The 2004 edition of Holden’s iconic Monaro sports coupe boasts the most substantial upgrade since its sensational debut almost three years ago.
Powertrain refinements deliver a more forceful launch feel, more mid-range torque and a sharper sports character, balanced by an upgraded braking system that is the largest of any production Holden.
The performance boost is advertised by a base note V8 burble, broadcast via big-bore 95 millimetre dual exhausts.
Monaro’s muscular new look is pointed up by aggressive styling cues like twin bonnet scoops, strong front facia graphics and an exclusive vivid blue exterior finish called Turismo.
Monaro has been Australia’s top-selling sports car since its release and it is exported to markets including the United States, where it sells as Pontiac GTO, the Middle East as Chevrolet Lumina S and SS Coupe and Britain as Vauxhall Monaro.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, said Monaro was a famous nameplate which symbolised the spirit of the Holden brand for many Australians.
"The Monaro is playing a great ambassadorial role in many parts of the world as an example of best-practice Australian automotive design and engineering. Monaro punches well above its weight on the world stage against supercars costing much more," Mr Mooney said.
Monaro can now be found on the streets of Los Angeles, London and Dubai. It’s a global car with a performance reputation to match.
"The Holden Monaro is the number one seller in the Australian sports car category because people appreciate it for what it is: a very stylish high-performance sports coupe that represents exceptional value for money."
"We’ve upped the ante with VZ by adding more ’bang for your buck’ through extra V8 power and torque and more distinctive styling."
"Holden is successfully designing, engineering and building vehicles for different world markets. Our home strength, our ability to give our customers what they want and to deliver products such as Monaro that reinforces Holden’s strategic role within GM and underpins its long-term viability," Mr Mooney concluded.
In keeping with its world car status, engineering development work on VZ Monaro was undertaken in Australia, United States, Sweden and Britain.
Revisions to the 5.7 litre Gen III V8 powertrain raise power output, compared with the previous model, by 15 kW to 260 kW at 5600 rpm using PULP. Engine torque is lifted by 35 Nm to 500 Nm at 4000 rpm using PULP and 93 per cent of this peak torque is now available across a wider rev range.
Camshaft modifications improve low to mid-range delivery, sharpening takeoff time and providing a sports performance feel that will be particularly noticeable on corner exits and in day to day driving generally.
Among other contributors to Monaro performance gains are a new V8 induction system which allows the engine to breathe more efficiently and a specifically developed, all-new split dual exhaust system.
A shorter-ratio six-speed manual transmission increases torque production across the rev range. A more heavy-duty four-speed automatic transmission, capable of increased torque loads, modified for swifter shifting and with a shorter final drive ratio, delivers more power.
Monaro’s new engine management system teamed with ’drive by wire’ electronic throttle control allows the engine to match its outputs to the type of fuel it is using.
A relocated fuel tank, now between the rear axle and rear seat, allows for a new underbody deflector − reducing rear lift and increasing aerodynamic stability.
Up front, bright red twin pot brake calipers bear the Monaro moniker and show off the serious stopping power provided by larger diameter 320 mm ventilated front and 286 mm rear disc brakes.
Holden’s biggest braking package is augmented by a new brake booster and master cylinder, which help to achieve ABS-invoking pressure almost 50 per cent faster than before and reduce stopping distance by four per cent.
The VZ Monaro CV8 also introduces Brake Assist, which works through the booster and cuts in during hard braking, helping drivers to activate ABS more easily in emergency situations. A smooth new traction control system utilises the electronic throttle control and a new Electronic Brakeforce Distribution feature transfers brake force between front and rear axles and controls rear brake pressure on all road surfaces.
Monaro’s sleek, expressive body − all accentuated curves and stylish silhouette − gets a makeover to match. Its 260kW performance potential is clearly advertised by twin air scoops with mesh inserts which punctuate a powerful new bonnet form and strong front end graphics.
Stand-out Monaro VZ styling cues include a sharper-edged headlamp treatment, a more prominent, angular grille opening with textured hexagonal mesh detailing, echoed in the larger air intake ’mouth’ below. The deep, integrated facia also houses a unique vertically slotted park lamp and projector-style fog lamp combination.
New deeper-dished 18-inch alloy wheels are a bolder evolution of the previous model’s sporty five-spoke design.
At the rear, 95 mm diameter exhaust outlets tipped in bright chrome are separated by a black hexagonal mesh lower skirt; CV8 badging is subtly re-designed in chiselled script. With the fuel tank now located in front of the rear axle, the fuel filler is repositioned at the top of the rear quarter panel.
Monaro buyers can choose from a colour palette of six exterior finishes, two of them introduced with this model. They are the exclusive-to-Monaro Turismo, a chromatic teal blue mica, and Odyssey, a dark mercury silver.
In the passenger compartment (now quieter than ever due to door seal refinements) these exterior finishes are complemented by colour-coded instrument clusters and highlight stitching on the leather-trimmed steering wheel, transmission shifter and park brake.
Topping a glossy piano black centre stack and console surround is a sports instrument binnacle with electronically integrated oil pressure and voltmeter gauges, angled towards the driver.
Interior upgrades now allow buyers who choose Quicksilver or Odyssey exterior finishes to option interior leather trim in either Redhot or Black Anthracite. Custom combinations offer a range of exterior, leather trim and instrument cluster colour options.