Australian Cops Are Replacing Their Commodores And Falcons With The Kia Stinger GT
Queensland, Australia’s police department is rolling out 50 Kia Stinger patrol cars this week after the sports sedan received “top reports” from officers, News.com.au reports. This is not surprising, since the car seems like a perfect car for this job.
The news website says police departments throughout Australia are moving to replace Holden Commodore V8s and Ford Falcons, now that the companies that built them have shuttered their factories. I guess Aussie cops aren’t easily parted from their performance sedans.
While some organizations have gone with BMWs or Chryslers as highway patrol cars, the news site reports that Queensland has chosen the Kia Stinger. Fifty Kias are expected to be “rolled out across Queensland from this week,” News.com.au writes, and 200 are expected to eventually replace the third-most populous Australian state’s entire fleet.
The news site quotes Assistant Commissioner of the Road Policing Command, Mike Keating, who described how well the Stinger did in what news.com.au reports was an “extensive” evaluation process:
The Stinger performed very well in all areas and we had nothing but top reports from all the field officers...The result is a road policing first for us, the first foreign car to perform these duties.
The Queensland police minister also gave the Kia some love, saying:
You often hear Police Ministers talking about providing the best equipment for those at the coal face. In this case I truly believe we have been able to do that.
According to Carscoops, the new patrol cars will be 365-horsepower GT V6 models (the Stinger is also available with a 255 horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four) with all-wheel drive, and that they’ll be outfitted with a bunch of police equipment from “strobe lights and sirens to communication radios.”
I haven’t driven the Kia Stinger, but my boss has, and he called it “the real deal,” lauding its excellent Lambda II T-GDi V6 engine, its superb handling, and all the room in the cargo area (it’s a hatchback!). And really, what can you want in a police car? (Admittedly, Patrick said the rear headroom isn’t great, but the back seat of a cruiser isn’t meant to be plush. Don’t break the law if you don’t want to be back there.)
Queensland’s got the right idea, here, and I hope American police units hop onboard, too. That way, in 15 years, I can buy a used Stinger for a song.
Future Kia GT models to focus on real-world performance
No Hyundai N-style high-performance offshoot, but instead, GT models with a more real-world performance focus
Kia plans to make its cars ever sportier, more fun and more involving to drive, but will not crown that process with the launch of a high-performance Hyundai N-style offshoot.
Instead, it wants to further develop a small range of GT models with a more real-world performance focus, and ensure that the well-received Stinger sports-saloon has a wider impact in influencing Kia engineers to make better handling everyday models, according to Hyundai-Kia high-performance development boss Albert Biermann.
“For Kia, it is not the decision to enter with high-performance cars. We did it with Hyundai N but there’s a clear decision not to with Kia, and GT needs to be a reasonable package. With the Ceed GT now, the minute you go high-performance, you need to work at a race track, and then the costs go up and the business case gets very challenging. Doing that next step is not an easy step.”
He didn’t rule it out completely in the future – “Kia is the power to surprise,” said Biermann – but said the decision had been made for now.
The 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine from the Stinger is understood to fit in the Ceed and could in theory power the Ceed GT range-topper, but the carryover 201bhp 1.6-litre was instead chosen to power the new warm hatch and avoid pushing its performance too high.
However, Biermann said that the next-generation Optima GT is likely to push the performance brief further, without becoming a track car. “For the next Optima GT, you cane expect an interesting powertrain and suspension at the next level. It’ll be the next level of Kia driving performance.”
Further GTs could follow, but there won’t be one in every model line-up. “There won’t be a huge roll-out,” said Biermann.
A higher-performance version of the Stinger GT S is not currently planned, despite the platform being capable of taking a drivetrain with greater performance than now.
Away from GT models, Biermann’s mission at Kia has been to give the cars a sportier driving feel, particularly on European-spec cars, sacrificing a bit of ride comfort and better handling, heftier steering feel, and better body control. “You can accept a little compromise on ride comfort, especially in Europe, for some sportiness.”
Biermann is pleased with progress made at Kia and the dynamics of its models, but said the process was constantly evolving. “It can be the way the gearshift feels, the way you feel when you sit down in the cabin – it’s a wider philosophy that’s being introduced and there are many more things to follow,” said Biermann.
The next model to feel Biermann’s influence will be the third-generation Soul. The funky crossover is set to launch soon, and Biermann said that car had at last been given the dynamic character to match its distinctive styling, with “a level of agility not there before” promised by the ex-BMW M chief engineer.
I would buy the Kia over the BMW. I accept your point of view though. I guess it boils down to personal preference. Because of how mainstream BMW have become, it puts me off, where as for Kia, I've always been a fan