Police in Victoria will soon have turbocharged all-wheel-drive power to track down high-speed crooks, with the 206kW Volkswagen Passat about to join the ranks – ending decades of Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore patrol cars.
More than 250 Volkswagen Passat sedans and wagons will be rolled out across the Victoria Police fleet as a mix of general duties, unmarked, and highway patrol vehicles.
Frontline officers will be in 132kW front-drive Passat sedans and wagons while the traffic branch will be equipped with 206kW all-wheel-drive versions – in much the same way general duties and highway patrol have had similar vehicles but with different levels of performance among locally made Fords and Holdens.
The VicPol order for Passats demonstrates just how far and wide the various police agencies across Australia have searched to find suitable replacements for our now extinct homegrown vehicles.
Police in Queensland are in the process of rolling out 100 Kia Stinger highway patrol cars and are expected to replace their entire traffic branch fleet of about 200 vehicles with the Korean performance sedan.
Police in West Australia are taking 100 Kia Stingers while Northern Territory police are also taking a small number for their traffic operations.
South Australian police are running a mix of imported Holden Commodore V6 and Kia Sorento SUVs for general duties and highway patrol work, but CarAdvice understands the Stinger may be considered as a third alternative.
The VicPol order for Passats will take the total number of Volkswagens on the emergency services fleet to in excess of 450 vehicles, one of the single biggest police fleet orders in Australia.
To meet VicPol’s requirements, Volkswagen Passats are fitted with an upgraded alternator (180amp), a second battery setup and abespoke wiring loom to assist with the fitment and running of on-board police equipment.
Ben Wilks, Volkswagen Australia’s general sales manager for passenger vehicles thanked Victoria Police for its “resounding endorsement of one our brand’s pillars”.
“Globally the Passat has been Volkswagen’s best-selling model line, but there can be no greater recognition than its acceptance by VicPol,” Mr Wilks said. “Volkswagen Group Australia is honoured that our cars have been deemed worthy for use by the men and women who serve and protect the citizens of Victoria.”
Many of the upgrades for police use were readily available given the Passat is used as a police car in Germany and across other European countries.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling