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BMW 530d confirmed as latest Victoria Police highway patrol car


BMW Australia has announced that up to 80 of its 530d sedans will be added to Victoria Police's fleet by the end of next year, with the luxury model arriving as one of the replacements for the home-grown Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon highway patrol cars.

According to BMW, the 530d was selected over other 5 Series variants because of its commercial cost effectiveness despite its $121,600 before on-roads consumer pricetag, which is $29,400 dearer than that of the range-opening 520i ($92,200).

However, examples provided will be entry-level specials without luxury features found in most BMWs, while no luxury car tax (LCT) and a likely government fleet discount also help drive down the cost of a standard 530d.

Victoria Police road policing command assistant commissioner Doug Fryer said the 530d's financial appeal was highlighted by its factory-fitted 'police pack', which prepares vehicles for heavy-duty operations and is included in place of the missing equipment.

Mr  Fryer said Victoria Police's partnership with BMW has resulted in a highway patrol vehicle that is ''fit for purpose''.

BMW Group Australia general manager corporate communications Lenore Fletcher reiterated that the 530d is an affordable model for the police to roll out, irrespective of the German brand's luxury status.

''When you take into account the fuel consumption, the economies of scale and the condition-based servicing, it is quite comparable to their current vehicles (Commodore and Falcon),'' she said.

Thanks to its efficient diesel engine, the 530d drinks a claimed 4.7L/100km on the combined cycle test, while its carbon dioxide emissions have been rated at 124 grams per km.

Comparatively, a Commodore SS drinks 12.9L/100km and emits 300g/km.

Mr Fryer said Victoria Police's partnership with BMW has resulted in a highway patrol vehicle that is ''fit for purpose''.

“The BMW 530d meets our safety and performance standards as it has been subjected to the evaluation tests that underpin our vehicle safety classification system,'' he said.

“We are looking forward to their delivery and the opportunity to enhance the operational and performance needs of our members.''

The 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder unit produces 195kW of power and 620Nm of torque.

Powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder unit that produces 195kW of power and 620Nm of torque as standard, the Beemer exclusively sends drive to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

This powertrain enables a sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds, which is marginally slower than the 304kW/570Nm Commodore SS's 5.0s effort.

Ms Fletcher added that ''there is room for further development of the partnership'' with a ''possibility for it to extend into other models'', opening the door for more BMWs to be provided in the future.

Nevertheless, Victoria Police said in a statement that highway patrol fleet options from various manufacturers – in addition to BMW – continue to be considered as its Commodore and Falcon vehicles move towards retirement.

Given Holden's local manufacturing operations finish up next month and Ford's factories closed in October last year, Australian police forces are in need of imported specialised vehicles.

The 5 Series model has already been employed for such purposes in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, while other Australians states are said to be discussing the addition of the 530d to their fleets.

Following months of discussions, BMW Group Australia CEO Marc Werner said Victoria Police's decision to add the 530d to its fleet is a sensible one.

“Lauded by media and customers alike for its combination of performance, safety and efficiency, the new BMW 5 Series range is a natural fit for police duty,” he said.

The first BMW 530d highway patrol vehicles are expected to be on Victorian roads by early 2018.

Is the BMW 530d a worthy successor for the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon highway patrol cars? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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