5 August 2004

General Motors is finally taking on Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, five years after the introduction of the tall-riding, retro-styled hatchback. The Chevrolet HHR – seen here undergoing secret testing before its summer 2005 launch – echoes many of the PT’s retro design cues.

GM says the HHR, short for Heritage High Roof, evokes the styling of last year’s Chevy SSR hotrod pick-up, and the classic 1949 Chevy Suburban SUV. It will be based on GM’s new front-drive Delta platform and, like the PT Cruiser, will be powered by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels.

The HHR was styled by a team led by GM designer Bryan Nesbitt – now head of GM Europe design, but who also penned the PT Cruiser when at Chrysler. It will be targeted at young buyers, selling for the equivalent of £13,000. There are no plans currently to sell it outside North America.

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