PATRIOTIC speeding Queenslanders, prepare to shed a tear - you may never be pulled over by a police Holden Commodore again.
With the winding down of locally produced Fords and Holdens by next year, Queensland Police Service has been looking at other brands to provide its fleet of vehicles, and Hyundai is in the marked car driving seat.
QPS will be rolling out more than 200 four- cylinder Hyundai Sonata mid-size sedans for general duties, replacing its Commodores and Ford Falcons with their thirstier six-cylinders.
Now before you start thinking "they'll never catch me in that oversized four-cylinder Korean barge", don't get too confident with the right pedal.
The entry-level 138kW/241Nm 2.4-litre naturally aspirated Sonatas may not punt along at a staggering rate (Hyundai hasn't revealed its 0-100kmh time), but on our test of the model it was no slouch either.
Higher grade Sonatas - with the brand's 2.0-litre turbocharged powerplant offering 180kW and 350Nm - are also being trialled and these can accelerate faster than the police requirement of eight seconds to 100kmh, making them eligible as replacements for the force's existing higher performance vehicles.
So let's do some comparisons. The Hyundai Sonata 2.4-litre Active costs $29,990 before on-roads, has 138kW and 241Nm, a fuel economy of 8.3-litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 194g/km. An entry-level Holden Commodore Evoke costs $35,490 before on-roads, offers 185kW and 290Nm, returns 8.3-litres/100km and pollutes at 198g/km.
Hmmm, less power and torque, similar CO2 and same fuel economy; hardly massive progress. But the purchase price being cheaper across that many vehicles suggests a big saving here, although we don't know what sort of discount either Holden or Hyundai provides the boys (and girls) in blue.
Police Minister Bill Byrne suggested the cost savings would be substantial, however. "QPS has now approved the Hyundai Sonata four-cylinder vehicle as a replacement for the current fleet of six-cylinder vehicles," he said.
"This approach will help to reduce the carbon footprint of the Queensland Police Service as the new vehicles are more fuel-efficient and have lower greenhouse gas emissions.
"The rollout will begin this financial year and is estimated to save the QPS around $2.3million as 234 vehicles are replaced with Sonatas," Mr Byrne said.
Police Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating said the Australian-made cars had served the QPS well but would not be available much longer, although they'd still use some higher-powered vehicles as required.
He said other manufacturers' vehicles were being tested, including Volvos in Toowoomba and Maryborough.
The Queensland Police Service has more than 2500 vehicles, including marked, unmarked, covert and purpose-built tactical response vehicles.
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