Holden VZ Monaro

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Holden Monaro

Holden VZ Monaro

2004 - 2005
Gen. IV V8
5.7 ltr. Gen III V8
5 spd manual; 4 spd. auto
Top Speed:
Number Built:
3 star
Holden VZ Monaro
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3


It was always going to be difficult to improve on the magnificent V2 Monaro, but essential to the success of any update would be one ingredient, better performance.

And so the VZ Monaro was indeed a better car, if power and torque is the gauge by which any car should be judged. Boasting 260kW and 500Nm, the VZ was, for a time, the most powerful mainstream Holden ever manufactured.

These increases in output were courtesy of a revised camshaft and split-dual exhaust system, providing increases in torque over a wide rev range, averaging 40Nm or better between 2300rpm-5300rpm.

The new exhaust system had 25% less backpressure, and exited either side of the tail through 95mm chrome tips, however despite the mechanical improvements it would be the addition of bonnet vents (reminiscent of a theme established with the HT/HG Monaro’s of old) that polarized opinion of the new model.

The VZ Monaro was afforded improved braking performance, courtesy of substantially larger 320mm x 32mm front discs (over the 296mm x 28mm used in the V2), complete with twin-spot front calipers borrowed from the C6 Corvette.

The vented rear discs measured 286mm x 18mm, and combined with an upgraded ABS system, Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution, the VZ boasted awesome stopping power. 

The GMH engineers fitted an electronic throttle control to allow a smoother pedal response and improved drivability; an upgraded traction control system rounded out an already polished and capable driving experience, although many would switch it off to enjoy the subtlety of the V8’s ample torque and sublime chassis, a trait most commentators put down to the fact that the two door had greater structural rigidity over the standard 4 door Commodore configuration.

A new M12 six-speed manual gearbox provided shorter ratios up to fourth gear, thereby giving better performance and torque availability. In automatic versions the heavy duty 4L65 four-speed (which was usually reserved for the HSV variants and commercial vehicles) was fitted as standard. But there were some other modifications made necessary due to the fact that the majority of Monaros were destined for the US, to be marketed as Pontiac GTO’s. Most significant of these changes was the relocation of the fuel tank to the boot (rather than under the car). There was an upside and a downside, reduced boot space the former, more space for a throatier exhaust system the latter.

Cosmetically, the VZ was more aggressive, thanks not only to the (controversial) new bonnet scoops, but also the modified nose treatment. The new front bumper with larger air intake flanked by vertical parking and fog lamps and a sharper headlight design and grille achieved a more aggressive and powerful look. Chrome exhaust tips exited either side of a new satin black lower fascia panel. Interior changes were minor, with the addition of oil pressure and voltmeter gauges above the centre console.

The CV8-Z was a limited edition run of only 1200, manufactured from July 2005. Unfortunately the deicision had been made to cease manufacture of the Monaro, a decision we perhaps (as car enthusiasts) cannot understand, but one that will, as the ad says, make them an instant classic. Priced the same as the standard Monaro CV8, the Z featured factory fitted "Holden By Design" sunroof, black bonnet scoop accents, machined 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with one spoke embossed with the CV8-Z logo, modified rear lamps and unique gun metal chrome CV8-Z badging on the rear.

It was available in Quicksilver, chromatic Teal Blue Mica Turismo, bold Devil Yellow, Black Phantom and a new special edition colour, Fusion (an orange-based metallic delivering sharp gold highlights through to darker bronzed drop-out). As for the bonnet scoops, well we love ‘em. It is, after all, a Monaro, and for us, that’s enough said.

Standard Equipment: 260kW V8, 6 speed manual transmission, Limited slip differential (LSD), Control Link Independent Rear Suspension (IRS), Monaro FE2 Sports Suspension, performance brakes with ABS EBD and BA, Traction Control (TC), 18 x 8 inch alloy wheels with 17 inch alloy space saver spare, front foglamps, quick response LED centre stop lamp, leather wrap steering wheel, cruise control, rear parking sensors, trip computer, driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger side impact airbags, 6-disc in-dash CD player, steering wheel audio controls, antenna on rear glass, dual zone electronic climate control, front power windows, twin cupholders, security system with twin Priority Key.

Optional Equipment: 4 speed automatic transmission, satellite navigation, electric sunroof.

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