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FIRST LOOK: 2008 Chevrolet HHR SS Debut

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CHEVROLET INTRODUCES TURBOCHARGED 2008 HHR SS
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DETROIT - During the nation's largest celebration of automotive heritage, the Woodward Dream Cruise, Chevrolet introduced the newest member of the prestigious SS family: the 2008 HHR SS.

The HHR SS combines all of the style and capability of the popular HHR family with uncompromising performance, including a turbocharged and intercooled engine that produces 260 horsepower (194 kW), unique exterior styling and an SS-specific interior. The vehicle was developed by GM Performance Division (GMPD), with a team of engineers and designers dedicated to crafting nothing but high-performance vehicles.

"With its muscular stance, turbocharged power and track-capable handling, the HHR SS is a worthy addition to SS lineup," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. "It also reaffirms in a big way Chevy's commitment to the sport compact market."

Standard features include unique exterior appointments, with all-new front and rear fascias, new front grilles, a rear spoiler and 18-inch polished forged aluminum wheels wrapped with Michelin performance all-season tires. Inside, SS-embroidered sport seats - with ultra suede inserts - a new gauge cluster with 140-mph speedometer, an A-pillar boost gauge and a new, driver-oriented steering wheel and shifter support the serious driving capabilities.

Along with its high-performance attributes, the HHR SS comes standard with a host of safety and convenience features, including the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS. Optional equipment includes side-impact air bags and a power-operated sunroof.

"This vehicle delivers all of the style, comfort and convenience found in the HHR portfolio, but also offers outstanding performance and versatility without sacrificing fuel economy," added Peper. "There's simply nothing else like it when it comes to four-door driving fun for the value."

The HHR SS arrives in dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2007.

An SS from the get go
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The '08 HHR SS was engineered by GM Performance Division and is the first SS model developed since GMPD was charged with overseeing all of the "go, stop and turn" requirements demanded of any new Chevrolet wearing the SS badge.

"Beginning with HHR SS, all future SS models will have superior power, braking and handling capabilities for maximum credibility with our customers and enthusiasts alike," said John Heinricy, GM Performance Division executive. "The SS badge represents high performance, and the HHR SS delivers with a fully-integrated, balanced driving experience."

To that end, the HHR SS was engineered to offer more than simply increased power. An all-new FE5 Sport suspension was developed and tuned at Germany's famed Nürburgring racing circuit. It includes specific stabilizer bars, spring rates and damper tuning - all designed to complement the turbocharged powertrain.

Consequently, the HHR SS delivers a sports car-like maximum lateral grip of 0.86 g (with manual transmission). The brake system is enhanced, too, with a four-wheel disc system and standard ABS. StabiliTrak electronically controlled stability control system is standard.

The HHR SS's performance rubber meets the road via Michelin Pilot Sport MXM4 P225/45R18 tires mounted on 18-inch polished forged aluminum five-spoke wheels.

SS style
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The HHR SS is distinguished on the exterior with several unique features:
  • New air dam-style front fascia with fog lamps
  • New mesh-style upper and lower grilles
  • New rear fascia with outlet for single bright exhaust tip
  • Rear spoiler (mounted above rear glass)
  • New rocker moldings
  • Body-color door handles, mirror caps and rear license plate surround
  • SS badges on the front doors and rear liftgate
Large, five-spoke 18-inch polished forged aluminum wheels and performance tires are standard and are tailored with the specific body enhancements to give the HHR SS a lower, performance-oriented stance. Likewise, the available exterior colors enhance the sporty nature of the vehicle. They include Victory Red, Black, Light Tarnished Silver Metallic, Mystique Blue Flash Metallic and Sunburst Orange II Metallic.

Like the exterior, the interior is unique to the HHR SS, including SS-embroidered sport seats with ultra suede inserts, a specific gauge cluster, an A-pillar-mounted turbo boost gauge and a new shifter arrangement. Three interior color combinations are available: Ebony, Light Grey and Victory Red.
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wow. i have renewed interest in this vehicle!

except, why the red seats? i am so hating the red seat craze!

would it have hurt to put a new shift knob and gauge cluster in there?

Edited by regfootball
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Those wheels look great...the interior looks better too...although the A-pillar gauge looks cheap and tacky.

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Really the ultimate family funster mobile. It looks different, it's roomy inside, it's handy in town, it's reasonably priced, and it's fun to drive... basically the US version of a hot hatch.

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Hmm... If it weren't for the grill and front/rear bumpers, it wouldn't look so bad. I mean, looking at this pic, the front bumper looks like a park bench. It's huge! :P Otherwise, it looks good.

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Performance credentials are a big improvement, unfortunately screams boy racer too loudly for me to own, just like the Cobalt SS with the big wing did.

