Â GM has chosen the Woodward Dream Cruise along the suburbs of Detroit on Woodward Ave as the appropriate location to show off the new 2008 HHR SS. With its retro-style leanings and SS badging they feel it is the appropriate place to attract the attention of the bow-tie lovers and pocket-rocket crowd. And maybe once they see that the new HHR SS is pumping out 260-hp out of a 2.0 liter engine they just might deem it worthy of a close inspection.
While a number of the retro-revisits in auto styling have been exciting to me at various times the HHR did not win me over. I appreciate the effort but without some real muscle behind it the car was mere fluff in my eyes. But now with 260-hp beneath its molded bonnet why I am reconsidering that evaluation? Amazing what a healthy dose of horsepower and badging can do.
Ofcourse the HHR SS has undergone more than just an engine boost to merit the SS badging that it is sporting. The exterior has all new front and rear fascia with air dams to improve air flow. Beneath the body the HHR is riding on a FE5 sport tuned suspension, ABS breaks on all four wheels and 18in” polished aluminum wheels. All ofÂ those improvements are designedÂ to keep the power from the petite 2.0 liter turbocharged engine and its impressive 260-hp planted on the road.
The improvements then move to the interior with the two-tone, sport seats with their inlayed SS badging. A specific gauge cluster has been assembled for the sporty HHR SS with a boost gauge mounted on the A-pillar to measure the boost from the turbo.
While the HHR SS may not be my cup of tea there is a segment of driver out there who will be eager to add a little excitement to their drive with the versatile, retro-resembling fun this small package puts out. The HHR SS will be going up against the Caliber SRT-4 on the sales floor as Dodge and ChevyÂ are releasing their sport version of their cars at the same time this Fall. We shall see if the competition brings out the best of them.