Police in Dubai have Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins and Porsches -- but the NSW highway patrol has the next best thing. The long arm of the law has a new weapon against high-speed criminals, and it just happens to be the fastest and most powerful car ever made in Australia.
NSW Police have just taken delivery of a brand-new HSV GTS. Powered by a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 it can reach the speed limit in just 4.3 seconds. The one-off project funded by the NSW Centre for Road Safety joins the supercharged Ford Falcon GT (funded by the Motor Accidents Authority) that joined the police fleet last year.
The HSV GTS won't be used for regular highway patrol duties, instead it will join the arch rival Ford at regional shows and enthusiast events across the state to drive home the road safety message.
"This car is a conversation starter," says Superintendent Stuart Smith, from the NSW Police Traffic Services headquarters. "Whether you're a young hoon or just curious, this car is an opportunity for offices to engage with the public and educate them about road safety."
The $100,000 HSV GTS has about $20,000 worth of performance upgrades, lifting power from the standard 430kW output to close to 500kW, more than a V8 Supercar. "It's designed to showcase our best police technology and also get people talking," said Superintendent Smith.
If motorists don't see the police HSV GTS in their mirrors, they still have plenty to fear. Almost every NSW Police car now has onboard video cameras (front and rear), as well as roof-mounted cameras that can in milliseconds read the licence plates of cars travelling in either direction.
The automatic number plate readers can detect stolen or unregistered cars, and wanted criminals. This equipment is in addition to the mobile radar unit, drug and alcohol testing devices, and road spikes in the boot to stop fleeing drivers in their tracks. With all the onboard police computer and radio systems, the modern police car is almost a mobile police station.
The HSV GTS will be doing "high visibility" police work in the lead-up to and over the summer holidays. You have been warned.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling