Operational enforcement vehicle on display Vegas to showcase potential for global police forces – with LA being the next stop.
The first police force in the world to use a Kia Stinger - Queensland Police - has allowed Kia Australia to bring one of its operational police cars to the mecca of mechanical performance and modification - SEMA 2018.
There's good reason for it too. Built in Australia almost at the last minute and shipped to the States specifically for the SEMA show, the Stinger is all about showcasing the potential of the vehicle for police operations globally.
Kia Australia's public relations manager, Kevin Hepworth told CarAdvice the Stinger was brought to the USA at the request of Kia Motors America directly.
"I think it appears to be related to the fact that the original story, the story about us building them in Australia, really hit a chord over here," Hepworth said.
"From the public, to serving police officers, to people within Kia Motors America, there was the thought to bring it over."
As ever with anything involving custom build motor vehicles, it wouldn't really be right if there wasn't a mad, last minute dash involved somewhere.
"They contacted us and timing was a problem, very tight timing," Hepworth said, "it takes approximately six weeks to ship it, and we had to prep and build a new vehicle for the show."
Building it was only one part of the equation of course, with Kia Australia also needing approval from the relevant management at Queensland Police and within the Queensland government.
"We had to check whether we could do it," Hepworth said, "this is an operational Queensland Police car, we managed to get it onto a ship in time, and Kia Motors America will display it at LA Motor Show as well."
As reported by CarAdvice in July, Queensland Police ordered 50 Stingers originally for 2018 delivery. That first order has been supplemented by another 22 for 2019. "We expect that order to rise to 50 total for 2019, bringing the overall total for the State to 100," Hepworth said.
You can also add Western Australia to the list now too, with 50 ordered for the west for 2019 (pictured above). The Northern Territory is also considering the Stinger as an option and that State is in the final stages of working through its process.
South Australia has also stated that the Stinger is back on its consideration list, so Kia might start to get very busy, very quickly if the makeup continues – though SA Police recently appointed the new imported Holden Commodore to its fleet.
While styling is subjective, I reckon the Stinger looks pretty good dressed up as a police car, and the potent twin-turbo V6 under the bonnet should deliver the kind of driving dynamics law enforcement needs.
Judging by the swarms of people who stayed around the police Stinger from the moment the covers were removed in Las Vegas, it's going to have the desired effect stateside.