Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

GM's Answer to Rivian's "Tank Mode" -- a "Crab Mode" Hummer

By Rich Smith – Sep 14, 2020 at 5:08PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Your parallel parking problems may be at an end.

Earlier this year, Ford-backed electric-truck company hopeful Rivian Automotive revealed one way it plans to challenge both other traditional automotive giants like General Motors (GM -2.67%) and newcomers like Tesla (TSLA 0.03%). The company's new R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV boast a newfangled "tank-mode" capability to spin wheels in opposite directions, fine-tuning a driver's control of the vehicle so that it can, literally, spin on a dime -- around and around and around, with no forward or reverse movement.

Nine months later, General Motors has prepared its rebuttal to Rivian's tank mode: the GMC Hummer "crab mode." The new Hummer is also expected to be the first GM vehicle equipped with the automaker's new Ultium "million-mile" battery system. (A million miles, by the way, refers to the battery's lifespan -- not the vehicle's range).

HUMMER grill with rest of car veiled in shadow.

Image source: General Motors.

But as revealed in a new video on its website, GM's new Hummer electric vehicle will also feature a "four-wheel steering capability, allowing it to move in a diagonal direction," somewhat like a crab walking sideways, "functionality that is tailor-made for off-roading customers."  

For the record, Rivian, too, describes its tank-mode capability as something especially attractive to off-roaders. But more practically speaking, the ability to more precisely direct the movement of a vehicle through counter-rotating and simultaneously tracking wheels also seems ideally suited to make parallel parking a breeze and broaden the vehicles' appeal to a wider car-buying market.

R1T and R1S will be Rivian's first-ever commercial vehicles. GM, which has been producing all-electric Bolts for years, will finally be expanding into the electric pickup truck segment with its GMC Hummer. The company plans to officially "reveal" the new vehicle on October 20 and then bring it to market a year later.  

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

General Motors Stock Quote
General Motors
$39.38 (-2.67%) $-1.08
Ford Stock Quote
$13.73 (-2.49%) $0.35
Tesla Stock Quote
$182.92 (0.03%) $0.06

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.