The bumper differs from the standard HHR’s design in that this one is shaped more like an air dam, decreasing the amount of turbulent air that gets pushed under the vehicle when driven at speed.

Latest photos from Death Valley capture a prototype of the 2008 Chevy HHR SS. The prototype has a completely new front bumper, with a large under-bumper opening feeding air to the turbo’s intercooler. The bumper differs from the standard HHR’s design in that this one is shaped more like an air dam, decreasing the amount of turbulent air that gets pushed under the vehicle when driven at speed. The new design also gets rid of the ugly rectangular “bumperettes” that are part of the retro styling of the standard model. Tires are low-profile Michelin’s on alloy wheels, mounted to a firmed-up, sport suspension.

Engine is reportedly the 2.0 liter direct injected Ecotec Turbo also used on the Pontiac Solstice GXP and Saturn Sky Red Line. In those vehicles the turbocharged and intercooled engine puts out a healthy 260 horsepower. Four-wheel disk brakes with ABS are standard. Transmission will be a five-speed using a short throw shifter. Interior amenities include special seats with the SS logo, and a turbo boost gage mounted on the driver’s A-pillar.

Look for the new SS to be added to the HHR lineup this fall as a 2008 model.

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