General Motor’s UK brand, Vauxhall, chose the 2004 British International Motor Show (25th May-6th June) to unveil its exciting new premium sports brand, VXR, and it’s high performance flagship, the sensational Monaro VXR.
Listen closely, though, to the awesome V8 soundtrack of this two door range topper and you might just detect that it speaks with a distinctly Aussie accent. Indeed, it is essentially the same HSV GTO Coupe that’s proven immensely popular amongst Australian and New Zealand performance car enthusiasts.
Like its Aussie cousin the Vauxhall Monaro VXR features a 5.7 litre LS1 V8 pumping out 285kW (292kW DIN) and 510 Nm, a high performance braking system, leather interior, a centre instrument binnacle and a long list of standard equipment, while also adding striking 19-inch alloy wheels shod with Pirelli P-Zero 245 / 35R19 tyres.
The creation of Vauxhall’s VXR brand was inspired by the outstanding success the company’s VX Racing Team has enjoyed in the British Touring Car Championship over recent seasons. Models under the VXR brand will aim to offer buyers an enticing combination of imposing looks, searing performance, exclusivity and value for money – traits that HSV buyers know only too well.
Vauxhall Chairman, Kevin Wale, is a former Director of Marketing at Holden and was instrumental in arranging the supply chain from HSV’s Clayton manufacturing facility, through Holden and onto Vauxhall.
“This is not a one off arrangement”, said HSV National Sales Manager, Darren Bowler. “The supply of the Monaro VXR is very much an ongoing export partnership between HSV, Holden and Vauxhall”.
With the 2004 quota set at a minimum of 100 vehicles the Monaro VXR is set to be a very exclusive and exciting driving experience for those lucky few. With around 30 vehicles already pre-sold prior to launch – at a RRP of £35,595 – it appears that this world-class high performance V8 rear wheel drive coupe is well on it’s way to conquering yet another market.
The export program is managed through Holden, which also has an arrangement to export Monaros to the UK under the Vauxhall brand.
The program for 300 cars a year was announced in October 2003.