2001 Monte Carlo New Car Test Drive
Shaped in the wind tunnel for minimal drag and maximum stability, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo was designed to win NASCAR Winston Cup races. It would be no exaggeration to say Chevrolet and Monte Carlo have dominated NASCAR racing since the 'Modern Era' began in 1972. Since its reintroduction to NASCAR's high-banked ovals in 1995, the Monte Carlo has won four consecutive Winston Cup Series Driver's Championships as well as Manufacturer's Cup Championships in '95, '96 and '98. Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., the late and lamented Dale Earnhardt, and a long list of other Monte Carlo drivers have become household names in recent years as the sport has exploded in popularity.
While the Monte Carlo at the dealerships doesn't have the top end of a tube-frame Winston Cup car, the SS model does provide spirited performance. And its wild styling does attract attention. Just don't expect people to line up for your autograph until you've won the Daytona 500.
Two trim levels are offered: LS ($19,570) is powered by a 3.4-liter V6; SS ($22,400) uses a more powerful 3.8-liter V6, plus upgraded wheels, tires, and suspension. Both come only with a four-speed automatic transmission.
SS packs more standard equipment, but Chevrolet has narrowed the distance between the two models a bit for 2001. Electronic traction control is now standard on both models. A driver's side-impact air bag and OnStar communications, both standard on SS, are offered optionally on LS. There's even a Sport Appearance Package for the LS, with five-spoke aluminum wheels and a rear spoiler.
At the same time, Chevrolet has added a High Sport Appearance Package for the SS, with unique wheels, spoiler, and ground effects, plus stainless steel exhaust tips.
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