30 September 2004

General Motors is gearing up to sell Hummer 4x4s, the off-roaders made famous by the US army, in the UK and Europe for the first time. GM’s vice president of product development, Bob Lutz, confirmed that the company is planning to sell its new ‘small’ model, the H3, in Britain from 2005 onwards. Powered by a 6.0-litre V8, the H3 will be sold in left-hand-drive form only.

The new 4x4 made its European debut at last week’s Paris Motor Show in the guise of the H3T pick-up concept car. Although large by European standards at 4443mm, the H3T’s relatively low roofline disguised its bulk, while its looks hinted at future Hummer styling. The concept car is built on a separate ladder-frame chassis, rather than using a car-like monocoque, and featured a heavy-duty four-wheel-drive transmission including front and rear diff locks and torsion-beam suspension. Power comes from a 3.5-litre five-cylinder engine.

The show car featured several neat touches unlikely to make production, including integrated winch and tow hooks, LED lights front and rear and a DVD camera (to record off-road manoeuvres) mounted in the front bumper.

Lutz indicated that GM is to use a different importer to Netherlands-based Kroymans, which is handling the imminent sale of Cadillacs in Europe, but it has yet to reveal which one. GM is also to start assembling the Hummer H2 in Russia, initially building 200 of the vehicles from knocked-down kits.

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