After decades on the beat, the Commodores and Falcons of the Queensland Highway patrol are being put out to pasture. They're being replaced by brand new Kia Stingers and I'm trying real hard not to make a 'sting operation' joke.
According to news.com.au, the first 50 Stingers are being added to the fleet this week. 200 are expected to be driving across Queensland highways in the future.
The switch comes after the closing of Commodore and Ford factories in Australia, and police departments across the country have been searching for replacement vehicles. Considering its 3.3-litretwin-turbo V6 engine that sports 272kW of power, the Stinger is definitely a worthy contender. The fact that it has an eight-speed automatic transmission that can go from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds probably won't hurt when it comes to pursuits, either.
That being said, not everyone is going for the Stinger. Some departments have instead opted for the Chrysler and BMWs.
News quoted Mike Keating, the Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Command, who had this to say about the Stinger:
"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."
And this is a good point. When the police force has proudly utilised Australian-made vehicles for so long, apprehension towards something new is to be expected.
On this, Queensland Police Minister Mark Ran said, "It was not a big step at all once we had begun the investigation process... Reading what the experts had to say, and seeing how efficiently the Stinger was changing minds and perceptions once people had been exposed to it … it was not a difficult decision."
"You often hear Police Ministers talking about providing the best equipment for those at the coal face. In this case I truly believe we have been able to do that."
For anyone interested in the vehicle for domestic purposes, the Kia Stinger starts from $48,990 plus on road costs.