Jeff Gordon cd driver one. So do Tony Stewart and also Jimmie Johnson. Heck, also Dale Earnhardt Jr. Slaps his No. 8 on one. We"re talking around the Chevy Monte Carlo--specifically, the NASCAR gyeongju car, tiny E."s winning ride in ~ this year"s Daytona 500, no to cite the many victorious nameplate in NASCAR history. With accolades choose that, there"s no saying the M.C."s gyeongju success.

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The street version of this well known namesake, however, hasn"t obtained the very same fanfare lately. The old practice of "race ~ above Sunday, offer on Monday" to be worth precisely 66,976 new-car sales the the Monte Carlo come Chevy in 2003. That"s a much cry from the success Ford has actually run up v its NASCAR nameplate—the Taurus discovered 300,496 takers—and virtually 10,000 shy of Dodge"s stock-car-inspired sedan, the Intrepid, at 76,473. And also let"s no forget the Monte"s that company sibling and also NASCAR foe, the Pontiac grand Prix, which marketed 125,441 units.

Perhaps the Monte Carlo"s biggest trouble in "03 was the in conventional SS type it topped out at 200 horsepower. Channeled through a four-speed automatic transmission, that oomph was anything however NASCAR-like. Because that 2004, Chevy is providing a spiced-up M.C. That it really hopes can construct some excitement (sorry, Pontiac) and rise those fourth-place sales.

That Carlo caliente is the supercharged SS you watch on this page. Exactly how do we know it"s supercharged? Well, it says so--in large script on the rear quarter-panels, and additionally on the dash and also on the kick plates. So conspicuous space the labels the staffers began querying sarcastically, "Are friend sure that"s supercharged?" Chevy made other less-obvious modifications, including a decklid spoiler, fog lamps, twin stainless-steel exhaust tips, and also 17-inch diamond-cut wheels shod with Goodyear Eagles. The super charge SS watch sportier than its tamer siblings, yet it"s quiet not especially handsome come our eyes.


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Underneath, the transforms are much more significant. The drive height has been lowered almost half an inch, the spring prices are stated to be stiffer in ~ all 4 corners, and the anti-roll bars are bigger front and rear. Obviously, the greatest upgrade is what lurks under the hood--a supercharged variation of GM"s 3800 series II pushrod V-6, which makes 240 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque in ~ 3600 and also is paired through a beefier four-speed auto. Compared with the traditional SS, that"s an upgrade of 40 horsepower and also 55 pound-feet.

At the track, the Monte"s newfound power and also chassis enhancements were evident. We ripped turn off 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and the quarter-mile in 15.1 in ~ 93 mph, 2.1 and 1.5 seconds quicker, respectively, 보다 the numbers placed up by a conventional SS ("Low-Impact Sports," September 2002). Moreover, the super load SS"s wider, lower-profile tires (235/55R-17s matches 225/60R-16s) and tauter suspension hosted on for 0.83 g at the skidpad, a sizable development over the SS"s 0.79. Ride quality has lessened slightly compared with the SS"s conservatively tuned suppleness, however it"s a welcome trade-off. And also Chevy"s designers have done a commendable job of quelling the torque-steer issue. Braking to be vastly better, too--70 mph come a standstill come in 186 feet, 20 feet shorter--and pedal feel was linear and also easy come modulate.

There are more pros to pile on this swollen Monte Carlo. The structure is around as shaky together Gibraltar, the fit and also finish is respectable, and the interior is roomy and comfortable, specifically in the earlier seat.


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Of course, through pros come cons. The super charge Monte tho delivers a numb steering sensation that Led Zeppelin would define as a interaction breakdown. That feels overassisted and also lacks precise, straight feedback come the driver. The ebony internal is simply that--dark, cold, monotonous--and the high quality of the plastics seems low-rent. Climate there room the problem of poundage and also price. The super charge SS weighs 3530 pounds and also has a $27,895 base price. Contrasted with a $26,990 Honda Accord Coupe EX V-6 (September 2003) through a six-speed manual and a $23,460 Toyota Camry Solara SE sports V-6 (October 2003), the Chevy put the biggest dent in the pavement and your pocketbook. No helping the Monte"s instance are the Accord"s acceleration times, which room all quicker, or the Solara"s Lexus-like cockpit, which, in irradiate (we wish) that the Monte Carlo"s second-rate interior, is choose comparing Hugo Boss v Boss Hogg.

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That said, this recent street iteration the Chevy"s famed racing coupe does market up power that much surpasses the of the typical SS, a auto that experiment at $24,575. For second $3320, that"s a severe bump in the bang-for-the-buck department. Plus, v all that torque ~ above tap, the super load SS quickly chirps its prior tires--which might be every that"s essential to an increase sales and also the passion amongst Chevy"s NASCAR faithful.


SPECIFICATIONS

2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo supercharged SS

VEHICLE TYPEFront-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE as TESTED$31,155 (base price: $27,895)

ENGINE TYPESupercharged pushrod 16-valve V-6, steel block and also heads, port fuel injection Displacement: 231 in3, 3791 cm3Power (SAE net): 240 bhp
3600 rpm

TRANSMISSION4-speed automatically

DIMENSIONSWheelbase: 110.5 in Length: 197.9 in Width: 72.7 in Height: 55.2 in Curb weight: 3530 lb

C/DTEST RESULTSZero to 60 mph: 6.5 sec Zero come 100 mph: 18.2 sec Street start, 5-60 mph: 6.7 sec standing ¼-mile: 15.1 sec
93 mph optimal speed (governor limited): 112 mph Braking, 70-0 mph: 186 ft Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.83 g

FUEL ECONOMY EPA fuel economy, city driving : 18 mpg C/D-observed: 18 mpg


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