# Opel Monza

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Opel Monza
Overview
Manufacturer Opel
Also calledVauxhall Royale Coupé
Production1978–1986
AssemblyWest Germany: Rüsselsheim
Body and chassis
Class Executive car (E)
Body style 2-door fastback coupé
Platform V platform
Related Bitter SC Coupé
Opel Senator A
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,670 mm (105.1 in)
Length4,692 mm (184.7 in)
Width1,734 mm (68.3 in)
Height1,380 mm (54.3 in)
Curb weight 1,375–1,420 kg (3,031–3,131 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Opel Commodore Coupé

The Opel Monza is an executive fastback coupe produced by the German automaker Opel from 1978 to 1986. It was marketed in the United Kingdom as the Vauxhall Royale Coupé by Vauxhall. [1]

## Monza A1 (1978–1982)

The Monza was planned as a successor for the Commodore Coupé. In the late 1970s the Commodore C model was made as a two-door version (as was the Rekord E1), but still as a sedan type car. The first model of the Commodore the "A" series had a regular coupé in the production line and Opel desired to make a newer version of their large luxury coupé. Work began in 1976 and in 1978 the first Monzas were available to buy. The cars to compete with would be the Mercedes-Benz C123 and later the Mercedes-Benz C124 and the BMW 6 Series (E24) models (coupe models), and any other large luxury coupe. But what Opel hadn't realized was that the old ways were too old. The car was big without being hugely luxurious. This did not mean that the Monza was not comfortable. There was plenty of space inside the car, and the enormous seats left you with a feeling of sitting in a much more upmarket brand than Opel.

The internals consisted of parts mainly borrowed from the Rekord E1 and later the E2, which meant cloth seats, and much plastic on the dashboard and inner doors. Even the rev counter and the tachometer was taken directly from the Rekord E models, so that when you sat in one, the feeling was not that you drove a Monza, but more that you where driving a Rekord. If that wasn't enough trouble for Opel, they also experienced gearbox problems. The engine range for the Monza A1 was the 3.0S, the 2.8S, the newly developed 3.0E and later the 2.5E (the 3.0 had 180 bhp and 248 Nm with fuel injection), gave a wide range. The three-speed Borg Warner automatic transmission from the Commodore range needed to be modified to cope with the new and improved power outputs. Opel's own four-speed manual gearboxes were not up to the job and, instead of putting in a more modern five-speed manual gearbox, Opel turned to gearbox and transmission producer Getrag, and installed the Getrag 264 four-speed manual gearbox in the early Monzas. But when people bought a big, luxurious coupé they wanted modern products as well, and Opel obliged, as soon the Getrag 240 (for the 2.5 engines) and the Getrag 265 (for the 3.0E), both 5-speed manual gearboxes, replaced the old 4-speed gearbox.

The Monza, however, sharing the same layout as the Senator A1, had very good driving abilities. It handled quite well, thanks to the newly developed MacPherson strut system for the front of the car, as used on the Rekord E1 and E2, and the new (previously Opel had always used a non-independent rear axle on the Rekord E1 and E2, Manta, Ascona etc.) independent rear suspension gave the car soft, yet firm and capable, driving characteristics and excellent stability for such a big car. The engine range, however non-economical, was also very good, and few problems with the extremely reliable engines, even today, some 30 years later. The six-cylinder engines were all of the CIH type (camshaft in head) and were in reality a 2.0-litre straight four with just two more cylinders. Many parts on the engine, such as the water pump and drive train, are in fact the same parts as used on the four-cylinder version. This meant that this was an engine not only tested for many years in the Commodore, Admiral and Diplomat range, but also very reliable. Although the first generation of 3.0E engines in the Monza A1 had overheating problems when standing still, this could easily be fixed by fitting an oil-cooler.

When Opel realized that the public disliked the Rekord interior, they introduced the "C" package. The "C" cars were fitted with extra instruments (oil pressure, voltmeter etc.) and the interior was either red, dark blue, green, or brown. As all parts of the interior were coloured, it seemed more luxurious than it did previously.

The A1 also came with a sports package or "S" package. The cars all where marked as "S" models on the front wings, and came with 15-inch Ronal alloy wheels and a 45% limited slip differential.

However, being a coupe, it was rather large, and four well-sized adults had plenty of space. Even the boot was extremely large, and if that was not enough people had the possibility to flip down the rear seats to make even more space. The A1 was not a great hit at the customers even though it was fairly cheap to buy, the class of the car taken in consideration, and the fact that it actually got some good reviews by the press.

