- The Washington Times - Friday, September 4, 2009

Detroit | The 2009 Chevrolet HHR small SUV becomes the first four-cylinder model in General Motors Co.’s North American lineup that can run on either gasoline or E85 ethanol.

GM North America President Troy Clarke unveiled the FlexFuel Chevy HHR. “We will continue to make more of our lineup FlexFuel-capable because we believe ethanol, and specifically E85, is the best near-term answer to reduce our nation’s dependence on oil as energy demand rises here and around the world,” Mr. Clarke said.

“The focus needs to be on making E85 more available by developing cellulosic ethanol sources and dramatically increasing the number of stations that offer E85,” he said.

GM is the auto industry leader in offering FlexFuel models - 11 for 2008 and more than 15 planned for 2009.

An HHR running on E85 - a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline - would emit up to 23 percent fewer carbon-dioxide emissions than if running on gasoline, based on a well-to-wheel analysis by the Argonne National Laboratory.

The HHR is available with an Ecotec 2.2-liter or Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, both of which will be compatible with E85. For the first time, the Ecotec 2.2L is equipped with variable valve timing (VVT), technology that assures precise opening and closing of the valves and accurate control of combustion gases to improve engine performance and efficiency. The Ecotec 2.4L continues to offer VVT.

“The HHR has been among the hottest selling vehicles in the industry since its introduction,” said Cheryl Catton, general director of Chevrolet car marketing.

Chevy HHR continues to claim a growing share of the compact market. Despite a challenging overall market in early 2008, HHR sales were up 8 percent, maintaining the momentum of 2007. That year, HHR sales topped 105,000 - a record that beat 2006’s 101,000 sales.

The HHR SS brings a turbocharged dose of thrills that is unmatched in the segment. Features such as “no-lift shift” and other driver-selectable performance modes help it achieve 0-60 mph performance in 6.3 seconds and cover the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 98.5 mph. The top speed is more than 150 mph, with the manual transmission. As with other GM Performance Division-developed vehicles, the HHR SS was validated on Germany’s famed Nurburgring racing circuit, where it set a new lap record of 8:43.52 minutes for its class.

For 2009, the mad scientists at GM Performance Division have combined the SS’ DNA with the unique HHR panel to create a limited-edition HHR Panel SS. It combines all of the SS’ performance attributes with the panel’s “blank canvas” styling, making it a perfect choice for enthusiasts and performance-oriented business owners to personalize.

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