The upcoming rear-wheel-drive turbocharged Kia Stinger liftback sedan is a very strong candidate to replace the Holden Commodore as the car of choice for numerous police forces around the country, with the South Korean company confirming the vehicle is under active assessment.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the Nurburgring race track in Germany, communications manager Kevin Hepworth said all regions but the Northern Territory police force are evaluating the Stinger as both a highway patrol and general duties vehicle.
While initial demand for the Kia Stinger will come from private buyers, state Police forces are expected to arrive at a decision later this year.
“It has the potential to hit a lot of key points for different buyer demographics. Definitely, the highest interest is from private buyers - people who want to get in and own one and rightly believe that they better do it quickly," Hepworth said.
"The police thing is another spin-off that is probably more than we expected, but again they are looking for a particular skill set in a car and this car provides that,” Hepworth said.
The higher-spec 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 Kia Stinger will likely serve as a replacement for the Holden Commodore SS and Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo as a highway patrol vehicle, while the smaller capacity 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo may serve as a general duties car.
West Australia and Victoria are currently assessing only one type of vehicle, however the strongest interest appears to be from NSW and QLD police forces, which are looking at both variations. QLD police currently runs a mixed fleet of vehicles that includes a high number of Hyundai Sonatas and locally produced Ford and Holdens.
NSW is also assessing the likes of the Chrysler 300 and even models from BMW and Infiniti. What makes the Stinger a viable candidate is that it meets most police requirements, straight out of the box.
“The brake package meets their requirement, the wiring meets their requirement, it can be upgraded simply without drama. Performance figures are what they want, [along with] enough boot, control - and now they have to assess if they can steer it or not.”
According to Hepworth, the value equation, as well as the Stinger’s expected reliability, warranty and resale value, will make it an attractive choice for a police car.
The police cars will run the smaller 18-inch wheels, which can still accommodate the Brembo brake package, but also allow for a spare tyre as per the requirements.
As for how it will affect its image in the market if it does indeed turn in to a police car, Hepworth says it will unlikely make much of a difference.
“I don’t think people are going to go 'I am not going to drive that because it’s a cop car.'”
Nonetheless, it may affect initial supply, as Kia is unlikely to be able to meet the demand from the police force if numerous states pick the Stinger as their chosen vehicle while it remains a popular choice amongst private buyers.