With the 3.0-litre engine, the Monza was at that time the fastest car Opel had ever built. Being capable of speeds as high as 215 km/h, and the 0–100 km/h mark went in just 8.5 seconds.

## Monza A2 (1982–1986)

In 1982, the Monza, Rekord and Senator all got a face-lift and were named the A2 (E2 for the Rekord). The A2 looked similar to the A1 overall but with some small changes to the front end. The headlights noticeably increased in size, and the front was more streamlined than the A1. The car was much more slippery, with drag resistance down by around ten percent (from 0.40 to 0.35 ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle C_{\mathrm {x} }\,}$). [2] Also the chrome parts like bumpers etc. were changed to a matt black finish, or with plastic parts. The bumpers were now made of plastic and gave the Monza the look of a sports car in appearance, and actually did look similar to the Opel Manta, despite the ample size difference. The rear lights were the same and the orange front indicators were now clear glass, giving a much more modern look to the car. Overall the update was regarded as successful although retrospectively some of the purity of the lines of the early car were lost.

At a time of rising fuel prices, the need for fuel efficiency was becoming paramount, and Opel decided to change the engine specifications of the Monza. This meant introducing both the inline four-cylinder CIH 2.0E engine from the Rekord E2 (replaced by the torquier 2.2 in October 1984). [2] However, as the Monza weighs almost 1400 kg, given the 115 PS of the two engines, the cars were underpowered and thus unpopular. The 2.5E was given a new Bosch injection system so between 136 and 140 PS was available. The 2.8S was taken out of production. The 3.0E engine stayed the top of the range. The 3.0E was given an upgraded Bosch fuel injection and fuel consumption improved somewhat.

The cars now came with more luxurious interior, electrically controlled side mirrors and even an on-board computer, recording fuel consumption, speed and range.

The launch of the A2 in the UK saw the demise of the Vauxhall Royale Coupe, which had been sold alongside the Monza, resulting in only the Opel model being available on the market. The Royale was disparagingly described by Autocar as "an effeminate, frilly, titivated version of the [Monza] with fussy wheels and an unpleasant (often pastel-shaded) velour-smothered interior". [3]

### Monza GSE

The last incarnation of the Monza was the GSE edition in mid-1983; [2] basically the A2 car, but a high-specification model which had Recaro sports seats, digital LCD instruments, firmer suspension, the Getrag five-speed manual transmission, and an enhanced all-black interior. It also featured a large rear spoiler on the boot. Also GSE models are equipped with a 40% limited slip differential, an addition that had to be ordered separately on earlier 3.0E cars when purchasing.

By the time the Senator was updated to the new Senator B and the Monza cancelled, 43,812 Monzas had been built. There was no direct Monza replacement, although the idea of a large Opel/Vauxhall sporting car was carried on in the Lotus Carlton/Lotus Omega saloon. Bitter Cars put a 4.0 engine under the hood as a prototype. Three were built; two left hand drive and one right hand drive, one left hand drive burned out on a motorway in Germany and the other is in a museum, but the right hand drive one is in Somerset, UK.

## Holden Monza

In Australia, local racing legend Peter Brock had plans to import, modify and market the Opel Monza Coupé as the Holden Monza with the Holden 5 Litre V8 fitted, through his own HDT (Holden Dealer Team) business, but the plans eventually fell through. [4] This was due to the expense of adapting the car to Australian Design Rules. [5] One model was built with modifications, including a 5.0-litre Holden V8 engine. [6]

## Other uses of the Monza name

In South Africa, a saloon version of the smaller Opel Kadett E was also sold as the Opel Monza. [7] In Brazil and Venezuela, a version of the Opel Ascona C was sold as the Chevrolet Monza, which featured a three-door fastback body unique to Latin America. [8] There was also an unrelated Chevrolet Monza in the United States.

