The Victorian Police Force has added the Holden Cruze SRi sedan to its fleet of full-time patrol vehicles, marking the small car's first appearance in any Australian police patrol fleet.
The sedans wear the recently updated styling of the Cruze range, along with the usual array of police upgrades: alert lights, a full graphics package and - although not shown here - an interior technology upgrade to suit police needs.
The SRi is powered by a turbocharged 132kW/230Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Holden sales director, Peter Keley, says the Cruze’s small dimensions and useful - if not ‘hot’ - power figures make it an ideal option for police.
“Cruze has all the attributes to make it an excellent patrol car. Its city-friendly size and power combined with its specific tuning for Australian roads ensures the police are in good hands,” said Mr Keley.
But, while the police force’s vehicles are often modified for demanding driving, the new Cruze sedans have not picked up any performance enhancements.
“No additional performance added or required,” Holden product communications manager Mark Flintoft told CarAdvice today.
“The Cruzes selected have already been tuned for Australian roads with both city and regional roads in mind.”
Despite this, Victoria Police says the Cruze has achieved a Silver rating under its Gold, Silver, Bronze and White classification system. Silver is the minimum required for "operational" deployment, which means that while the Cruze won't be engaging in pursuit operations (where legal and necessary), it can serve as a patrol car.
"Victoria Police has been working with Holden for over 18 months to develop a Cruze “patrol” vehicle for our fleet. Holden provided a 'prototype' in September 2014 which we have been trialling across all of our operational regions," a Victoria Police spokesperson told CarAdvice today.
"The prototype has now been signed off by Holden engineers enabling us to purchase additional 'police-pack' Cruzes to meet our operational needs."
As for its selection, a Victoria Police spokesperson highlighted the Cruze's affordability and running costs as key factors.
"The Cruze has similar operating costs as the Commodore, however, as it is a smaller car, it has a lower purchase price and therefore is cheaper to lease. As a smaller car, fuel consumption is also lower, reducing our environmental impact," the spokesperson said.
"Our primary responsibility is to provide vehicles that meet the operational requirements of Victoria Police."
The patrol car order is initially limited to 12 vehicles, "however we also have unmarked Cruzes in the fleet across Operational and Non-operational Departments, bringing the total number up to 19," the spokesperson added.
Future orders are expected to follow, potentially hinting at one facet of the force’s plans beyond the coming retirement of the Australian-built Commodore and Falcon lines - although it would likely be the all-new Cruze, or the new Holden Astra, that takes that gig.
The imported next-generation replacements for the Commodore and Falcon could also find a place in the Victoria Police fleet, but, apart from the benefit of their long-running existing relationships, Holden and Ford are no more likely to supply the next generation of police vehicles than any of Australia’s other importers.
The Cruze is no stranger to police duties, with Chevrolet-badged versions operating in Russian, Mexican and Malaysian forces.