TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Chevrolet will build a retro wagon for the 2006 model year.
Styling of the HHR will resemble the Chrysler PT Cruiser, with a high hood, headlights low in the fenders and a 1940s-era grille.
"My guess is it's much bigger," said Gary Cowger, president of GM North America. He spoke at the Management Briefing Seminars here last week.
The four-door HHR will seat five and have a flat floor. The second-row seats will fold forward. It will be powered by a double-overhead-cam, four-cylinder engine with up to 220 hp. "HHR" stands for high heritage roof.
The HHR concept was inspired by the 1949 Chevrolet Suburban, which Cowger called the first true crossover, and the 2004 Chevrolet SSR convertible pickup.
"It will definitely be a more affordable-type vehicle (than the SSR)," Cowger said, without revealing pricing. The SSR has a base price of $41,995, including destination charge.
Cowger declined to reveal the production volume or price of the HHR. He did say GM would make "tens of thousands" of HHRs a year. GMC will not get a variant of the vehicle.
Supplier sources said the HHR will be built on GM's Delta small-car platform. Another Delta car, the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, is due in showrooms late next year. The Cobalt will replace the Cavalier.
In this GM-provided sketch, the Chevrolet HHR
sits between the SSR, left, and the 1949 Suburban.GM designer Bryan Nesbitt, who had a strong hand in the design of the Chrysler PT Cruiser at the Chrysler group, worked on the HHR after he joined GM in 2001. But GM said the HHR project was under way before Nesbitt arrived.