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As we were heading back out we stopped to repair a broken halfshaft (my bad!) just as a group driving heavily modified Jeeps were coming up the trail. Of course, they were curious about our camouflaged trucks (it was easy to tell they were HUMMERs) and when you get a group of off-roaders together they want to compare notes and trade jabs. That’s when we pointed out that our trucks were stock just like the ones on the showroom floor. "Really? I can’t believe you made it all the way in with stock trucks. I'd never try it in a stock Jeep."

That's the beauty of a HUMMER.

We finished our fifteen-minute repair, spotted the Jeeps over the obstacle that ate my halfshaft and headed on back to civilization - smiling. Our debutant had proven itself under fire and came out unscathed. I knew the H3T was going to be in demand and once the public had the chance to see it for themselves the only question was going to be, "When can I get one?"

Scheduled to be released as a 2009 model, the H3T will debut at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show and find its way to dealer showrooms by September.

"With its unique size and HUMMER traits, the H3T is ideal for the customer who works hard and plays harder", said Martin Walsh, HUMMER General Manager. "For most lifestyles, there’s almost nothing the H3T can't handle. It's a truck with HUMMER’s immutable capability."

The five-foot bed is similar in design and function to the recently redesigned beds on GM’s full-size trucks with easily removable tailgates and provisions for a bed-rail system. But things go way beyond that.  HUMMER has partnered with 160 aftermarket suppliers to develop Officially Licensed HUMMER accessories for the H3 and H3T, which will provide an almost endless array of customization options with virtually no two being alike.

The H3T will be available with either the in-line five, or the 5.3 L V8 and four trim levels which include standard features such as air conditioning, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/XM CD and On Star. Factory available options include HUMMER’s Rear Vision system, a navigation unit and hands-free Bluetooth connectivity.

Additionally, there are two suspension packages available.  The standard suspension is balanced for on-road comfort and off-road capability with 32" tires on 16" rims. The Adventure Package is designed for the more adventurous soul looking for off-road performance.  The package includes 33” tires, specially tuned shocks and front and rear locking differentials.

All of this performance comes with HUMMER's broad range of passenger safety equipment, which includes dual frontal air bags (with passenger sensing system), head curtain side air bags, StabiliTrak and four-wheel ABS with traction control. And being a HUMMER, the H3T also comes with GM’s 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty.

Priced in the high thirties, I think the H3T will not only be a hit with recreational consumers, but everyone from Contractors to Search and Rescue crews will fall in love with this truck. I know HUMMER sees their main competition for the H3T being smaller pickups like the Tacoma or the Dakota.  But anyone who's seen the H3T will tell you that it's "Like nothing else" and anyone who’s driven the H3T will tell you…there is no competition.

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