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Chrysler 300 SRT back on the cards for NSW Police

Factory-special Chrysler 300 patrol cars for NSW Highway Patrol on the cards

Fiat Chrysler Australia is awaiting the final call from NSW Police Force top brass before pushing 'go' on a large order of specially-built Chrysler 300 SRTs.

As the current fleets of Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons are lifted out of the highway patrol fleet over the next three years, NSW police forces are assessing their options – and the four-door, V8-powered 300 fits the bill in more ways than one.

"Discussions are still at an advanced stage," FCA's Director of Sales Ed Butler told CarsGuide.

"There's a process that the NSW police follows, there's a process that we follow and I think it's moving in the right direction. We have a great product, it has the right engine, and I can see lots of them on the highway with police stickers on them."

The police force is believed to be looking more closely at cars that can be fitted with specific equipment at a factory level.

Mr Butler confirmed that the Canadian-built 300 had passed the force's rigorous first round of testing that has all but eliminated potential competitors like the Ford Mustang.

"They have been testing the car and are continuing to test," he said.

The police force is believed to be looking more closely at cars that can be fitted with specific equipment at a factory level.

"Obviously in the States we produce a lot of police cars, and here we will produce a car for the police which is exactly what they want," said Mr Butler.

"I understand it is a vehicle built in the States for NSW police requirements."

Chrysler and its sister brand Dodge supply and build a number of law enforcement vehicles for the United States domestic market, and it's this experience and ability that puts the local arm in a good position to secure a large contract locally.

An FCA spokesperson confirmed it has to be "substantial and healthy business case" to supply factory-spec police cars, but declined to reveal the number. The company sold 460 of the cars in Australia in 2016.

Australia and New Zealand are currently the only FCA markets in the world to sell a right-hand-drive version of Chrysler's big four-door, which can trace its origins back to 2005.

A second generation version – still built on the same Chrysler LX platform - which uses Mercedes-Benz S-Class front and E-Class rear suspension designs – launched in 2011.

The four-door SRT is sold locally in two specs, the base model Core and the SRT. Both are powered by a 6.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 that produces 350kW and 637Nm, backed by an eight-speed auto.

The Core is likely to be used as the source car, thanks to its more conventional suspension set-up.

Chrysler police spec vehicles can be optioned from the factory with heavy duty self-levelling rear suspension, a larger 220amp alternator and bigger battery, coolers for steering and gearbox fluid, 'severe duty' engine cooling mods and bigger brakes.

The wiring architecture can also be prepped for the fitment of additional lights, sirens, computers and the like.

Australian police forces have a long history of sourcing specially-built locally manufactured cars for highway patrol duties.

Mr Butler dismissed speculation that other cars like the Jeep Grand Cherokee could be also offered for police duty.

"It's purely the 300 SRT that we're looking at," he said. "It's the only car that we are currently discussing. There's always the community engagement stuff, but we are not talking with them about any other model."

Australian police forces have a long history of sourcing specially-built locally manufactured cars for highway patrol duties, and many of those cars have gone on to become highly sought after in the second-hand market.

In fact, the 300's distant relative, the Chrysler/Valiant Charger, is one such car that was built specifically in Australia for police use.

Is the 300 SRT a suitable Highway Patrol replacement? Tell us what you think in the comments below.