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Wonder how much this will be.

Looks great to me! Nothing boy racer at all---clean and tasteful--overtly sporty I suppose. Be a fun car for my daily commute.

Hopefully an auto trans is an option.

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Hmm... If it weren't for the grill and front/rear bumpers, it wouldn't look so bad. I mean, looking at this pic, the front bumper looks like a park bench. It's huge! :P Otherwise, it looks good.

It looks much better in person...trust me.

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really like the new front end. any chance at least the grill will carryover to the other models?

now if they'd only come out with a diesel

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This looks OK, but I'll have to try it out.

I'm not sure there is a big market for this.

The kind of people who want an HHR, in my mind at least, don't want a sports car.

I'd wait for the NG Cobalt... smaller, lighter, and potentially more efficient.

But, I guess we'll see...

How long before Scion gets an SS-type configuration?

*shudders at the thought*

Edited by dimitri0917
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Hot. I actually like the new grille. It'll probably trickle down in chrome form to lesser HHRs eventually.

I would be all over an HHR Panel SS.

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Looks aggressive. Not a fan of red interior though.

And it has to be a 5-speed Manual. Darn GM, when can you at least bring your pace up to the competition.

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5 speed manual? Fine, but I hope that there's the option of an automatic. If it does, this could be a viable replacement for my Ford Focus. Very well done, Chevy!

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I miss the chrome bar grille of the LT models. The black plastic mesh looks cheaper and not as stylish. They did the same thing on the Solstice. The base model had a shiny silver grille, then the GXP had black honeycomb plastic.

Otherwise good to see them get some extra power into this vehicle. It is a stylish car, but I am sure a lot of buyers that liked the looks didn't like the 145-170 hp engine and wanted more.

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I cannot wait to see one in Black or Blue...I am suddenly thinking that this would be a great commuter car for me. I love the HHR anyway...and now this? And, what I find most important are the words: "the first SS model developed since GMPD was charged with overseeing all of the "go, stop and turn" requirements demanded of any new Chevrolet wearing the SS badge." In other words, they got serious, and made a great little car even better.

Looks great from every angle. Cannot wait to drive one!

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This car, truck or whatever it is, is badass. "Features such as “no-lift shift” and other driver-selectable performance modes help the HHR SS achieve 0-60 mph performance in 6.3 seconds and cover the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 98.5 mph. The top speed is more than 150 mph, with the manual transmission." That's crazy.

Additional changes: In addition to the performance-oriented features, the interior also incorporates a number of additional changes, such as the relocation of the power window switches from the center console to the door panels. Also, SS-specific satin nickel trim accents the cabin, enhancing the distinctive and performance-oriented theme of the SS’s driver environment.

When are they going to make some of these changes to the regular HHR?

More Info Here: 2008 Chevy HHR SS

Edited by Derek77
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I used to dislike HHR's but love the look of the SS. It is sweet. How much will it cost under 20? Or am I dreaming?

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5 speed manual? Fine, but I hope that there's the option of an automatic. If it does, this could be a viable replacement for my Ford Focus. Very well done, Chevy!

Why the heck would you get an automatic in a car like this? :blink:

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Urban driving. I'd want an auto. My father would, too. Some people just want a fast little car, though from the sounds of it, the chassis tuning could make this thing fun in the twisties.

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A four-speed automatic is available, but power is restricted to 235 hp. In exchange for the 25 horses, you do get an armrest.

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If it stickers for under $25,000 "well equipped" then this may just be the vehicle that replaces my Saab 9-2x.

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the problem I have with the HHR goes to its design; it's just not aiming high enough for that quintessential carefree Americana feel. It is too Chevy post-2000 plastic [i'm talking about the exterior] modern wanna be retro. It's not modern enough to be modern and it's not classic enough to be called retro. That's why I don't like it. It's a solid car, and well, no one else could get this right besides a GM or a Chrysler or a Ford, but I just feel like the PT and Mini are doing a much better job at being classically elegant and appealing. The doors are too bland, the rear is too wannabe "Chevy historic", the interior says almost nothing, and the front is too heavy-handed in comparison to the rest of the car. That said, it's a fun car.

I was trying to link to the SEMA 06 HHR, that Panel version that had the killer grille up front, I thought that was better detailed than what we got here. What we got though is a car that is cool enough to be called an HHR SS, a great effort along the lines of the Cobalt Supercharged, but there is still room for improvement like with that car.

Those wheels are the same as the Pontiac G8, and that blows. If Saab can have 20 unique wheel designs, than GM needs to consolidate and cut the fat even more to have some money to develop unique wheels for every brand. OR just fire all the overpaid designers and bring in Saab's team. Every couple of years they seem to release some current designs for wheels, unlike what we see from most of GM.

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