Be afraid; be very afraid – Hummer is coming to the UK,

The government might be rumoured to be slaming 4 x 4 with more taxes but that isn't stopping the first dedicated Hummer showroom on these shores opens this week, and the right-hand drive H3 goes on sale this summer.

Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, global product development, unveiled a prototype right-hand drive H3 during an opening ceremony at Manchester. “Hummer’s iconic design and unparalleled off-road capabilities appeal to a wide audience globally”, he claimed. “We are determined to build upon the brand’s unique recognition in Europe and especially here in the UK.”

GM acquired the rights to the Hummer brand in 1999, and since then sales of the overblown Schwarzenegger favourite have grown from around 1000 vehicles to more than 82,000 in 2006. The "smaller" H3 made its debut in North America in May 2005.

While all previous H3s have been assembled in Louisiana, the new international H3, intended for most markets outside of North America, is being assembled in South Africa. The H3 has a premium interior design and a 3.7-litre engine with the choice of a manual or auto transmission and a full-time electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system.

Prices for the new right-hand drive H3 will be announced later this year.