you understand what we just wrote, you'll also understand why
we recommend the 5.3-liter V8 over the standard 3.7-liter inline 5-cylinder
hard core off roaders will appreciate the I5's 70:1 crawl ratio, it
only has 242-hp and 242 lb-ft and a 4.56 rear axle (what is this, a
HD pickup?). We think you’re going to find yourself
out of gas, so to speak, at speeds over 65-mph with the I5. The V8's
extra horsepower and torque are well worth the extra few dollars because
you’ll get better overall performance on and off-road. However,
it’s disappointing only a four-speed automatic transmission is
paired with the 5.3-liter V8, because if a 6-speed gearbox was available
it would likely benefit the H3T with improved fuel economy (which hasn’t
been announced yet) and off-roadability.
rep tells us the
H3 family will receive GM's new 3.6-liter V6 gasoline direct injection
(GDI) motor in the not too distant future. We expect this will be the
end of the I5 in the Hummer lineup.
On the back
half of the trail Hummer engineers take the H3T from our novice hands
to demonstrate its extreme capabilities in two optional 'challenges'.
The first is "Hell's Gate" and the second, amusingly, is called
"Tip-Over Challenge". Both require the use of the H3T’s
front and rear e-lockers.
Picture Hell's Gate like a big horseshoe, where the open
side marks the entry and exit points and the round part is pointed downhill,
at what looks to be a 25 to 30 degree angle. The descent follows a V-shaped
rift in the sandstone, where the gap is reasonably centered between the
H3T's wheels. It's coming back up the other side of Hell’s
Gate that's incredibly difficult (you can see it in the video on
page 1). The rift on the far side changes to a shape like a V leaning
to one side – with one wall near vertical and the other at a shallow
angle. Ascending requires a spotter to help the driver keep the passenger
side wheels on just the right line. If the line is lost, the vehicle
can slide down the wall leaving its passenger side flush with the rock – not
good for the vehicle or forward motion. The spotter also serves as the
eyes of the driver because all the person steering can see is blue sky.
It takes two tries, but the H3T manages to slowly walk its way up Hell's
Gate. At times only three wheels are touching the earth.
Challenge doesn't appear difficult at first glance. The giveaway
is its large cloudy patch of tire blackened rock, instead of two neatly
spaced worn rubber lines. A sandy base doesn't provide much traction
before hitting its slick slanted face. Even with both lockers engaged
the H3T quickly overcomes the rock's static coefficient of friction,
making the tires squeal in protest as they slip. Still,
the truck slowly climbs up the challenge. Lesser rigs that
have tried this obstacle have flipped over on their backs, like desert
tortoises falling on the tops of their shells.
of the drive was difficult but manageable. Several times we bottomed
out the H3T's extended wheelbase but the underbody shielding
protected the delicate parts. By the end of the trail, except for a bent
rear license plate, the truck wasn't worse off for the wear.
to imagine a more capable factory off-road pickup than the Hummer H3T.
With front and rear electronic locking differentials, a 5.3-liter
V8 and a footprint that places it somewhere in between mid-size and
full-size pickups, Hummer has created a class all its own. This is
the truck for serious rock hounds who work their truck hard during
the week and even harder on the weekends. Jeep wishes they had this
the American Axle strike doesn't last through the summer, the first
Hummer H3Ts should arrive at dealers by September. Pricing hasn't
Power Wagon is a worthy competitor, but it would have been difficult or impossible
to navigate the gigantic three-quarter-ton Ram 2500 through some of the sticky
cramped trails the H3T conquered.
V8 engine and minimal electronic nannies to babysit and distract through
rough spots. The 4:1 gear reduction in 4-Lo enables the H3T to crawl
over gotchas without the need for brakes, freeing the driver to identify
and navigate the best path on the trail. It takes getting used to,
but once you do you'll be thankful for the convenience.
V8 engine and four-speed transmission. While it easily beat Moab's rocky
trails, it's going to be difficult for the H3T to rack up big sales
wins in a rocky economy. Are house poor truck buyers going to want
a purpose-built off-roader when fuel prices are on their way to $4.00/gallon?
We wish it had GM's new V6 GDI engine today.
Chevrolet Colorado ZR3?
Chevrolet sold the S-10 compact pickup, from 1994 to 2003,
one of the trim options available was the ZR2 package.
ZR2 equipped S-10s were transformed into very capable
factory-built off-road pickups, with a wider track,
upgraded suspension, extra skid plates,
and 31-inch tires for improved ground clearance. Both the S-10
and ZR2 option disappeared in 2004 after the new Chevrolet
Colorado small truck replaced the
the closest you can come to the S-10 ZR2 in performance and spirit
is the 2009 Hummer H3T. It also shares a modified version
of the Chevy Colorado platform.
we crawled around Hell's Revenge in the H3T we were followed closely
by two of Hummer's ace technicians from GM's Arizona Proving
Grounds. There were riding in a very interesting 'mule'
that I'm sure ZR2 enthusiasts would love to get their hands on.
It was a Hummer H3 SUV wearing the skin of
a regular cab, short bed Chevy Colorado. Under its hood was the
I5 mated to an automatic gearbox. The back was filled with
tools and spare parts in case any of our vehicles broke down.
engineers swear up and down it's nothing more than a toy, so
don't get your hopes up for production. But in
honor of the S-10 ZR2, Colorado, and H3T, we nicknamed this
one-off the Chevy Colorado ZR3.