversaturated information. It subverts the intuitive and simple humanization of the current mainstream mobile UI. You may think that I’m making trouble, but I think reasonable diversity is always cooler than the unanimous solution, especially since the phone is not something fancy.
The game texture of this UI conveys the professional and global side of technology. It cannot represent the trend of the industry and is difficult to reuse in other products with different temperament. It is designed specifically for Hummer, maintaining consistency with the underlying logic of the entire vehicle, and showcasing the advanced resources and heritage.
After the Cyber Renovation, what can we say about the Hummer EV?
In the era of fossil fuels, Hummer once had an advertisement with a self-promoting label, which was only aired once during the Super Bowl in 2006. A counterfeit Godzilla was trampling the city crazily. After meeting the steel giant looming toward it, they fell into an equally matched love affair. After skipping a lot of suspicious plots, Ms. Godzilla gave birth to a Hummer in two seconds.
It traveled among the ruins as soon as it got off the ground, and the subtitles faded in affectionately: “This is a little monster.”
In the electric era, while retaining the high strength, Hummer EV cuts off the primitive, wasteland, and redneck roughness. To put it in analogy, it is more like a combination of modern technology and ancient divine power synthesized in Neil Gaiman’s fantastic story, such as Wonder Woman and Batman.It optimizes the masculine energy in a more civilized way and avoids projecting a personal unilateralism that is not pleasing. This has been a major controversy plaguing Hummer for a long time.
The dilemma of the masculine American
Hummer is a typical American car.
Even compared to other typical American cars, it is larger, more ornate, and expensive, making it a monument to American consumerism. This alone has a fatal charm for many Chinese people. In fact, the aesthetic preferences of the Chinese and American people are very similar.
It is also a car that represents the changes in American society, similar to the Humvee that gained fame during the Gulf War and the Hummer that peaked during the Iraq War. Between 2002 and 2009, over 300,000 Hummer vehicles were sold. Under the background of anti-terrorism and energy wars, an invisible crisis was permeating public sentiment, and the additional sense of security became the driving force behind the purchase of Hummer. Its military representation was promoting national interests in the Gulf, what could be more secure than this?
During its heyday, Hummer was the only brand under the General Motors umbrella that did not offer discounts. According to a report from The New York Times, in the early 2000s, more than a quarter of Hummer owners were women, and many women played a significant role in men’s purchasing decisions.
At the same time, the war intensified the anxiety of American straight men about masculine energy. A research book called “Masculinity in America” pointed out that in 1994, a new English vocabulary word “metrosexual” appeared, referring to urban beautiful men who hold liberal political views (or in other words, effeminate straight men). It marked that the social structure of male masculinity was undergoing significant changes, but it also made some men feel threatened by their traditional masculinity, motivating them to prove their love for the traditional masculine manhood even more.
Driving a Hummer, which is unnecessary, is one way to prove oneself, just as buying firearms that will likely never be used is another way. Hummer was very good at capturing the zeitgeist, and they even launched a Hummer fragrance, a mixture of “masculine energy and excitement,” that makes one spray will be transformed into a full-fledged man.
Of course, not everyone likes the Hummer, and “hatred” may be a more accurate term for the sentiment directed towards it.
One important reason is that the Hummer is the least fuel-efficient passenger vehicle in the United States, with a mileage of 10 miles per gallon, which is equivalent to 28 liters per 100 kilometers. Needless to say, the leftists won’t stand for it. Extreme environmentalists have even launched attacks on a car dealership in California and burned 20 Hummers.
The animosity is not only towards the Hummer brand, but also towards its owners. In many reports at that time, Hummer owners were subjected to verbal insults, gestures, and even notes of ridicule. There were also many websites specifically dedicated to opposing the Hummer. They were considered Earth killers, lacking social responsibility, and driving rednecks’ parade floats, or even lacking basic morality.
Public criticism has given the Hummer another layer of connotation – personal freedom. In the eyes of Hummer owners, driving a Hummer is just and righteous. They are defending why America is America, and everyone has the freedom to drive the biggest and ugliest gas-guzzlers. The villains are those who try to deprive others of their freedom with lofty ideals and narrow-minded reality, such as Prius heroes.
Of course, such ideals of freedom are fundamentally steeped in American exceptionalism and the sophistry of individualism. One person’s freedom is limited by another person’s freedom.
What ultimately ended all disputes was poverty.
The 2008 subprime mortgage crisis dealt a heavy blow to the Hummer.
That year, oil prices soared to $4 per gallon (which seems laughable today), and many people who bought Hummers when oil was only $2 per gallon suddenly couldn’t afford to drive them during the economic downturn, resulting in a 3.4% decrease in mileage across the United States. Once frightened, it is hard to recover. By 2009, despite falling oil prices, only about 9,000 Hummers were sold in the United States, compared to 71,000 in 2006.
