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First look Holden Monaro CV8 - TBA

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Vauxhall is looking to Australia for future coupe muscle with the showing of a Holden Monaro CV8 at Birmingham.

The four-seater 5.7-litre V8 powered coupe was there to gauge public reaction, although UK managing director Kevin Wale (an Australian) says: “Monaro may be the first coupe that can take our heritage forward by combining the best of GM design and performance from around the world.

“We're determined to put the fun back into your motoring.”

Insiders say Wale wants the Holden to do for Vauxhall's image what the striking Calibra achieved when it was launched in 1990 - a model which towards the end of its life in 1997 was fitted with a 200bhp/153mph turbo engine.

Should Wale get his way - and the Birmingham post mortem prove positive - Vauxhall could announce a UK launch date by January 2003.

Specification in its home market includes a close ratio six-speed manual gearbox with the option of a four-speed automatic with Formula One-style shift light and warning buzzer. The 300bhp V8 petrol unit, lifted from the Chevrolet Corvette, is good for 153mph and a 0-60mph acceleration time of less than seven seconds.

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