Layout Eight cylinders, two valves per cylinder, single camshaft with pushrods
Construction Alloy block and cylinder heads, V-configuration, cross-bolted main bearings, OHV design with cross flow cylinder heads, low restriction air inlet and air box, 63 mm dual, low back pressure exhaust with stainless steel headers.
Fuel system Sequential fuel injection, distributorless ignition with coil-per-cylinder, twin knock control sensors
Engine capacity 5667cc
Power (hp) 382@ 5800rpm
Torque (lb ft) 376 @ 4800rpm
Combined mpg 18.5
0-60 mph 5.4 seconds
Top speed 170 mph
CHASSIS AND TRANSMISSION
Suspension HSV suspension
Front suspension MacPherson strut with anti-roll bar
Rear suspension Control-link independent rear suspension with 14 mm HSV anti-roll bar
Spring rating Increased by 15 per cent at the front and 10 per cent at the rear
Steering rack Faster and HSV specified
Transmission Six speed manual transmission
Other Limited slip differential, traction control
Final drive ratio 3.73:1
Performance brakes with PBR calipers
Front 330 mm x 32 mm
Rear 315 mm x 18 mm
Configuration Four wheel disc, ventilated front disc and finned caliper
WHEELS AND TYRES
Wheel size 8in x 19in
Tyre size 245/35ZR19
Tyre make Pirelli P Zero Rosso
Overall length 4789 mm, 188.5 in
Overall width 1841 mm, 72.5 in
Overall height 1397 mm, 55.0 in
Overall weight 1658 kg
Front track 1559 mm, 61.4 in
Rear track 1577 mm, 62.1 in
Wheelbase 2788 mm, 109.8 in
Turning circle 11 metres (kerb to kerb)
Loadspace 370 litres
Fuel tank capacity 75 litres
SERVICING AND CUSTOMER CARE
Service interval 10,000 miles
Warranty One year unlimited mileage warranty with second and third year no-fee warranty to 60,000 miles
Vauxhall Assistance 12 months from first registration
VXR MONARO UPS THE ANTE FOR PERFORMANCE COUPES
• Massive, 382 bhp, 5.7 litre, V8 engine
• Superb dynamics, excellent driving experience
• Muscular body kit and 19 inch alloys as standard
Looking and feeling every inch the high performance car, Vauxhall’s Monaro VXR is a rare and beautiful creature. Powered by a massively torquey and powerful V8 engine, and boasting supreme drivability, looks and desirability, there really is no other car like it anywhere in the UK today.
Following on from the massive success Monaro V8 has enjoyed in the UK already – just one month after its on sale date 45 per cent of the year’s quota had been sold – the highly awaited Monaro VXR offers everything the V8 does… and a whole lot more besides.
Monaro VXR boasts a 5.7 litre V8 alloy engine which pumps out a massive 382 bhp of power and 376 lb ft of torque, which equates to a zero to 60 mph sprint of 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 170 mph.
This performance is also in no small way due to the low restriction air inlet and air box, as well as the 63 mm sports exhaust, which features stainless steel tubular headers – instead of the cast iron manifold on the standard Monaro – to squeeze yet more power out of Monaro VXR’s mighty V8.
To complement such immense power, Monaro VXR features uprated ventilated and grooved performance disc brakes all round – 330 mm at the front and 315 mm at the rear – with PBR callipers, all of which creates massive stopping potential and tremendous feel.
Ride and handling have been uprated for Monaro VXR too, thanks to a saloon steering rack and HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) suspension, which work together to produce the car’s inspiring handling and feel.
This exceptional ride quality is due to a variety of tweaks underneath Monaro VXR’s skin. Featuring a faster ratio steering rack, digressive dampers (which vastly improve body control) as opposed to the progressive damping on standard Monaro, stiffened front and rear springs – the front stiffened by 15 per cent, the rear by 10 per cent – and an HSV rear roll bar Monaro VXR is a blast to drive in addition to being incredibly positive and exciting.
Meanwhile, in the driving seat things not only feel different, thanks to the new VXR black leather and Alcantara sport seats, but they look different as well. A subtle but important improvement is the inclusion of extra engine indicators – oil pressure and voltage indicator – in the specially designed VXR instrument binnacle.
Externally, Monaro VXR has been upgraded with a unique front air dam, rear spoiler and side body skirts, all sympathetically sculpted to enhance Monaro’s already dynamic and stylish exterior. These improvements also play an important part in the car’s aerodynamics, helping to create an even sleeker side silhouette… a side silhouette which is given immense presence by the imposing 19 inch alloy wheels, shod with Pirelli P-Zero Rosso 245/35R19 tyres.
And all of this is in addition to Monaro’s exhaustive list of standard equipment which includes: cruise control; power mirrors, sun roof and windows; ‘intelligent’ wipers; rear park assist; automatic head lamps; trip computer; 10-speaker, six CD sound system; eight-way, electrically adjustable front seats; electric front seat slide for rear access; dual zone climate control; alloy pedals; and metal finish dash, door handles and sill plates; driver and passenger airbags; driver and passenger side impact airbags; seat belt pre-tensioners; anti-submarining ramps; child restraint anchor points; quick response LED centre brake light; low fuel, high engine temperature and rear light failure warnings; steering wheel-mounted sound system controls; and active front head restraints and seat backs.
With such stylish looks, impressive power and high standard specification any Monaro VXR owner will want to show it off to as many friends as they can and with Monaro VXR they can do just that. Monaro is a real-world four-seater offering room for four adults to sit in comfort without squashing their knees up to their chins, which means the driver can take up to three mates out with them to experience the thrill of Vauxhall’s fastest-ever sports coupe.
