click above image to enlarge

Though HUMMER H3 SUT mules have been snapped with the long lens before, they're usually heavily guarded and tucked away on GM's proving grounds in Arizona or Milford, MI. For some inexplicable reason, however, this HUMMER H3T prototype has been seen driving around in plain site outside the proving grounds. In fact, it was snapped at the recent Baja 1000 where it played the part of chase vehicle in full pre-production camouflage.

You can see that the production model will indeed have four doors, unlike the short-bed two-door H3T Concept that HUMMER showed us back in 2003. That means the bed is not very big: about 4-feet wide by 4.5- to 5-feet long. You can forget about hauling full-size sheets of plywood, but the H3 HUT will offer additional storage options in the form of cargo boxes in the bed sides, and maybe even a removable lunchbox! Underneath it will be standard H3 fare, which means your choice of the new 295-hp 5.3L V8 or the 242-hp 3.7L inline-five cylinder engine. Production of the 2009 HUMMER H3 SUT is slated to begin in August of 2008 at the automaker's Shreveport plant with an annual production of 35,000 units.

Since the H3 SUT isn't a marquee product, we don't expect we'll see its official debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. This seems like a good reveal for the Chicago Auto Show in February or the New York Auto Show in late March/early May.

[Photos: Bob Spivey for Brenda Priddy & Co.]


Hiding in Plain Sight: 2009 Hummer H3T (crew-cab)

It's been several months since we last caught up with a Hummer H3T prototype, and I thought you might like some fresh photos:

Codenamed GMT745, the long-anticipated Hummer H3T was – at of all places – spotted at the recent Baja 1000. Yes, that's right – it was used as a chase vehicle while sporting preproduction camouflage!

And, for the first time ever – it was outside the safety of General Motor's Proving Grounds with a production bed, instead of a Colorado-mule bed.

Although the original concept was a short-bed pickup with just two doors – economic decisions made the four-door H3 variant much more affordable to produce.

The short-bed, which can almost be described as "cute" – will offer a cargo area of roughly 4-feet wide by 4½ to 5-feet long. A hard tonneau cover will be available as an option, as will several choices of lockable cargo boxes. And, our sources told us earlier today "... it will have a front locker and the drivetrain options will mimic the H3...it is obviously a true pick up truck."

My photographer also told me that "... for a week it was on public Baja highways and visible for anyone to see ... for nearly a week from Ensenada to Cabo - and possibly Yuma, Arizona, to Ensenada as well."

The H3T's optional cargo boxes are expected to include a small lunchbox/toolbox with the ability to easily lift-off and take to your worksite. Other boxes are likely to include cargo boxes that the whole length of the bed, as well as one which will run the width.

Engine options will include the new 295-horsepowerV8 as first shown in the H3 Alpha, as well a 242-horsepower 3.7-liter I5 powerplant.

The Shreveport-built H3T will start production in August of 2008, arrive in the third or forth quarter of 2008, as a 2009 model. Hummer plans to build about 35,000 units annually.

Photo Credit: Bob Spivey for Brenda Priddy & Company