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Chevrolet cars: What's new for 2008

A re-do for the 'Bu, sportier HHR, and end of the road for the Monte Carlo

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu front view

2008 Chevrolet Malibu

Photo © General Motors

AVEO: Fresh from a 2007 restyle (for the sedan, at least), the Daewoo-sourced subcompact gets no significant changes for 2008.

COBALT: First, the bad news: The SS Supercharged model is gone (and I, for one, will be holding a moment of silence). So's the top-of-the-line LTZ. The non-supercharged Cobalt SS is replaced by the Cobalt Sport, with bigger (2.4 liter) engine, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and OnStar. Side curtain airbags, XM satellite radio and a tire pressure monitoring system are now standard on all Cobalts.

CORVETTE: Last year's 6.0 liter V8 is replaced by a new 6.2 liter (376 cubic inch) unit; horsepower jumps by 30 to 430, while torque is up 24 lb-ft to 424. An optional dual-mode exhaust system raises that by a further 6 hp and 4 lb-ft of torque and improves the soundtrack. Other alterations include improvements to both manual and automatic transmissions, revised steering feel, interior upgrades, and standard OnStar, XM satellite radio and auto-dimming rear view mirror.

EQUINOX: The new Equinox Sport gets a 3.6 liter V6, 6-speed automatic with manual shift control and a sport-tuned suspension. For all models, the StabiliTrack electronic stability control system is now programmed to detect and attempt to correct trailer sway.

EXPRESS: The full-size van gets an updated interior and a tire pressure monitoring system. Passenger models get side curtain airbags.

HHR: Developed by the GM Performance Division, the new HHR SS features a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine (260 horsepower with manual transmission, 235 with automatic), sport-tuned suspension, and a body kit.

IMPALA: The heavy Chevy sees only minor changes, including a performance suspension for the LTZ model and E85 flex-fuel capability for the 3.9 liter engine.

MALIBU: Chevrolet's oft-overlooked mid-size sedan gets a redesign that General Motors says "carries the new face of Chevrolet". Available in LS, LT, LTZ and hybrid models, the latter with GM's "mild hybrid" system, the Malibu offers a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine as well as a 3.6 liter V6 with variable valve timing. Standard equipment includes side curtain airbags and XM radio as well as electronic stability control on LT, LTZ and hybrid versions.

MONTE CARLO: Discontinued.

SILVERADO: Redesigned for 2007, Chevy's full-size pickup sees only minor changes, including standard XM satellite radio and interior tweaks. One intriguing bit of information: Diesel Silverados sold to fleets are now approved to run BD20 (a mix of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum-based diesel).

TAHOE/SUBURBAN: The full-size Tahoe SUV will be available with a hybrid powertrain.

BEYOND 2008: The Chevrolet Camaro is scheduled to go on sale in 2008 as a 2009 model in both coupe and convertible form, and the Cobalt SS will return in 2009 with a turbocharged engine in place of the previous SS' supercharger. Rumored for introduction as a 2009 model is a high-end version of the Corvette, possibly to be called the SS, which will have a supercharged 600+ horsepower engine and a price tag around $100,000.

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