Cops left lack­ing power

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL | -

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.

SATUR­DAY SEPTEMBESEPTEMBER 17 2016

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