Cops left lacking power
I WAS gobsmacked when the Queensland Police Service earlier this week revealed it is replacing six cylinder Holden Commodore general duty cars with four cylinder Hyundai Sonatas.
But I was stunned even more that the turbocharged version of the four door front wheel drive sedan is being evaluated to replace V8 powered SS Commodore and XR6 Turbo Falcon as highway patrol pursuit cars.
The Sonata is a good, roomy, economical and relatively cheap car. But it is hardly ideal as a police car.
Police officers need cars that are reasonably quick to respond to emergencies.
They also need high performance cars to reign in speedsters and criminals.
The Sonata does not fit the bill.
Crims will have a field day dragging off cops.
Yes, I know the police have strict rules about pursuits, but there are times when a police car requires quick acceleration.
A standard Sonata has 138kW of power. The turbo is rated at 180kW. This compares to a Commodore’s 210kW for the V6, 304kW for the V8 and 270kW for the XR6 Turbo.
Consider this. A standard police Commodore can reach 100km/h in 6.6 seconds, complete 80-120km/h in 4.2 seconds and does 0-400m in 14.7s.
A turbo Sonata is slower: 7 seconds, 4.3 seconds and 15 seconds.
So it is not as quick as a standard Commodore and is much tardier than a current highway patrol car, which does 0-100km/h in about 5 seconds or less. A regular Sonata takes more than 9 seconds to top 100km/h.
It appears the government and the police service are more concerned about the lower cost of the Sonatas, less fuel consumption and greenhouse emissions than providing their officers with decent working wheels. A RARE low kilometre 1995 Mazda RX-7 SP coupe already has Japanese and GT car collectors drooling before it is offered with ‘no reserve’ at Shannons Melbourne Spring Sale on Monday.
The stunning Montego blue pearl one-owner-from new coupe is one of just 25 genuine RX-7 SPs built initially in Australia in 1995 to qualify the model for Australian GT Production Car racing.
Developed by racing guru and Mazda Racing Team manager Allan Horsley, the SP featured 60 performance modifications over the standard RX-7.
They included a different intercooler, a modified exhaust and a new ECU that together resulted in a substantial power increase to 204kW and 357Nm of torque.
Other changes included bigger brakes, special 17in alloy wheels, a larger 110-litre carbon fuel cell and 4.3:1 ratio rear differential.
A significant weight reduction was achieved by using Recaro race seats, a lightweight bonnet, plus a carbon-fibre nose, front spoiler and a dramatic rear wing.
The SP proved very successful for Mazda, beating the new Porsche 911 RS CS at Sydney’s Eastern Creek and backing this up with a podium finish at Targa Tasmania.
However, the extra performance didn’t come cheaply and the SP’s asking price was a hefty $101,610, compared with the standard RX-7’s $89,505. As a result, surviving examples are coveted collectors’’ items today.
With just 22,700km travelled over the past 20 years — mostly at weekends — Shannons believe the example being sold on Monday’s auction is one of the nicest SPs available on the market today.
It is being offered with ‘no reserve’ and is expected to appeal to an international audience at its guiding range of $45,000-$55,000.