POLIC­ING TUR­BOCHARGED

Queens­land cops take de­liver of 50 Stingers to re­place Com­modores and Fal­cons

South Burnett Times - - FIND YOUR CAR ON FIND A - JOSHUA DOWLING

There’s a new kind of Stinger to watch out for in Queens­land.

An­other po­lice de­part­ment has rolled out its re­place­ment for lo­cally made Holden Com­modore and Ford Fal­con high­way pa­trol cars as they head for the car park in the sky — and it’s called a Kia Stinger.

It’s pow­ered by a twin-turbo V6 and has the per­for­mance to match the Com­modore V8s and high-per­for­mance Fal­cons that have pa­trolled our roads for decades.

The first batch of 50 Kia Stinger sedans will be rolled out across Queens­land from this week.

Even­tu­ally, how­ever, the en­tire fleet of about 200 high­way pa­trol cars in Queens­land is ex­pected to switch to Stingers.

NSW has an­nounced a mixed fleet of BMW and Chrysler sedans; Vic­to­ria so far has only con­firmed BMW pur­suit cars.

Other states and ter­ri­to­ries are still eval­u­at­ing high­way pa­trol car re­place­ments but Kia is un­der­stood to have been ac­tively pur­su­ing the po­lice fleet busi­ness — snatch­ing it from un­der the noses of Holden and Ford who dom­i­nated the law en­force­ment mar­ket for decades.

As with BMW and Chrysler, Kia is un­der­stood to have made the nec­es­sary mod­i­fi­ca­tions to its ve­hi­cle to make it suit­able for po­lice work.

“You of­ten hear po­lice min­is­ters talk­ing about pro­vid­ing the best equip­ment for those at the coal face. In this case, I truly be­lieve we have been able to do that,” Queens­land Po­lice Min­is­ter Mark Ryan said.

As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner (Road Polic­ing Com­mand) Mike Keat­ing said the eval­u­a­tion process had been ex­ten­sive.

“The Stinger per­formed very well in all ar­eas and we had noth­ing but top re­ports from all the field of­fi­cers,” said Mr Keat­ing. “The re­sult is a road polic­ing first for us, the first for­eign car to per­form these du­ties.”

Kia Mo­tors Aus­tralia chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Damien Mered­ith said the polic­ing role for the Stinger was “a wa­ter­shed mo­ment” for the brand.

“This level of pub­lic ex­po­sure and en­dorse­ment from a high-profile govern­ment util­ity is some­thing which wouldn’t have been on the radar just a few years ago,” said Mr Mered­ith said.

Mean­while, gen­eral du­ties po­lice across Aus­tralia will likely con­tinue to use Toy­ota Camry sedans, and Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento SUVs.

Holden and Ford, which had the lion’s share of po­lice busi­ness across Aus­tralia for close to half a cen­tury, have all but been stripped of their stripes.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

NEW GEAR: Queens­land Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ian Ste­wart sits in­side the new Kia Stinger high­way pa­trol car as Mike Keat­ing looks on.

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