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Holden's hot Monaro captured

Caught on camera: Holden's new Monaro. Picture courtesy Channel 10 Sport.

It's one month and counting to the biggest launch of 2001 - Holden's new Monaro

10 Sep 2001

THE exciting new Holden Monaro coupe has been spotted as it is finalised for production - this time with just minor disguises on the nose and tail.

Despite the car bra, it's clear to see that Monaro has a "letterbox" grille, with a Holden badge in the centre, while the teardrop headlights currently seen on most Commodores have been dropped.

These are moves designed to separate Monaro from the garden-variety Commodore sedans from which it takes its drivetrain and platform.

That differentiation is necessary because Monaro has to survive with minimum styling investment after it is launched if it is going to make money for Holden.

Despite all the hoopla and pre-publicity that has made the return of Monaro so anticipated, Holden believes 5000 sales in the first full year will be a good result.

It might sound like a low number, but that's because the sports car market is a fickle and limited one. What's hot today can be on the nose tomorrow. The rapid decline of BMW's Z3 is a good example of this syndrome.

Holden will nevertheless put its best marketing foot forward, cheekily doing its best to rename the Sydney motor show - where the car will be launched - the Sydney Monaro Show.

It will have examples of all seven exterior colours and interior combinations, including the new leather look launched with VXII on show and after that will hit the road presenting "Monaro Galleries" on Australia's east coast where the car will be previewed to potential customers.

In Melbourne, the gallery will be at Cavalli restaurant in St Kilda, which also usually doubles as a Lotus sports car and Ducati motorcycle dealership.

"The galleries will enable dealers to bring in their people who have orders," a senior Holden executive said.

"We'll advertise these galleries and create as much hype from a promotional sense as possible so people can come in and have a look." Manufacture of the Monaro is expected to start in November with dealer delivery in December.

Holden is expected to offer V6 supercharged and 5.7-litre 225kW V8 versions of the Monaro, with pricing tipped to start around the $50,000 mark, and probably topping out about $65,000.

Meanwhile, the HSV versions of Monaro should appear before Christmas in both 255kW and 300kW variants, with pricing expected to reach $100,000.

Media speculation has already suggested the HSV cars will simply be called GTO Coupe (255kW) and GTS Coupe (300kW).

And with Holden's four-wheel drive program approved, there's now the lip-smacking prospect further down the track of an all-wheel drive Monaro.

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