HOLDEN MONARO GENERATION3
THE EXTENT AND INTENSITY OF THE ENTHUSIASM FOR THE CONCEPT COUPE FORCED HOLDEN’S HAND – THE V2 MONARO WAS ON ITS WAY
For many born from 1980 onwards the Holden Monaro only came into being at the turn of the 21st centur y with the thirdgeneration CV6 and CV8 in late 2001.
The Monaro’s resurrection is a stor y of stealth, when early in 1998 Holden design boss Mike Simcoe (now global GM design chief ) and a small band of designers and engineers spent their spare time moonlighting on a Commodore coupe before presenting it to senior management.
Holden, looking for a hero for its 1998 Sydney Motorshow stand agreed to reveal the deep blue Commodore concept coupe.
The over whelming positive reaction from the media, dealers and public was echoed with the words, Monaro is back.
Despite the accolades Holden executives
remained ner vous about adding a coupe. Histor y had shown with the original Monaro and Falcon hardtops of the 60s and 70s that after enormous initial demand, sales dr y up rapidly and the top brass didn’t want a huge financial exposure.
Luckily when Peter Hanenberger (of of Radial Tune Suspension fame) was appointed ed Holden CEO, his goal was to expand the Commodore mmodore range and the Monaro became a reality. l it y.
Si xt y million dollars was allocated to transform the four-door V T Commodore into a production coupe.
The Monaro was a standard V T SS from the A-pillar for ward, but the rear was 100 mm shorter than the sedan, the doors 150mm longer, the A-pillars were raked back two degrees lowering the roof line 45 mm while retaining the V T windscreen. The front seats were lower and the twin rear seats were mounted 50 mm lower and 50 mm forward. Late 2001 the V2 Monaro went into production with deliveries commencing early 2002. Two models made up the range, the entr y level CV6 used the supercharged 171kW/375Nm 3.8-litre V6 with a four-speed automatic and 17-inch wheels, while the CV8 utilised a 5.7-litre 225kW/460Nm Gen III V8 with four-speed auto or six-speed manual and
18-inch wheels. Inside was the piano-black V T dash, sporting colour-coded instruments to match the exterior hue in most cases.
The V2 lasted barely a year with the Series II Monaro arriving with the V Y Commodore range in December 2002. It featured a new dash layout, five-spoke alloy wheels and t win tail pipes for the CV8. June 2003 marked the arrival of the CV8-R with special wheels and Turbine Mica paintwork. A total of 350 were made.
By the time the Series III facelift was applied in August 2003 the supercharged V6 had been benched leav ing just the V8, which got a power boost to 245kW.
May 2004 saw another CV8-R grace the roads, this time in Pulse Red. But the biggest changes to Monaro came with the VZ version in September 2004 with a rev ised interior, Pontiac GTO t win-nostril bonnet, st yling upgrades, a new six-speed manual gearbox and another power boost, taking the V8 to 260kW/500Nm.
In August 2005 the final 1200 limited edition CV8-Zs rolled off the production line in a new fusion colour with special badging and a sunroof. Come December the end of Monaro production had arrived but export and HSV models continued until mid-2006.
Throughout the life of the third-generation Monaro, HSV got in on the act bringing out the GTO and GTS that were festooned with spoilers and sk irts that horrified Monaro designer Mike Simcoe. It made the sleek coupe look clunk y. HSV also created the $ 89,500 AWD Coupe 4 in July 2004.
“THE MONARO WAS A STANDARD VT SS SEDAN FROM THE A-PILLAR FORWARD”
ABOVE Initially only intending to sex-up their display, Holden ended up having to put it into production.
BELOW HSV’s Coupe 4 took the Monaro soaring to the next level.
ABOVE So slick ck with a tin-top – how w good might it have been without one?
RIGHT The increased windscreen rake is a vital component of the winning style.BELOW ’Monaro’ and ‘V8-power’ are terms that sit well together. LEFT As the pedal approaches the metal the Monaro remains perfectly composed.