A Hummer H2's evolution into a sport utility truck (SUT) is not surprising, nor is it much of a stretch. Don't forget that the Hummer was originally designed for the military, and the Pentagon demands a certain amount of versatility from its people and equipment. Converting an enclosed utility vehicle into a pickup truck with an open bed is a no-brainer for an organization that values functionality over style and comfort. But in the civilian world of Hummers and the high-end sport utility market, comfort and style supersede most other considerations. About 99 percent of the Hummers on the road will never leave it, and the automaker made sure to include some cushy features in the latest H2. However, the H2 is still a capable off-road vehicle in the hands of those who would use it in that capacity, and the SUT styling, which is just being introduced by GM as you read this, makes it a useful utility vehicle as well.

An SUT is an SUV with an open, truncated truck bed. It's a style that suits the H2 - both as a matter of function and visual design. Any SUV could benefit from an SUT spin-off that essentially creates more cargo-carrying capacity, but such conversions often give SUVs a strange hybrid look - in the same way that a platypus looks neither quite like fowl nor mammal. The H2's blocky, utilitarian lines, on the other hand, do not suffer from the jut of its short, open bed.

At the 2003 SEMA Show, there were three configurations of the H2 SUT sitting on the display floor. First was the off-road dirt bike concept, with a truck bed extender to accommodate two bikes, a bike carrier, and a tire carrier. The hard-tonneau version includes a fully integrated modular storage basket that can be stacked on either the tonneau or the bed. The off-road canvas storage package, which is the configuration you see splashed across these pages, has a roll-up, square-back canvas ragtop, with side and rear windows and zip-in screens, that expands the cargo area of the bed. Like most SUTs, extra hauling space can be created by opening the rear of the cab to the truck bed. The H2's 60/40 rear seats and midgate fold down nearly flat to accommodate an extra 56.7 cubic feet of cargo.

Overall body styling is all Hummer, with a typical craggy appearance. There is nothing subtle about this vehicle. Not its squared corners, nor the Metallic Cement paintjob. Its 20-inch cast-aluminum wheels resemble custom freight-train upgrades. Both bumpers accommodate recovery loops and are ready to accept an electric winch and Class 3 hitch. Brush grilleguards, a chrome roof basket, roof rack crossbars, a hard cargo carrier, tubular taillamp guards, tubular assist steps, removable U-steps, a trailering convenience package, and off-road lamps all protrude from the body.