Holden Monaro CV8-Z

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Keywords: Holden Monaro CV8-Z

Description: Holden did well with its television advertisement for the “last of the line” Monaro CV8-Z, depicting the great Australian coupe taking a place alongside automotive classics in what

Holden did well with its television advertisement for the “last of the line” Monaro CV8-Z, depicting the great Australian coupe taking a place alongside automotive classics in what appears as the world’s greatest garage.

Owners must be following the ad’s lead and parking theirs, because even though the (initial) 1200 were snapped up within just a few months of the CV8-Z’s August 2005 release you’d hardly know it from the roads. An uncommon sight, our test CV8-Z turned heads everywhere we went during the seven days spent living with a legend.

It’s certainly dressed to impress, the test Monaro CV8-Z resplendent in Fusion orange — one of Holden’s new ‘hero’ colours — and matching embellishments for the interior trim and dash instrumentation. If, as Holden suggests, you’re considering the CV8-Z as a collectable it’s the combination to choose: it’s likely to endure as a stand-out Monaro colour, much like the ‘Lettuce Alone’ green of the ’70s. Other colour combinations with matching gauge clusters are available for the more fainthearted.

You’ll need to muster courage making the most of its 260kW of power and 500Nm of torque: all that will move off sedately, unless, of course, you don’t want it that way. As noted in CarPoint’s 2005 Monaro VZ launch review, Holden’s new electronic throttle — which does away with a mechanical link between pedal and power — delivers a feeling of immediacy and sparkling performance from standstill. Plant it and it’s neck-cracking stuff through the (shorter ratioed, except fourth) gears and there’s power to spare right past any locally-mandated speed limits.

The 5.7-litre Gen III V8’s mumbo is reined in equally quickly and consistently by four-wheel ventilated discs with performance calipers at the front (as fitted to the VZ CV8).

The CV8-Z gets big, grippy 18-inch wheel/tyre combos and the Monaro FE2 sports suspension set-up keeps handling wieldy and ride comfortable, if a little harsh at times over Melbourne’s average roads. We also noticed tyre noise. Offsetting any aural offence, though, was the rich V8 rumble from the split big-bore dual exhaust.

Monaro does well in sportscar segment sales and it’s strange to see it leave the Lion’s line-up. Holden released a further 400 CV8-Zs late last year, perhaps as reprieve for those that missed out earlier, but that’s it until the company “investigates options for a next generation coupe with other divisions of General Motors”. Who knows, perhaps the just-unveiled Chevrolet Camaro concept could sprout HT-HK-style front guards and launch a retro Munro Down Under in a couple of years?

Well-equipped, comfortable and, sure, collectable, the CV8-Z gets a Holden By Design fitted electric sunroof, black bonnet scoop accents, modified taillights and special badging on the rear and wheels.

Basically, the CV8-Z ‘special edition pack’ is a nice going away outfit for the VZ Monaro. Holden wants it to be renowned as a great Australian: a big, bold car for a big country. Because it sounds as though the next generation Monaro, if it’s likely, may be built to suit motoring’s biggest country of all…



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