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New model last for a while
By Alastair Sloane
By Alastair Sloane
A limited-edition Monaro dubbed the CV8-Z will be the last two-door Holden available in New Zealand - for a few years at least.
Holden is wrapping up production of the VZ Commodore-based coupe for the NZ and Australian markets to work on a business plan for the next-generation model.
But it is unclear whether Holden or its American parent General Motors will take responsibility for the new model.
GM Holden Australia chief Denny Mooney said the company continued to investigate options for a next-generation Monaro with other divisions of GM.
"Everyone at Holden is certainly committed to delivering a new-generation Monaro, but there is still a lot of work to make that happen," said Mooney.
"We're looking at a number of options to ensure Holden continues to set the standard when it comes to performance coupes.
"Monaro means too much to Holden to not have another Monaro."
The current Monaro is based on the VZ Commodore platform; next year's all-new VE Commodore will be based on GM's new Zeta architecture. In the order of things Holden, a new Monaro would also use the VE platform.
But Holden parent GM might continue to use the VZ platform for left-hand-drive Pontiac GTOs for the US market.
The GTOs are rebadged Monaros built in Adelaide. It is understood production will continue for as long as Pontiac can justify the numbers.
GTOs rule over Monaros and the life of the VZ platform would therefore extend into that of the VE. A report in Australia had it that the next-generation Monaro might not appear until 2010-11.
The decision to end VZ Monaro production applies to New Zealand and Australia only. Holden Special Vehicles is expected to make a decision on its Monaro variants soon.
The celebratory CV8-Z will be limited to a production run of 1200 models and will round off Monaro build numbers of more than 40,000 since the coupe was launched in Australia in late 2001 and New Zealand early in 2002.
Said Mooney of the new model: "It's important that we deliver a special edition VZ Monaro which keeps the coupe among the most collectable modern cars into future years.
"Monaro has really strengthened Holden's position as a global automotive business. It reinforced the company's design, engineering and manufacturing reputation which was reflected in the record company exports for GM Holden of more than 52,000 last year.
"The coupe has worn four GM brands on four continents [Holden Monaro in this part of the world, Chevrolet SS Lumina in the Middle East, Pontiac GTO in the US, and Vauxhall Monaro in Britain] and sold almost six times as many cars as were first planned."
The CV8-Z will cost $78,400 in New Zealand. Its five-spoke 18-inch wheels, black bonnet scoop accents, revised tail-lights, gun-metal chrome rear badging and all-new colour range - including orange "fusion" - will make it stand out from the Monaro line-up.
Holden NZ marketing manager Sheena Duffy said VZ Monaro sales were running above expectation.
"The CV8-Z treatment takes a great coupe and makes it even better. It's a fitting way to celebrate Monaro's success and we expect it to be an extremely popular end to the current generation."
The special model is powered by a 5.7-litre V8 engine developing 260kW (350bhp) and 500Nm of torque.
* The second-generation Monaro was launched in Sydney in October 2001, more than 30 years after the first-generation example. Holden delivered a model upgrade with the Series III in 2003 before the VZ Monaro appeared earlier this year. It is the most powerful production Holden ever released.