## 2013 Monza Concept

2013 Monza Concept
Overview
Manufacturer Opel
Also calledVauxhall Monza (United Kingdom)
Production2013 (Concept car)
Body and chassis
Class Executive car (E)
Body style 3-door 2+2 fastback coupé
Doors Gullwing doors
Related Opel Flextreme GT/E

The Opel Monza Concept is a three-door 2+2 fastback coupé plug-in hybrid concept car with 2 gullwing doors for easy access to the rear seats unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2013. The concept was also shown under the British Vauxhall marque. [9]

The concept shares the same basic plug-in hybrid setup as the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera called "VOLTEC", [10] but using a turbocharged 1-liter 3-cylinder natural gas-powered engine as its range extender instead of General Motors’ current 1.4-liter gasoline Voltec engine. [11] The Monza Concept is the first car to feature cutting-edge LED projection infotainment. [12]

Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, the CEO of Opel has been quoted as saying "The Monza Concept is nothing less than our vision of the automotive future". According to Opel, this concept is the role-model for the next generation of Opel cars, and because of its modular chassis design, future cars based on it would be able to accommodate gasoline, diesel or electric power. [11] [13]

Chief designer Ed Welburn of General Motors said "The gullwing doors will go into production and concept". [14]

## Related Research Articles

Vauxhall Motors Limited is a British car manufacturer based in Chalton, Bedfordshire, England, a sister brand of Opel and since January 2021, a part of Stellantis.

The Holden Commodore is a medium to large car that was sold by Holden from 1978 to 2020. It was manufactured from 1978 to 2017 in Australia and from 1979 to 1990 in New Zealand, with production of the locally manufactured versions in Australia ending on 20 October 2017. Sales of the Commodore ended in 2020, coinciding with the discontinuation of the Holden brand and nameplate entirely.

The Opel Omega is an executive car engineered and manufactured by the German automaker Opel between 1986 and 2003. The first generation, the Omega A (1986–1993), superseded the Opel Rekord. It was voted European Car of the Year for 1987, and was available as a saloon or estate. The second generation, the Omega B, was manufactured from 1993 to 2003.

The Opel Ascona is a large family car that was produced by the German automaker Opel from 1970 to 1988. It was produced in three separate generations, beginning with rear-wheel-drive and ending up as a front-wheel drive J-car derivative.

The Opel Calibra is a coupé, engineered and produced by the German automaker Opel between 1989 and 1997. In the United Kingdom, where it remained on sale until 1999, it was marketed under the Vauxhall brand as the Vauxhall Calibra. It was also marketed as the Chevrolet Calibra in South America by Chevrolet, and the Holden Calibra in Australia and New Zealand by Holden.

The Opel Tigra name has been applied to two different cars engineered and produced by the German automaker Opel, both based on different iterations of the Corsa supermini, the first built in Spain, the second in France. The first Tigra was a small 2+2 coupé, produced from 1994 to 2001. The later compact hard topped convertible roadster model was introduced in May 2004.

The Opel Senator is a executive car (E-segment) produced by the German automaker Opel, two generations of which were sold in Europe from 1978 until 1993. A saloon, its first incarnation was also available with a fastback coupé body as the Opel Monza and Vauxhall Royale Coupé.

The Opel Rekord was an executive car which was built in eight generations by the German car manufacturer Opel. Between 1953 and 1986, approximately ten million were sold.

The Vauxhall Carlton is a series of large family car/executive car sold in two distinct generations by the Vauxhall division of GM Europe between 1978 and 1994. The Carlton was based on the Opel Rekord E (Mk.1) and Omega A (Mk.2).

The Opel Commodore was an executive car (E-segment) produced by Opel from 1967 to 1982. It is the six-cylinder variant of the Rekord with styling differences. The Commodore nameplate was used by Opel from 1967 to 1982. However, its nameplate/lineage continued until 2020 with the Australian Holden Commodore. The last generation was sold in the United Kingdom primarily as the Vauxhall Viceroy although Opel models were also sold.

Erich Bitter Automobil GmbH (Bitter) is a premium sports-luxury automobile marque produced in Germany and later Austria. Founder Erich Bitter, a former racing driver turned automobile tuner, importer and ultimately designer began crafting his own vehicles after business ventures with Italian manufacture Intermeccanica ended.

The Opel Manta is a rear-wheel-drive sports coupé built by German manufacturer Opel in two generations from 1970 to 1988. The Manta was a mildly sporting coupé based on the Ascona family car, akin to the Ford Falcon-based Mustang and its various imitators such as the Ford Capri. The Manta remained rear-wheel drive for both generations and also saw certain competition success.

The V platform is a rear-wheel drive automobile platform that underpinned various General Motors (GM) vehicles from 1966 through to its final discontinuation in 2007. The V platform was developed in the 1960s by the German subsidiary of GM, Opel. However, it was not without significant revision over its lifetime. The platform's phase-out began when European production ended during 2003, while the Australian variants, produced by Holden continued until 2007, after their final replacement by Zeta-derived models. The first of these Zeta cars came in 2006, with the remaining changing over in 2007. V-cars are identified by the "V" fourth character in their Vehicle Identification Number. Although completely unrelated, the "V platform" designation was also used for a series of North American front-wheel drive personal luxury coupes.