With all this on offer you’d expect a price as big as the car’s charisma, but you’d be disappointed… Monaro VXR costs just £35,595.
5.7 VXR (LS1), 2004-present
20 - Phantom Black
19 - Quicksilver
16 - Red Hot
0 - Phantom Black
2 - Quicksilver
5 - Red Hot
6.0 VXR (LS2), 2005 onwards
50 - Phantom Black
27 - Quicksilver
35 - Red Hot
Date: 22 Oct 2004
by: Farah AlKhalisi
The name 'Monaro' may not mean much to many Brits, but in Australia, it holds similar sentimental connotations as 'Capri', 'Mustang' and 'Charger' - i.e., an affordable, unpretentious, uncomplicated way to go pretty damn quickly. General Motors' Aussie branch, Holden, dusted off the badge again a few years back for a new rear-wheel-drive coupe based on its Commodore hot-rod saloon, fitted a Chevy-sourced 5.7-litre V8 (329bhp, also used in the last-series Corvette) and counted the cash as it hit the spot with blokes across the southern hemisphere. Yes, make no mistake: the Monaro is most definitely a bloke's car.
Also sold in the USA as the Pontiac GTO, the Monaro fits in the category of good ol' fashioned rear-drive fun for good ol' boys: lily-livered media types and poncey designers in trendy specs need not apply. It's certainly not a fashion statement or even a status symbol, but a blatantly unsophisticated display of testosterone, and you can practically smell the pheremones at fifty paces. It's all very unreconstructed - but then so are a large proportion of petrolhead geezers, not all of whom can afford an AMG-ed Merc, an M3 or a 911. For its refusal to bow to political correctness, GM can only be applauded.
And if the standard Monaro isn't quite macho enough, Holden has now upped the output from the elderly but effective push-rod V8 to 382bhp and 376lb ft of torque, giving a top speed of 170mph and 0-60 acceleration in 5.4 seconds. This version of the Monaro, sold in the UK with the moniker VXR and an update effective on all the Aussie-market cars for 2005, has also been fettled by the HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) division, receiving a faster-ratio steering rack, stiffened front and rear springs, different dampers and a modified rear anti-roll bar. The VXR treatment also adds black leather/alcantara seats, additional oil pressure and voltage indicator dials and a full aggressive, aerodynamic body kit plus 19-inch alloys. With the standard Monaro kit including eight-way electrically-adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, a fairly decent 10-speaker, six-CD sound system, side airbags, sun roof, parking sensors and rain-sensing wipers, it's a comprehensively good-value proposition at £35,595. We'll gloss over the fact that Australian prices are less than £25,000 at today's exchange rates, and the US Pontiac starts at well under £20,000... shipping's not cheap. Hey, this thing's quicker 0-60 than a Mercedes CL 500 (£71,520).
Yet for all its bluster, the Monaro VXR is remarkably civilised to drive and ride in. Noise levels are low, the ride absorbent and the seats positively armchair-like. The steering is light - no bulging biceps required - as is the clutch, though it's not exactly a car you could drive in high heels. The short-throw six-speed manual gearbox was rather stiff, but this could well be down to the low mileage (2,700) of the car tested. The cabin is well laid-out, if a bit dated in its design - though this is arguably in keeping with the Monaro's retrograde appeal.
Despite its impression of docility, however, the VXR still has to be treated with respect, and here's where I admit to being a proper girlie wuss. It weighs over 1700kg. It is rear-wheel drive. It is raining torrentially, and the narrow Berkshire lanes are a) muddy and slippery, and b) heavily populated by racehorses out exercising. I remember the last time I drove a large rear-drive Vauxhall (an Omega MV6 on the F1 circuit at Jerez, since you ask) and what it feels like to fish-tail at speed. So no, I can't report on its handling at the limit, getting the back end out or its powersliding potential, not that such behaviour is big and clever on the roads anyway. But it's clear nonetheless that the VXR is adept at getting round corners, and that it has phenomenal reserves of torque and masses of capability to keep on pulling in any gear. Still, I can't help thinking that even a lesser-powered, lighter four-wheel drive Evo VIII or Impreza WRX would be so much more usable, and end up significantly quicker point-to-point.
I also can't help thinking that the company has missed the point of this car's appeal by re-badging the Monaro as a Vauxhall for the UK: given that it's going to sell (albeit in very small numbers) on the strength of its no-nonsense Aussie image - with a bit of Yank muscle car thrown in - perhaps it should have stayed as a Holden and also capitalised on a bit of rarity value. As a Vauxhall, it looks like a mildly updated, pumped-up Calibra, and whilst that was not a bad car by any means, even the 200bhp Turbo was hardly in the same performance league. Or maybe it's just me that's missed the point with this car full stop: I may not be the most delicate example of femininity, but I am most definitely not a bloke.
• Limited-edition supercharged Monaro VXR hits magic 500PS mark
The limited-edition VXR500 is based on the standard 6.0-litre Monaro VXR, but uses forced induction to take the power from 403 to 500PS and torque up from 530Nm to a massive 677Nm. In addition to the positive displacement supercharger, the conversion also includes an upgraded fuel system, clutch revisions and bespoke engine tune.
It’s expected that the VXR500 will have a sub five second 0-60 time and a top speed in excess of 180mph, and yet it is surprisingly relaxing to drive, as most of the torque is available low down in the engine’s rev range.
This limited edition model is available for only £35,995 on-the-road.
That’s less than half the price of any other coupe with 500bhp!
The VXR 500 can only be sourced from Greens Vauxhall on 01634 246755