GM’s Draggin Wagon

Comfort, convenience, style, and speed; America has a hot new hatchback……Sort of…

Since the 2005 model year, the HHR (GM speak for Heritage High Roof) has been gaining ground with people looking for more versatility and style for a day to day commuter.

However, the HHR has, as of yet, been anything but a sporty model. The hottest engine choice being the 2.4 litre twin cam mill producing 175 BHP, and 165 lb./ft. of torque, the HHR held the blandness of the “styled by the same guy” PT Cruiser.  Even the HHR Panel, which has been well received by small business in need of an economic courier, has yet to stir the loins of the tuner faithful.

GM front man Robert Lutz has made a habit out of injecting performance even in the lowliest econoboxes, and this event is no different. Using the LNF Ecotec Turbo I-4 from the Pontiac Solstice GXP, and Saturn Sky Redline, GM has infused 260 horsepower and 260 lb./ft. of torque channeled through a 5 speed manual.

This puts the quirky styling of the HHR and mates it to the high end tuner world of the Cobalt SS. Now suburban housewives, and upstart business owners can rocket down the road with the speed of a C4 Corvette or run an impromptu  race with any riced out WRX they happen to find.

While using the same engine and transmission setup as the Cobalt SS, some of the techno goodies come along for the ride. So now, while hauling a load of groceries, or a set of wheels for your customers new whip; you can blast through the gears without lifting, or play with the launch control feature for a quick light to light jaunt.

Whether the HHR’s styling in Panel or standard, and the infusion of power will steal more customers from their SUV’s is unknown; yet I’ll say I love the idea and would love an HHR Panel for a daily driver.