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Exclusive: VE sedan to spawn new Monaro!

Flexible: VE Commodore architecture can easily morph into a new Monaro.

The designer of Holden's VE Commodore confirms the all-new sedan will sire a coupe

17 Jul 2006

AN ALL-NEW Monaro is coming. Mike Simcoe, the man who crafted Holden’s VE Commodore and the VT-based Monaro - and who is now in charge of exterior design for all GM North America cars - has uttered the words Australians have been longing for: "It will come."Mr Simcoe has revealed to GoAuto that a coupe version was "in the offing early on" in the VE Commodore’s development and that building a two-door version would now be a relatively simple task.

However, it will not be seen until bread-and-butter model derivatives such as utilities are built, meaning a likely arrival date of late 2008.

"Right now there is no Monaro that’s going to appear next year or anything like that. There’s too much else that this architecture has got in line before we get to that. It’s not that we’re not doing it – it will come eventually.

"There’s just a whole bunch of other stuff that needs to earn money first," he said.

"If the host car is good, then doing anything else off it is much easier. The VT delivered the Monaro – and the Monaro was only good because the VT was good. It’s all within the bounds of what the architecture will deliver. So you’ve got the same sort of stuff here."While the next Monaro could be built in the United States rather than Australia using the VE’s new Holden-developed global architecture formerly known as Zeta, the coupe will not be a version of the Zeta-based Chevrolet Camaro concept unveiled at the Detroit motor show earlier this year.

The Camaro has been touted as a possible successor for the Monaro-based Pontiac GTO. But Mr Simcoe, who is responsible for the design of future Pontiac cars (as well as those from Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Saturn), was adamant that despite sharing a common platform, the two vehicles did not have a common destiny. "The Chev Camaro is not a Monaro," he said.

GM Holden chairman and managing director Denny Mooney also hosed down speculation about the next Monaro being derived from the Camaro: "I wouldn’t re-skin a Camaro – a Camaro is a Camaro."

13 center imageMr Simcoe (left) said the Zeta architecture was flexible enough to allow Holden to build several model variants, including a station wagon, single-cab and dual-cab ute and four-wheel drive passenger cars and wagons.

Of these, only the single-cab ute is a certainty to join the sedan, in around 12 months from now - though a VE Commodore wagon is expected to be approved for production from around March 2008.

"There was a coupe in the offing early on (but) there’s any number of alternatives being thought about and being designed – and they have not necessarily all come to fruition," he said.

"One of the things that we were able to do because we were designing from the ground up is the sort of flexibility we’re working into the plant in Adelaide and the sort of thinking that generated things like the Crewman, traditional utes and wagons and all the rest of it.

"This architecture was designed in a modular fashion so it is fairly easy to do – what we call flexible architecture. If it costs a lot to change, you’re not going to do much change.

"It’s designed to allow us to get more vehicles out of it. That’s down to not necessarily sharing panels but sharing the base architecture and positioning of wheels and tyres and cowl and all that sort of stuff."

What's coming from Holden:

VE Commodore sedan - August 2006
HSV E-Series sedan - Late August 2006
WM Statesman/Caprice sedan - September 2006
VE Commodore utility - October 2007
VE Commodore wagon - March 2008
VE Monaro coupe - Late 2008VE Commodore to revive Pontiac: click here

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