Throughout its time on the road, the Chevy Monte Carlo has been everything from a muscle car and a NASCAR champ to an upscale sports machine. When it went on hiatus in the mid-late 1980s, the Monte Carlo was a luxury-oriented coupe that gave way to another contemporary Chevy favorite, the Lumina. In 1995, Chevy decided to bring the model back. Based on the Lumina, the Monte Carlo was available in two trim levels and constructed on GM's W-body platform along with the Lumina, Pontiac Grand Prix, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and Buick Century. It was front-wheel drive, with engine configurations and standard accessories being dependent upon trim level. Trim levels were the LS and Z34, with the LS being powered by a 3.1L V6 capable of 160 horsepower while the Z34 received a 3.4L DOHC V6 that threw out up to 215 horsepower with 220 pounds-per-foot of torque. Engines were mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The Lumina-based bodystyle was popular enough for NASCAR, as the new Monte Carlo represented itself very well on the racing circuit before the Lumina took over several years later.
The sixth generation of the Monte Carlo rolled off the line in 2000, still as a coupe but with Impala-influence styling cues. It was designed by GM Motorsports, which meant a healthy-dose of NASCAR-ready attributes and parts like a duck tail spoiler as well as several special edition trims, including the "Intimidator SS" named after Dale Earnhardt along with others for Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart. Engines varied according to trim level, with the LS getting a 3.4L V6 good for approximately 180 horsepower and the SS receiving a 3.8L V6 that could throw out around 200 horsepower as well as 225 pounds-per-foot of torque. In 2006, the SS Supercharged premiered with a 3.7L V6 and 240 horsepower. The previous trim levels of the Monte Carlo were also given parts upgrade under the hood, as the LS and LT models received a 3.5L V6 and the LT and LTZ versions were beefed up with a 3.9L V6. The SS got the biggest influx of power, saying hello to a 5.3L V8 capable of over 300 horsepower and 245 pounds-per-foot of torque.
The updates for 2006 would be the last, as the Chevy Monte Carlo was discontinued after the 2007 model year. From the time it was resurrected through 2007, it was assembled in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Sales were solid given the automotive climate at the time. From 2000 to 2004, Chevy sold on average approximately 68,450 Monte Carlo models per year. The Monte Carlo received a substantial amount of recognition during its second run on the market. In 2000, it was nominated as Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year along with being named to Car and Driver's Ten Best List and Best NASCAR Fan Car by AMI Auto World.
The Chevy Monte Carlo is more about sport and performance than simple fashion concerns. Chevy's model was originally cast as a muscularly sophisticated vehicle, but its destiny was meant for more than that. Using its NASCAR success from the earlier versions, the Monte Carlo will forever be thought of as a racing model, and perhaps that is just fine with most of its drivers, because this car simply performs like a beast. Still holding up to its given legacy, the Monte Carlo is a favorite amongst blacktop-seething enthusiasts the world over.
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