Volume III, Issue 5, Page 48

Sounds like something out of a demonic racing small-block, but it isn’t. This is a 4-cylinder were talking about and represents the highest specific output of any production engine ever built by GM. Not of this earth, I tell you.

The Burkster and I ran over to Daytona last year in an HHR Panel and thought that the stylish box would be so much more fun to thrash were it carrying a blower, ala the Cobalt SS Supercharged. Nice pipe dream, dude, and not likely to happen in our lifetime.

They fooled us, man, they fooled us. Someone in Michigan must have heard our lament from that beachside bar. Less than a year after our semi-salacious musings, up pops the HHR SS, complete with the turbo motor originally developed for Solstice/Sky-- albeit laid crosswise in the chassis because the HHR is a front-driver, but its there regardless in all its nasty little self. Better yet, you can get one in that bitchin’ Panel, too.

Though there is plenty on the outside to distinguish the SS from the one that snowbird Sammy who lives down the block has, ours didn’t get any thumbs up on the road from the old-fart geezers who seem to be the only ones driving these things. It was the young guys who couldn’t seem to get enough of it. They were diggin’ that turbo motor, for sure.

Look at the SS as the very near future, plain and simple. It’ll knock down 28 on the highway, more if you treat it with respect. The V8, should it survive, is going to be the province of the well-heeled. For us proles, it’s going to be small cubes but with a flexible, spot-on power-adder, like a turbocharger. These scenes have all been played out before, but technology from then to now has taken leaps gargantuan.

You may have already read road tests on this rocket, so we’ll skip the usual BS and go right to the changes and components specific to it. They aren’t just window dressing. This car has been thoroughly sussed out in all areas as it is one of the darlings of the GM Performance Division.