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Hummer H3 on way in right-hand drive

Tue, 10 Oct 2006 00:00:00 -0700

By Ben Whitworth

Motor Industry

10 October 2006 02:16

When Hummer crashes into the UK off-road market this time next year it will spearhead its sales attack with the mid-sized H3, available in right hand-drive with diesel power.

The H3, expected to arrive with a £27,000 price tag, will be pitched directly at the Nissan Pathfinder, and will come as a high-specification one-model line-up. Expect plastic-look leather, climate control, a pounding sound system, acres of chrome and vast alloy wheels to come as standard, along with go-anywhere electronically controlled all-wheel-drive. Although GM has yet to confirm the engine line-up, our sources claim the H3 will use a revamped version of the 3.0-litre turbo diesel found in the Isuzu Rodeo pick-up. The four-cylinder common rail unit develops 155bhp and a useful 258lb ft of torque and will run through either a five-speed manual or four-cog automatic gearbox.

GM is still deliberating about adding petrol power to the H3 line-up – in America the mid-sized Hummer is powered by a 3.7-litre in-line five cylinder Vortec petrol unit that kicks out 240bhp and 242lb ft of twist action. The European homologated right-hand-drive cars will be built in Struandale in South Africa and will be sold through five bespoke dealers in the UK. There’s no talk yet of anticipated sales figures but insiders talk of hundreds rather than thousands.

The H3 will be the only Hummer model available in right-hand drive – the bigger H2 will remain a left-hooker only – but GM boss Bob Lutz hinted strongly at the Paris Motor Show that a smaller Freelander-sized H4 was on the cards, and would come in RHD format. Don’t hold your breath though – even if it got the green light, it would still be at least 36 months away from UK showrooms.

By Ben Whitworth