The Earnhardt Connection - News

Chevrolet Redesigns the Monte Carlo for '99
The Earnhardt Connection
(March 14, 1998)

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The new 1999 Monte Carlo may somewhat resemble this concept car, which was unveiled earlier this year.

        Chevrolet will present a new, redesigned Monte Carlo this year that will make it's Winston Cup debut in 1999.

        A Chevrolet marketing executive let it slip in Las Vegas that General Motors plans to unveil a new Monte Carlo sometime later this year. Chevy car owner Felix Sabates all but confirmed it last week while reacting to NASCAR's latest rule changes.

        "All this is really going to make it hard for the new '99 Monte Carlo," Sabates said, referring to the rules change and the new Ford Taurus. "It'll be hard to get anything for that new Monte Carlo after all this."

        The Monte Carlo, NASCAR's all-time winningest model, returned to the Winston Cup Series in 1995, replacing the Chevrolet Lumina.

        Pontiac debuted a redesigned Grand Prix in 1996 and Ford replaced the Thunderbird with the new Taurus prior to this season.

        The new Monte Carlo might somewhat resemble a Monte Carlo concept vehicle that was unveiled earlier this year in a Detroit. The vehicle was dubbed the "Intimidator".

        "The Intimidator is inspired by Team Monte Carlo's own 'Intimidator', seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt", said Chevrolet general Manager John Middlebrook.

        "The Monte Carlo brand team together with the Chevrolet's specialty vehicles department and Design Staff created the Intimidator as a way to celebrate Monte Carlo's racing heritage," Middlebrook added. "The result is a vehicle a die-hard NASCAR fan would love to drive to work or to a NASCAR event. It's street legal, but just barely."

        The Intimidator features aggressive NASCAR-inspired styling cues and performance-enhancing technology. According to Don Parkinson, Monte Carlo brand manager, the modifications are intended to achieve an authentic NASCAR look and feel.

        "Like a real Winston Cup race car," notes Parkinson, "the Intimidator is designed to be as aerodynamic as possible - slippery but with plenty of downforce."

        Aerodynamic treatments include low-slung front and rear air dams and a deck-lid spoiler. Mated to a 4T65-E four-speed automatic transmission, the modified version of Monte Carlo's production engine creates 295 horsepower and 280 lbs.-ft. of torque.

        "The 3800 is known for its terrific fuel efficiency, and its reliability is legendary," Parkinson said. "The Intimidator is bad, it's beautiful, it's fast, and it gives a glimpse at what the next-generation Monte Carlo might look like when it hits the streets."