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The next Monaro? Holden’s 60th anniversary gem

Meet the next Monaro, the Coupe 60 concept car that Holden rolled out at the Melbourne Motor Show to mark the brand’s 60th anniversary. Holden began building its own cars in 1948 with the 48-215, more popularly known as the FX. The FX was styled and largely developed in America, but its anniversary marker is an all-Australian effort – at least as far as the body/chassis and styling go.

And in an interesting twist, it’s based on the VE Commodore platform which will underpin Chevrolet’s next Camaro. Some what coyly, Holden says the Coupe 60 “offers a glimpse” of its future design, engineering and engine technology. More tellingly, perhaps, Coupe 60 project boss, Peter Hughes, says: “With Coupe 60, we think we have designed a car that has the potential to write another chapter in the book of Holden icons.”  So the next Monaro? Almost certainly.

Though it’s unabashedly a luxury performance car, the Coupe 60 is powered by a 6.0-litre V8 that can run on E85 fuel – a blend of 85 per cent ethanol and 15 percent petrol. All that’s need now is a plentiful source of that fuel and a network to retail it. Unlike the last VT-based Monaro, the Coupe 60 is a pillarless hardtop. The show car has a V8 Supercar inspired cockpit layout and side-exiting chambered exhaust system with billet alloy tips.

It’s almost 60mm shorter than the VE sedan, has 21-inch centre-lock alloy wheels with unique design Kumho high performance semi-slick tyres. Like a race car, it has a full flat underbody, rear underbody air diffuser and a functional bootlid spoiler.

Inside are one piece carbon fibre bucket seats, upholstered in leather and suede, and a sports-inspired flat bottomed steering wheel with integrated shift light display. High gloss carbon fibre doors and rear trim contrast with the leather trimmed instrument panel and black suede trimmed pillars, headliners and parcel shelf.

Details and accents are picked out with red high shine leather on the seats and dark gunmetal finish and satin chrome on the consoles and doors. Front seats are adjustable fore and aft to allow easy access to the rear, with four-point race harness restraints for all seating positions.

The Diamond Silver paintwork gives a liquid aluminium finish that appears to almost slide off the bodywork. Project leader Hughes, says his team was “looking to mark the diamond anniversary with a car that captured the Holden DNA and took the current VE range to an exciting next step.

“Even in the early stages of VE development, we knew there was a sensational coupe waiting to get out and the 60th anniversary has given us the chance to explore that.”GM Holden managing director, Mark Reuss, says the Coupe 60 “highlights Holden’s heritage of rear-wheel drive performance whilst looking ahead to the potential offered by new technologies and materials.

“This is a vehicle I know our designers would dearly love to see go into production, but for the moment it has to remain a concept only.”But they said something like that about the Commodore Coupe that morphed into the Monaro in 2001.

Engine and mechanical stuff

The 6.0 litre Chevrolet LS2 V8 engine incorporates active fuel management and is calibrated for E85 ethanol fuel.

The engine has an oil cooler for high-speed running.

The gearbox is a Commodore SS-specification six-speed manual.
High-performance Brembos handle braking, They have ducted air cooling for the front callipers.

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