The Holden Commodore (VS) is an executive car which was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 1995 to 1997 and 2000 for utility versions. It was the fourth and final iteration of the second generation of this Australian made model. The range included the luxury variants, Holden Berlina (VS) and Holden Calais (VS).

The Opel Insignia is a mid size/large family car engineered and produced by the German car manufacturer Opel, currently in its second generation. Production of the Insignia started in August 2008, replacing the Vectra and Signum. The vehicle is sold under the Vauxhall marque in the United Kingdom, in Australia as the Holden Commodore, and sold in North America and China as the Buick Regal.

The Daewoo Royale is a series of Executive cars that was produced by Daewoo in South Korea from 1983, being replaced by the Daewoo Prince in 1991, although production of the top-line Daewoo Imperial continued until 1993. The Royale's predecessor was launched in 1972 by General Motors Korea (GMK) as the Rekord, becoming the Saehan Rekord in 1976 when Saehan Motors replaced GMK, until production ended in 1978. This car was a version of the German Opel Rekord D.

The Opel Corsa is a supermini car engineered and produced by the German automobile manufacturer Opel since 1982. It has been sold under a variety of other brands and also spawned various other derivatives.

The Opel Rekord D series is an executive car that replaced the Rekord C on Opel's Rüsselsheim production lines during the closing weeks of 1971 and launched on the West German market at the start of 1972. It shared its wheelbase and inherited most of its engines from its predecessor, but the bodies were completely new. Also new, announced in September 1972, was the option of a diesel powered Opel Rekord. Early advertising and press material called the new car the "Opel Rekord II" but in due course, the "Rekord II" appellation was quietly dropped and the Rekord D was replaced at the end of the 1977 summer holiday shut down by the Opel Rekord E.

The Opel Rekord Series E is an executive car that replaced the Rekord D on Opel's Rüsselsheim production lines in August 1977, following the end of the summer vacation plant shut-down. It shared its wheelbase and inherited most of its engines from its predecessor, but the bodies were completely new.

The Opel cam-in-head engine (CIH) is a family of automobile engines built by former General Motors subsidiary Opel from 1965 until 1998. Both four- and six-cylinder inline configurations were produced. The name derives from the location of the camshaft, which was neither cam-in-block nor a true overhead camshaft. In the CIH engine the camshaft is located in the cylinder head but sits alongside the valves rather than above them. The overhead valves are actuated through very short tappets and rocker arms. The four-cylinder CIH was largely supplanted by the Family II unit as Opel/Vauxhall's core mid-size engine in the 1980s. A four-cylinder version of the CIH remained in limited production until 1998, and six-cylinder versions of the CIH until 1995.

## References

1. Vauxhall Royale and Royale Coupe (1978 - 1984), Honest John, 22 August 2013
2. Pirotte, Marcel (1985-01-24). "Essai detaillé: Opel Senator 2.2i" [Detailed Test]. Le Moniteur de l'Automobile (in French). Brussels, Belgium: Editions Auto-Magazine. 36 (813): 107.
3. Autocar & Motor, Volume 192, Haymarket, Pub., Limited, 1992, page 60
4. Monaro or Monza? Holden faces a coupe conundrum Wheels , June 8, 2015
5. Opel Monza 2008 | Driving Brock's One-off Coupe, Performance, Drive.com.au
6. Brazil's J-Car, the Chevy Monza, bows in May, Automotive News , Crain Automotive Group, 1982, page 108
7. Vauxhall Monza concept review, Daily Telegraph , Andrew English, 2 January 2014
8. Matthe, Roland; Eberle, Ulrich (2014-01-01). "The Voltec System - Energy Storage and Electric Propulsion" . Retrieved 2014-05-04.
9. Stephen Williams (2013-09-10). "Frankfurt Motor Show: The Opel Monza Returns". The New York Times . Retrieved 2013-09-11.
10. "Monza concept to break cover at Frankfurt". Fit4Talent.com. Fit4Talent. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
11. Jeffrey N. Ross (2013-09-10). "Opel Monza Concept soars into Frankfurt [w/video]". Autoblog.com . Retrieved 2013-09-11.
12. Opel Monza concept at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show (IAA). Drivingthenation (September 2013)