the $200,000 Monaro
Story from Drive dot com.
Stand by for action: the $200,000 Monaro
By Joshua Dowling
The Sydney Morning Herald
Friday June 7 2002
Holden's special vehicle division is secretly working on a Porsche-priced super-coupe.
Holden's performance car partner, Holden Special Vehicles, is developing a road-going Monaro-based supercar to rival Europe's finest. And, at an anticipated $200,000, it will have an exotic pricetag to match.
Sources within Holden liken the secret project to Porsche's limited run of million-dollar Grand Tourer sports cars. Drive understands only 100 examples would be built by hand.
The car would be capable of up to 300kmh and accelerate faster than a Lamborghini. It would have unique body panels, a high-powered engine and a wider stance to improve its high-speed stability and cornering ability. This computer illustration is a guide as to how wild the car could look.
It is believed HSV wanted to build the cars this year, its 15th anniversary, but overwhelming demand for the current coupe has delayed the project. According to the source, a release date of "some time next year" is now likely.
It is understood HSV is now in the final stages of preparing the business case for such a vehicle. The expense of unique body panels and a wider track would be enormous.
HSV's business plan must also address the matter of how many people would buy a Holden for the price of a Porsche.
HSV hinted at plans to develop a super-performance arm of its empire when it unveiled the high-powered HRT Maloo. The car, with modified panels and a lowered roof, was called a "concept only" but was a big clue to HSV's future direction.
The Maloo's 6.2-litre Chevrolet V8 from the Callaway Corvette is expected to power the Monaro super-coupe, although the car almost certainly won't be called a Monaro. Historically, HSVs have not worn the same badge as their Holden donor cars.
When contacted this week, HSV refused to comment. However, HSV has said in the past that a supercar was not beyond the realm of possibility as it aimed to expand the brand.
HSV has long been considered Holden's performance partner, in the same way as the – M badge is to BMW and AMG is to Mercedes.
It is understood HSV wants to move to the super-performance level, having recorded healthy profits with the most successful Commodore to date.
Holden has recently appointed senior executives to key positions within HSV, possibly to pave the way for a significant expansion.
Rival Ford released a high-performance T-Series range two years ago but the initial vehicles were not deemed a threat to HSV.
However, reports of more powerful versions of the next Falcon (see separate story) are believed to have prompted HSV to find new ground.
Meanwhile, HSV is building 20 coupes a day at its Melbourne factory – and still there is a two-month waiting list. Remarkably, the maker claims that the arrival of the coupe has not dented HSV sedan sales.
The $100,000 flagship 300kW GTS accounts for one-third of coupe orders – and so far only two buyers of those built have – deleted the rear wing.