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Monaro a four-star General

On the side: The Holden Monaro scored 13.419 out of 16 in the ANCAP side impact crash test.

Holden’s coupe rates with the sports stars in NCAP crash testing

Holden logo18 May 2004

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

INDEPENDENT crash testing has revealed the reborn Holden Monaro provides marginally higher levels of occupant protection than the Commodore it is based on and competes well against European luxury marques.

According to the latest round of ANCAP (Australian New Car Assessment Program) crash test results, the Monaro scored high into the four-star range.

While the Commodore is also four-star rated, it was just behind its sporty stablemate.

The two-door Monaro scored 26.89 points out of a possible 37, while the four-door VY Commodore scored 26.7 points.

ANCAP crash test procedures involve an offset frontal test at 64km/h, a side impact test at 50km/h and a pedestrian test that indicates likely injuries to pedestrians hit by a test vehicle travelling at 40km/h.

According to ANCAP technical data, the Monaro’s passenger compartment held its shape "well" in an offset crash test and scored 12.47 out of 16. The protection from serious chest injury was rated as marginal for the passenger.

The vehicle scored 13.419 out of 16 in the side impact crash test. There was a moderate risk of serious abdomen injury for the driver, ANCAP reported.

"We do not know why Monaro would perform better than Commodore but it’s likely to be to do with ongoing development of that vehicle to meet the US market requirements," said ANCAP spokesman Michael Case.

Monaro is exported to the US as a 21st century Pontiac GTO.

"Only Holden knows what they have done to that vehicle to sell it in the US and what difference that might translate into its front-end design and, more particularly, what difference a two-door coupe body would make, particularly to side impact results," Mr Case said.

Results for a range of European and Japanese sports cars available in Australia, such as the Peugeot 307CC, Honda S2000, Audi TT, Mercedes SLK, MG TF and Mazda MX5 were also released.

All vehicles in the latest round of results received a four-star occupant protection rating, including five convertibles. Three of the vehicles included side head protection airbags in their specifications that improved their ratings.

"These are pleasing results because they are all four stars and that is the level ANCAP is recommending consumers look for when they are looking to purchase a vehicle," said Mr Case.

"What we are seeing is more and more cars achieving four stars, which is good news for consumers.

"I think we are seeing ongoing commitments by manufacturers to improve the crash test performance of their vehicles and therefore the occupant protection of their vehicles."All tests bar the Monaro were conducted overseas. But ANCAP says it does not reveal the results locally until it is sure they are comparable.

The Monaro did not fare as well in the pedestrian test, scoring just one star out of a possible four. The MG TF scored three stars while the only other car tested – the 307CC – scored two stars.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, all Australian state governments and the New Zealand government.

The Australian car industry is officially opposed to the ANCAP testing process, although individual car companies have broken ranks in the past to promote crash test results.

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