Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Chevrolet upgraded the HHR lineup in 2006 with the introduction of a new, more powerful version that recalled the Super Sport badge from the company’s heritage.
GM noticed an increased interest of its customers for more powerful vehicles in the mid-2000s and the HHR seemed to be a perfect candidate to receive more horses under the hood. Unlike any other tuning companies or custom car manufacturers, it started with the empty shell of an HHR, looked in the parts bin, and built a sportier version for it: the SS.
Chevrolet’s designers made the HHR looks mean with a redesigned front grille that lost its horizontal slats. They placed a black mesh on it with a rhomboidal pattern, similar to the one used for the lower grille installed on the apron. The lower ground clearance and the 18” light-alloy wheels enhanced the car’s sporty look. In the back, the car featured a sporty bumper with one side exhaust.
Inside, the carmaker installed new sport bucket seats with higher bolstering and red SS logos embroidered on the front seats’ seatbacks. Just as a final reminder for the driver, the carmaker dropped the bow-tie badge from the steering wheel and replaced it with the SS badge.
Chevrolet developed the car’s suspension on the Nurburgring race track in Germany. The two-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with direct fuel injection provided 265 hp, which helped the compact MPV get the promised hot-hatch performances its customers asked for.
The HHR (Heritage High Roof) model was introduced by Chevrolet at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Based on the GM Delta platform - like the Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5, Saturn Ion and Saturn Astra - this small compact station wagon was developed by former Chrysler designer Bryan Nesbitt. This particular model was launched in 2006 as a 2007 year model - the panel van - and was initially available only for the LT trim level. Later on - starting 2007 actually - this body style became available for all trim levels. This HHr Panel Van was available for both the North American and Japanese market and was assembled at the Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico.
At the beginning of the 2000s, the retro-design fever caught-on, and Chevrolet’s design department turned its eyes on the cars from the ’40s.
The result was the Chevrolet High Heritage Roof or HHR for short.
After the biodesign era ended and customers started to look at different design languages, Chrysler and Chevrolet tried a different approach: a retro-design look built on a new platform. The HHR was a good example, but unfortunately, the carmaker installed the wrong engines in it. On top of that, just a few years later, the automotive industry collapsed under the world financial crisis. As a result, the HHR range died without a successor.
The HHR was an excellent example of inspiration from the past design models. The flat grille with horizontal slats resembled the grilles from the third generation of the Chevrolet Suburban. That art-deco style was charming for those times, and it could still stir some emotions on the market. Its broader and lower fenders featured squared headlights. The high roof cabin was designed, in the past, for those who wore hats, not baseball caps. In the rear, its dual taillights were rounded and mounted lower on the D-pillars.
Inside, the HHR offered a modern design, with bucket seats and a molded dashboard. Its curves resembled, somehow, the older Chevrolets, but its instrument cluster was new. It even featured a center stack for the sound system and a center console. The separate armrests for the driver and the front passenger was still a thing from the past.
Despite its charming design, the HHR sales were low in Europe. The carmaker installed only gasoline engines in an era when the diesel engine was the new king. Moreover, its 2.2-liter and 2.4-liter versions suffered from higher taxes.