GTO and GTS
Looks like Holden won't be calling their 2 door a Monaro anymore:
HSV has settled on names for its stunning versions of the Holden coupe, but it won’t be Monaro.
By TOBY HAGON and BOB JENNINGS
One of the most exciting cars of the year will have one of the blandest names.
HSV’s two versions of the most-awaited locally made car in decades – Holden’s Monaro – now have names as further details of the hottest local comeback begin to emerge.
Make welcome the HSV Coupe GTO and its more powerful brother, the Coupe GTS.
As is the case with all of HSV’s current line-up, the decision was made by the marketing department of Holden’s high-performance arm to use unique names for the Monaro – the two-door version of the Commodore – to separate them from the regular donor car.
The names will no doubt spark debate, particularly with those who believe a two-door Commodore should be called a Monaro, as it is by Holden. But insiders suggest HSV was adamant and that differentiation was the goal.
The GTS tag is already used on HSV’s most powerful sedan, while the GTO is new to HSV.
Some believe GTO is too close to Ford’s former super-hot Falcon, the GTHO. But it’s not the first time HSV has got close to Ford’s bone. Remember the HSV XU6 and the Falcon XR6?
Both HSV coupes will be powered by the HSV-tweaked version of the Chevrolet-built V8 found in Holden’s Commodore. The GTO will get the 255-kilowatt variant and the GTS will make use of the exclusive 300kW V8, which is expected to be one of the fastest locally-made cars ever.
Both the GTO and GTS coupes will sit alongside at least two Holden-badged Monaros. Whereas both HSV coupes will be exclusively V8s, the first Holden model will use the supercharged V6 and be equipped generously, including four airbags, ABS, alloy wheels and full power features.
Holden will also offer a V8-powered Monaro, complete with the Holden-tuned version of the 5.7-litre V8, bigger wheels and more equipment.
Pricing is expected to start around $50,000 for the entry-level Holden Monaro and go to more than $100,000 for the HSV Coupe GTS.
Already, some 700 Australians are said to have placed orders for a Monaro.
As well as blistering straight-line performance, HSV is also working hard to give its new coupe unique handling traits, with a typically firmers uspension set-up than the Holden. HSV has already vowed that the coupe will be its best-handling car ever.
The Monaro will also use unique front and rear-end styling compared with the regular Commodore sedans and wagon. That’s partly because the model cycle of the Monaro has to continue through a major mid-life upgrade to the Commodore – known as VY – due late next year. Also, Holden can market it as more than just a Commodore minus the rear doors.
The Monaro is slated to go on sale late this year after a debut at the Sydney motor show in October, almost 25 years since it was last on the market. HSV versions should follow soon afterwards.
Meanwhile, Holden has confirmed by way of default that the Monaro will be sold in export markets, including the Middle East. On a website for its Middle East operations, Holden confirms the car will be sold as a left-hand drive in that country, opening the way for other left-drive countries to consider a Monaro.
HSV already sells cars in Britain, making it an obvious taker.
In an announcement on the General Motors Middle East website, Gerry Groenewegen, Chevrolet’s Middle East brand manager, says: "Chevrolet is planning to extend the family of its best-selling midsize Lumina with the introduction later this year of the Lumina Coupe, a feature-loaded two-door with a high-performance V8 engine."
He proclaims that the coupe will have "the gut-wrenching power of the SS from the same Generation III V8 engine".
The coupe would be offered with a four-speed automatic gearbox, and would have sports suspension, with anti-lock braking and traction control.