When the HHR was first announced, Bob Lutz and his gang projected sales somewhere in the 100,000 range. As the launch drew nearer, GM started listening to the throngs of automotive geniuses that said the HHR was nothing more than a blatant rip-off of the PT-Cruiser (which it is), and the General modified down the projected figure to 60,000 units. Well, it turns out 100,000 was just about perfect after all, as the High Heritage Roof has produced very respectable sales volume. As of right now, there isn't much in the way of HHR spin-offs (other than the Panel) like we've seen with the PT, but that's about to change with the introduction of the HHR SS.
From the looks of the photos from Brenda Priddy's Chris Doane, Chevy cracked open the corporate parts bin to breath some excitement into the HHR. The front end gets the requisite larger front air dam and mesh to replace the shiny chrome grille, the roof rails have been removed, and handsome 18-inch rims that will no-doubt be exclusive to the SS. The most important update, however, comes to the powerplant. The same 260 HP, 2-liter turbocharged engine that powers the Solstice GXP will find its way underhood, along with a six-speed manual The HHR has been selling well since its introduction two years ago, and with a well executed SS, we expect the buyer love to continue, copycat or not.
[Source: Car and Driver]