Victoria Police is taking delivery of 15 specially adapted Volkswagen Passat wagons for highway patrol duties, joining an 80-strong BMW 530d patrol car army on the state’s arterial roads.
In high-performance guise, the Passat is the latest addition to the Aussie highway patrol landscape, which was previously dominated by V8 Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons.
The demise of Australian vehicle manufacturing resulted in much speculation about what will fill the void, with cars including the Ford Mustang and Kia Stinger GT widely touted.
VW's Passat is employed extensively by European police services but seems a left-field choice here, despite less performance-focused variants already proving themselves on the beat wearing a VicPol uniform.
Highway patrol versions will be powerful Passat 206 TSI Proline wagons, which will also be used for special operations duties.
‘Proline’ is the designation given to the Passat and future emergency services models that Volkswagen Group Australia is developing, including the Tiguan Allspace 162 Proline.
The highway patrol cars are adapted versions of the Passat 206 TSI R-Line powered by a 206kW/350Nm turbocharged petrol engine, with a claimed 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds that’s well within highway patrol requirements.
They’ve been stripped of leather and other creature comforts, with an upgraded 180-amp alternator installed in-factory to assist with the running on on-board equipment. Volkswagen Australia worked with the factory R&D team in Wolfsburg to create a ‘police pack’ that includes a second battery setup and a bespoke wiring loom to connect lights, sirens and other equipment.
The fast four-wheel-drive version of the Passat will be part of a new 265-Volkswagen order from VicPol, which consists primarily of Passat 132 TSI Proline sedans and wagons.
When stickered-up for general duties, the Passat Proline 132 TSI wagon (pictured) will be the most conspicuous, while the sedans are drafted into in the unmarked fleet with covert lights.
These are expected to soon be joined by Holden ZB Commodore patrol cars, which will replace the Australian built V6 VF Commodore II.
Victoria Police also uses the Toyota Kluger and Hyundai Santa Fe, which are replacing the Ford Territory, while the Holden Commodore ute ‘divvy vans’ are being replaced by the Holden Colorado, which carries a similar retrofitted passenger pod at the rear.
Other cars to join police forces around Australia in the past couple of years include the BMW 530d and Chrylser 300 SRT, Kia Stinger and Hyundai Sonata. Police forces have also used exotic cars for promotional duties, including a Honda Civic Type-R hot hatch which has just been seconded to the NSW Police.