Not one luxury SUV/pickup truck remained unscathed. They no longer needed long waiting lists, and had to offer record-breaking terminal incentives, with average rewards four times higher than 2003 and 2004, but sales continued to decline, with less than half of buyers choosing to repurchase. Most people turn to cars or smaller, cheaper, and more practical SUVs/pickup trucks instead.
Poverty made Americans start to think seriously about costs, not only personal costs of buying and using cars, but also the national defense costs of protecting the U.S. against its dependence on foreign oil. When the Middle East crisis and energy consumption became relevant issues, the criteria for masculinity began to change. The true justice of a mature man lies in those who care about giving back to society, like the Prius and later the Tesla owners.
Sociologists give some explanations from the bottom level. The impact of economic recession on men is greater, and they are no longer the “breadwinners”. The role changes force men to rethink how they define themselves, and hence to redefine the range of masculinity and manliness.
By 2010, General Motors had to shut down the Hummer, which had an annual sales volume of 3000 vehicles. They had tried to sell it to a Chinese company, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery, but at that time, as China tightened its environmental policies and prepared to enter the fast lane, the financial markets tightened accordingly, and the deal failed.
As the Hummer falls, a new era of electric cars begins.
A World of Equals
The Hummer EV is still huge, luxurious, and expensive. The most expensive Edition 1 is priced at $112,595, or about 740,000 RMB. It will have the opportunity to be imported into China through GM’s “Daolang” import platform, which may make the price even higher.
For some extreme environmentalists, the Hummer EV is still an energy monster, much like its fuel-guzzling predecessor. It is equipped with a huge battery pack, with a capacity of about 212 kWh, equivalent to the total battery capacity of both the Model S Plaid and the Model X Plaid, but with only a range of 350 miles (about 563 kilometers).
A YouTuber recently tested the charging cost, which took 152 minutes from zero to full, costing $96.89 (pre-tax). Of course, there are some tricks involved. First, no owner will charge from 0 to 100%, which greatly increases charging time; second, American owners usually get discounts with charging memberships (about $70), and the cost can be controlled at around $30 with home charging.However, what is important is that it achieves zero emissions at the very least. In its overall plan, General Motors aims to achieve global carbon neutrality in its products and operations by 2040. To achieve this goal, they plan to achieve full electrification by 2035. At General Motors Tech Day last night, they also revealed the timetable for the fast lane, planning to quickly launch more than 15 electric vehicle models based on the Altium platform in the Chinese market before the end of 2025.
In the United States, the Hummer EV, imbued with the new era’s masculine aura, has become very popular, with approximately 90,000 cumulative orders – half pickup trucks and half SUVs. Due to severe supply constraints, General Motors has ceased taking orders.
This has resulted in a surge in the resale price of the Hummer EV. At a October auction, a used Hummer EV sold for $225,000 — twice its retail price, truly a massive bargain; in July, another used car sold for $324,500. Even this badly damaged accident car attracted a bid of $69,000, but it failed to meet the seller’s expectations and was withdrawn.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal in July, General Motors’ Factory Zero, which produces the Hummer EV, is exceptionally slow, producing only 12 vehicles per day. At this pace, it would take 20 years to deliver all the pre-orders in hand. The report also mentioned that a General Motors spokesperson stated that production would increase substantially in the second half of this year.
As for Chinese consumers, it is impossible to arrange this year. General Motors China announced the Daolangge platform in September and did not even open pre-orders this year. Based on limited information, the lineup will definitely/maybe include: the Cadillac Celestiq, Hummer EV, Corvette… Daolangge is still collecting feedback to find the right product mix to introduce.In addition to being expensive, these products with different styles represent the diverse characteristics of American cars, from the extravagance of capitalism to the hardcore technology of quasi-military hegemony, to the racing passion of Detroit tradition, each representing very different lifestyles. Bottom line – providing Chinese consumers with rare and unique choices in the market.
Compared to selling cars, the focus of DoronGe, as a platform, is more on building a community. They hope to establish an elite community, laying the foundation for future co-creation. It looks a lot like the concept of certain WeWork, but General Motors has its own set of values.
Dean Sciole, chief marketing officer of DoronGe, told us that the “Lead the Moment” of DoronGe advocates a sense of mission and encourages everyone to do something meaningful. “Our members want to contribute to society, benefit the people around them, not just for themselves. This is the value we want to promote, and we also hope to attract like-minded friends on the platform.”
For example, Chen Kun, one of the first members of the DoronGe community, has a public welfare project called “The Power of Walking,” which calls on more people to find positive energy in life through walking. This is very much in line with DoronGe’s philosophy.
Another member, entrepreneur Tang Sujun, opened her own resort hotel in Yunnan and is committed to protecting the local culture and environment. She is also a leader of many public welfare organizations and focuses on bird conservation and education. This is also very much in line with the philosophy of DoronGe.
This kind of philosophy is also conveyed by Hummer EV. The worthy masculine spirit today is not about the power to oppress with force, the ability to impose unilateral sanctions, or the ability to maintain the supremacy of the earth’s peak. It is to recognize the essence of human destiny community and use its strength to do something useful for others.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.