Ford Australia has confirmed that Victoria Police have enlisted its popular Ranger ute to replace the discontinued Holden Colorado as its next divisional van.
Up to 200 Rangers in XLT Super Cab and XLT Dual Cab grades will be employed, and will take over duties from the fleet of 290 Colorados that have been in use since early 2018.
Changes to the Ranger to get it ready for police duty include a rear prisonr transfer capsule, which includes air conditioning and a video camera, as well as upgrades to the vehicle's electrical systems to power the extra lights and equipment required.
The Victorian Police force is expected to replace its ageing fleet of Holden Colorado divisional vans with ones based on the Ford Ranger for “front line response truck” duties.
Spotted in Melbourne’s inner north last week on the back of a flatbed truck, the unadorned and unliveried Ford Ranger nevertheless wore very similar rear bodywork to the now-discontinued Holden Colorado divvy van equivalents.
Whether this was a one-off prototype or the first of many Ranger divvy vans is not known.
Given the professional and completed nature of the vehicle seen by CarsGuide, an announcement from Victoria Police and/or Ford Australia is expected very soon.
Both the Victoria Police media unit and Ford Australia have been approached by CarsGuide for comment on any divvy van collaboration, but as yet, there has been no official confirmation as to if or when the Rangers will take over from the Colorados.
The Australian designed, engineered and developed T6 Ranger would give the Victoria Police – indeed, any Australian and New Zealand police force – a uniquely suitable vehicle, especially considering how tailored to the local environment the Ford pick-up is.
From a dynamic, refinement and comfort point of view, the Ranger is also considered class-leading, so both the front and rear-section occupants of this particular divvy van should be happier than before moving forward.
Holden has supplied the Victoria Police with Colorado divvy vans since 2018, with around 290 vehicles delivered over a two-year period.
Some 250 of these were two-door 4x2 models with extra ground clearance for improved visibility, as well as a bespoke rear pod within the ute tray fitted with air-conditioning and camera for two-person transport.
An additional 40 4x4-spec Colorados included a bull-bar and winch for off-road duties.
This is an unfolding story, so stay tuned for more information as it comes to hand.