For North Americans, the name ‘Chevette’ does not bring back fond memories. It reminds us of an awkward time between the large cars of the 70s and the reliable, smaller and modern cars of the 90s and beyond, when American car manufacturers were trying to find their feet, without much success, in a rapidly changing world. Needless to say, the North American Chevette had nothing to do with the 1978 Vauxhall Chevette HS! Though they shared a frame and body similar to their more pedestrian cousins, the Chevette HS was a rare ray of light and delight in an otherwise bleak landscape, at least for Vauxhall. It was a good things that these needed to built and offered to the public to homologate the car for international-level Rally racing!
So what made the Chevette HS different from its lower-life-form siblings? The engine, of course, at the awesome power-to-weight ratio that made this little such a desirable hot hatch! It was powered by a 2.3-liter, four cylinder engine (inline) that delivered a very respectable 135 horsepower. It pushed the Chevette HS to a top speed of 115 miles per hour, and gave it a 0-60 acceleration time of 8.5 seconds. There was also a Rally version, with Lotus-enhanced cylinder heads, good for 240 horsepower.
Of course, the Chevette HS didn’t have only qualities. To start with, it was very expensive compared to comparable cars. and only came in one color, with somewhat tacky spoilers. Only 200 of the 1978 Vauxhall Chevette HS were ever built, unfortunately.