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Lexus GS F unlikely for police duty

The Lexus GS F in police livery: artist's impression.

The seemingly suitable front-engined, rear-drive Lexus GS F seems to be off the menu for those seeking to find a replacement for the venerable Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon police cars in Australia, after Lexus said it has yet to be approached by the boys in blue.

Despite boasting a 5.0-litre V8 with 351kW and all the interior space that the modern policeman needs for computers, number-plate-recognising cameras and thick wads of blank speeding tickets, Lexus Australia's Peter Mcgregor tells his phone hasn't rung.

"I haven't been approached directly by the police, and nor has my office, but it's possible that they've been talking to our sales people or our dealers, but we haven't heard from them," he said, looking somewhat down in the mouth at the missed opportunity for a huge fleet sale.

Replacing the Aussie-built cop cars of long-standing with something smaller is one problem police forces around the country face, but the bigger and potentially more expensive issue would be switching all their drivers to front-wheel or even all-wheel drive.

A source from the Australian Federal Police who is familiar with the process explained:

"You've got to remember that we've got thousands of people around the country who've had their advanced driver training in rear-drive vehicles, which behave in a very specific way," the source said.

"If police forces are forced to move to a front-wheel-drive vehicle then you're looking at the huge expense, and time, involved in re-training all those people - and taking them out of active service to do so - in how to deal with a completely different kind of car.

"It would be cheaper, and smarter, obviously to find a front-engine, rear-drive V8 car to replace the Holdens and Fords they've been using for decades."

Earlier this year, a national police advisory agency took submissions for future vehicle replacements from luxury brands.

Ford will be offering a V8-powered Mustang once it becomes a full importer, and that is one of the options police may consider for their pursuit vehicles, alongside the Chrysler 300 SRT sedan, although both of those would be in the $50,000 to $60,000 price range.

The current Falcon and Commodore pursuit cars cost around $48,000, before government discounts.

Earlier this year, a national police advisory agency took submissions for future vehicle replacements from luxury brands including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo (but not Lexus, tellingly).

Most of the vehicles they produce would be deemed too expensive for a government fleet, of course.

The NSW Police service has stated it will be evaluating new vehicles before the end of 2016.

"As far as a national vehicle is concerned, that is clearly a longer term ambition (but) there is a layer of complexity around that," a NSW Police statement to said. "We have very specific technical requirements."

What do you think the police should use to replace Ford and Holden pursuit vehicles? Tell us what you think in the comments below.