More than 200 Hyundai Sonatas will wear ‘blues and twos’ as part of a state-wide roll-out by the Queensland Police Service (QPS).
Modified versions of the Sonata Active sedan will be dispatched across Queensland to serve as general duty cars, replacing Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons that are finishing up three-year duty cycles.
Falcons have been unavailable since October last year, while Commodore production ends in October.
The special-edition Sonata Active uses Hyundai’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine that’s backed by a six-speed auto. The Active is usually supplied with a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated engine.
As well, brake modifications – including a larger front brake rotor and different brake pad - have been made to the four-door five-seaters from the factory to ensure the Sonata passes the arduous stop/start braking tests demanded of it by Queensland’s boys and girls in blue.
Already, more than 100 cars have been delivered, with the balance of the initial order of 234 hitting the roads before the end of the year.
The Sonata could even be pressed into duty as a highway patrol vehicle.
Queensland’s Police Minister, Bill Byrne, said the QPS had been trialling a range of different cars to replace the Aussie-made sixes.
“The Fleet Management Group has also been considering significant financial, commercial and environmental factors,” said Minister Byrne.
“As a result, the QPS has now approved the Hyundai Sonata four-cylinder vehicle as a replacement for the current fleet of six cylinder vehicles.”
Minister Byrne also pointed to the fact the four-pot Sonata will reduce the service’s environmental footprint, as well as save the taxpayer money.
“The roll-out is estimated to save the QPS around $2.3 million, as 234 vehicles are replaced with Sonatas,” he said.
Road Policing Command assistant commissioner, Mike Keating suggested that the Sonata could even be pressed into duty as a highway patrol vehicle, with examples of turbocharged Elites currently under evaluation by the service.
Uprated brakes and tyres will be a necessity, according the to assistant commissioner.
“A number of these vehicles outfitted to QPS specifications will be received shortly – and they will then undergo an evaluation to determine their suitability,” he said.
“The Queensland Police Service will continue to ensure police vehicles are fit for purpose and support the needs of operational policing into the future.”
The Sonata adds another marque to the police mix, with BMW, Chrysler, Subaru, and Volvo all being linked to act as active duty vehicles in various states and territories.
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