Chevrolet HHR SS, Part 1

17 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Chevrolet HHR SS, Part 1
Chevrolet HHR

SS, Part 1

Chevrolet is serious about their new HHR SS, so schlepped out the biggest gun in their to introduce the fast wagon to us; Bob Lutz. While he did admit SS is an unfortunate badge in Europe, talk was your standard hyperbole. Chevrolet has reinvented the put a man on the moon, cured … and out a way to slice bread better.

of the other journalists were taking notes while I was in thought trying to figure out how point font to make our right headline. After it’s just a hopped up right? Suddenly my ears up as I heard Bob say, A stock HHR SS the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 8 minutes and 43

Alarms start going off in my What? More accurately, right.

Here’s what talking about. A Lotus goes around the Nordschleife in A Honda S2000 laps it in An NSX does the deed in 8:38.

If Lutz is saying about the HHR SS is this milk-delivering bread van is 3 seconds slower around the challenging race course in the than an E39 M5. And a full one minute and 25 faster than Sabine Ford Transit van. How is possible? How could anything on GM’s awful Delta (think Saturn Ion) do faster than, well,

But think about it, what a car need to lap a track quickly? Not High power relative to its the ability to tackle turns and brakes. Hmmm.

We know had no trouble at all with the power. The turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter is a marvel. Lifted straight out of the Solstice GXP it cranks out 260 hp and 260 ft-lbs. of it this way; the 507bhp LS7 motor in the Z06 makes less twice as much power.

The Ecotec then is pretty Especially neat is the boost which is continuously variable. boost is between 15-18 but if conditions (such as high merit the change, the turbo can as much as 21 psi.

Though it be said that if you opt for the automatic power plummets down to 235 hp and 223 o’torque. So forget that. the stick, Chevy is claiming the wagon can hustle 0-60 mph in 6.3 and on to a top speed of 150 mph.

Chevy’s SS boffins went to on the HHR’s chassis. Yes, even tuned it on the Nurburgring. The is being called FE5 sport

This consists of independent struts up front complete linear coil springs and a control arm and stabilizer bar. Out is the usual trailing twist axle (just like grandma’s minivan) only in SS it’s complimented by gas-charged and multi-rate coil springs.

The that GM is currently marketing disks with ABS as a feature is but we did drive a car with the optional kit that sported 12.4 up from 11.6 on the standard SS. and 18 forged aluminum wheels out the chassis tweaks.

Our drive just outside of Phoenix we caravanned east on highway 10 up miles of tight twists on our way to Flats. I was immediately impressed by how and composed the HHR SS felt on the freeway. At 80 mph the was hardly breaking a sweat a 6th gear would be nice) and a downshift made passing too easy. While a bit high the comfy seats did their captain’s chair impersonations.

The smooth, almost soothing coupled with the spacious just screams road

As soon as we hit the back roads, one became immediately apparent. is nothing — nothing — for the passenger to onto to. However, for that to be an annoying omission meant the HHR SS is capable of tossing the passenger

Sadly at that moment I was in the passenger. Once behind the the Heritage High Wagon Sport’s speed was too much for the road. The drive became a of quick bursts capped off by slams.

I never felt carrying speed into a No question the newest SS was fast, but it come across as a canyon Especially with the variable power steering motor by the steering column to the variable rack.

Chevrolet HHR

Another feature we played was the no-lift shift. Actually, we got to the track, Aaron Gold of Cars fame (and the slowest driver) and I were obsessed with no-lift It sounded like this, Did you Did you lift?

Dude, you totally — no-lift! Don’t lift. shift allows you to keep the gas planted yet clutch shift. The is that in a turbocharged vehicle, you want your revs to

No-lift shifting supposedly you to keep the engine in the proper band while changing We found that all it did was bang the right into the rev limiter and every time you depressed the Chevy claims that not shaves seven 100ths of a per shift. We claim we could seven 100ths of a second by breakfast.

Or shaving.

During my few laps at the Bondurant road I got stuck with both Dan Pund and my first taste of a HHR SS. After two laps each Dan and I rolling our eyes. This was tuned where? Certainly not on Hell.

The gearbox seemed to just for the hell of it and we were under whelmed. Sadly believes that the automatic HHR SS account for 70% of sales. We’re sadly because with the the car is a blast.

Once allowed to row our own gears, the HHR SS pure fun on the track. Sure front-wheel drive, but torque was largely absent as was understeer, you really came into a hot. With just a of trail braking the chassis was to rotate and dare I say almost

Long story short, on the and with the computer switched Competitive Mode, the HHR SS was not only but a hoot to toss around. And that brute of a four-banger well above its weight, was plenty of power ready to the next straight. The brakes potent and fade-free.

Maybe car could run the ‘Ring in 8:43.

So, why the Why was the HHR SS so sketchy on the back roads, yet a thrill to hoon on the track? In a visibility. There isn’t

To achieve the Heritage part of its the HHR is chopped and that makes the too short. Worse, the A-pillars are 11 I measured.

Meaning that when you into a turn you can’t see a thing. On a two-lane road is not only annoying, but downright However, once on a familiar with no threat of oncoming visibility isn’t that of an issue.

At $22,995 the HHR SS is an interesting The overall performance and handling are a notch below a WRX but right in with vehicles like the SRT-4, VW GTI and Mazda Speed3. styling aside, all we’d changed are the seats, which go up or down and provide no lateral whatsoever. While fun, and we fun, this Chevy goes fast, turns and stops real good. So we buy an HHR SS?

Put it to you this way; we’d be satisfied with a GTI. there’s a panel van version in 2009. And yeah, rear-window will be an option.

Chevrolet HHR
Chevrolet HHR
Chevrolet HHR
Chevrolet HHR
Chevrolet HHR
Chevrolet HHR
Chevrolet HHR
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