Check out the 2022 GMC Hummer EV’s CrabWalk mode in action
At the press of a (virtual) button, the new Hummer can move diagonally like a crab. Seriously.
Car designers and engineers love to compare their new cars to animals, frequently citing creatures like sharks, lions, dinosaurs, hawks and other apex predators as inspiration. But I can’t remember the last time a crustacean was used as a reference, especially not proudly. At least, not until the debut of the GMC Hummer EV. One of the most highly touted features of the new electric truck is called CrabWalk, and it’s something never seen on a production vehicle before.
Higher-end versions of the Hummer EV get a fancy four-wheel steering that can be controlled by the driver, with the rear wheels able to turn either in or out of phase with the fronts. This helps with maneuverability off-road and in tight parking spaces, as well as making the truck more stable during lane changes. But then there’s CrabWalk mode, which you can select through the Hummer’s infotainment system.
It is what it probably sounds like: All four wheels turn at the same angle by up to 10 degrees, allowing the Hummer to literally drive diagonally like a crab. As you can see from the video at the top of the story it looks very strange and is sure to feel pretty eerie. CrabWalk only works at low speeds, which means you probably won’t be able to combine it with WTF mode to launch from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds diagonally, sadly.
GMC Hummer EV is a 1,000-hp super truck that moves laterally like a crab
While it seems gimmicky at first, CrabWalk looks more useful than you might think. The video shows the Hummer driving through a rocky trail surrounded by natural walls before coming to a halt. There’s a tight chicanelike rock formation that would be tough for the Hummer to conventionally maneuver through. The truck is huge after all, longer than a Yukon and wider than a Ford Raptor. But with CrabWalk engaged the Hummer is able to diagonally drive through the tight section with ease and then continue on its merry way.
When CrabWalk is selected the large central infotainment screen shows a graphic of the truck, highlighting exactly how much the wheels are turning, and the gauge cluster gives additional info like precise steering angle. Working in conjunction with the Hummer’s Extract mode, which raises the suspension to its max height, and other off-road tech features like underbody cameras and locking diffs, the Hummer’s CrabWalk should help it reach places that almost no other stock vehicle could.
And functionality aside, CrabWalk Mode is just funny to say and watch in action. I think more automakers need to use crabs as inspiration. They’re weird, man. We need more weird in the car world.