The Northern Territory Police have chosen Kia's bi-turbo Stinger to replace its ageing Holden Commodore SS Fleet.
Seven Kia Stingers have been shipped to the NT (the third Australian state or territory to choose the Korean rear-driver after Queensland and Western Australia), where they'll be used as a "front-line road traffic police vehicle". It is understood Kia's will replace the entire Commodore line-up in time.
Those seven vehicles will immediately replace Commodores that will be dropped from the fleet - the first time in almost 50 years a locally manufactured vehicle hasn't been the go-to choice for the NT's Road Policing Command.
“Holdens and Fords have been standard road policing vehicles in the NT for the best part of 50 years but now that they are not manufactured, it’s time for us to look at an alternative,” says the NT Road Policing Command's Matt Hollamby.
“We needed a car capable of operating at reasonably high speeds in temperatures of 45 degrees in the shade without missing a beat. The Stinger showed itself to be that car.”
The Stingers - equipped with a meaty bi-turbo V6 good for 272kW and 510Nm - will look different to the Commodores, of course. But for more reasons than you might think. The fleet change over has also inspired the NT Police to redesign its long-standing livery.
“The aesthetic of our decals hasn’t changed much in the past 15 years and we thought now was a better time than any to update those as well,” Hollamby says. “Members in the Road Policing Command provided input into alternative options and selected the preferred design which was completed in-house. Territorians can expect to see the new police vehicles out on the road from today.”
Kia is understandably pleased with the decision, with the brand's Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith, praising the NT Police for "looking past ingrained prejudices" surrounding Korean-made vehicles.
“It is extremely pleasing that once again a state government has had the vision to look past ingrained prejudices and give a stamp of approval to the best available option,” he says.
What's your favourite of the new police cars? Tell us in the comments below.