With the stalwart Commodores getting a little long in the tooth, nearly everyone expected the Kia Stinger - an accessible and fun rear-drive saloon introduced seemingly with the express purpose of picking up where the VF Holden and Ford Falcon XR6 left off - would eventually be adopted as pursuit vehicles in Australia’s police departments.
Here’s one such example of that seizure of territory as the Queensland Police and Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) have inked an agreement to have 50 units of the twin-turbo V6-powered Kia Stinger added to their fleet by December 2018.
Assistant Commissioner (Road Policing Command) Mike Keating said the evaluation process had been extensive and in several parts: “It started with the desktop evaluation, then a track performance evaluation and then the operational evaluation conducted in real-world conditions.
“The final overall evaluation and review included the very important aspect of maintenance and cost. The Stinger performed very well in all areas and we had nothing but top reports from all the field officers. The result is a road policing first for us, the first foreign car to perform these duties.”
This development follows an extended assessment program conducted with the new Kia lift back that revealed some areas where the specification of the car could be tweaked to optimise value and safety while omitting unnecessary features.
As a result, the new fleet of Stinger V6s due to be sworn in to the Queensland Police Service will combine traits from a number of variants. For example, luxury options such as the sunroof will be removed and the 330Si’s less fancy 19-inch alloy wheels are kept. Meanwhile, the upgraded Brembo brake package from the higher-end GT spec will a fitted option.
Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith, said: “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,” Mr Meredith said. “It is just a beginning, but a very important one for us.”
Each Stinger now earmarked to be headed for QLD police work will have thrust supplied from a powertrain identical to the showroom models, that being a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol sending drive, all 272kW and 510Nm of it, to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.