When Holden (almost) gave us a proper sports car | Drive Flashback

While a lofty ambition, in hindsight it’s hard to see the Speedster making an impact in Australia, certainly not with an estimated $70,000-$75,000 price tag. That would have seen the Holden-badged Opel compete on price with the BMW Z3 ($74,380 when new in 2001) and far outstrip the $44,000 and $45,000 asked respectively of the Mazda MX-5 and Toyota MR2. It’s hard to imagine Aussies stumping up the hefty dollars.

Instead, Holden focused its performance energies on the third generation Monaro which made its debut in 2001. Tapping into Aussie nostalgia and our love of muscle cars, the Monaro could be had with either a six-cylinder ($47,990) or a thumping 5.7-litre V8 for $56,990, both undercutting the estimated local price of the small, lightweight German sports car and by significant margins. RM

Rob Margeit is an award-winning Australian motoring journalist and editor who has been writing about cars and motorsport for over 25 years. A former editor of Australian Auto Action, Rob’s work has also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Wheels, Motor Magazine, Street Machine and Top Gear Australia. Rob’s current rides include a 1996 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and a 2000 Honda HR-V Sport.

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