THE BMW 530d will replace the Holden Commodore SS as Victoria Police's highway patrol car next year, however the next-generation ZB Commodore and Kia Stinger are still a chance to sport VicPol stripes.
But it's a contract that may have been won by default, as according to Victoria Police the 530d is the only appropriate vehicle that will be available by the time VF Commodore stocks run out.
A Victoria Police source told Wheels the force will finally get its hand on newer vehicles such as the V6 AWD ZB Commodore and Kia Stinger GT later this month to see if they’re appropriate for highway patrol duties - a selection process that the older 5 Series has already passed.
Like the BMW, the Stinger and Commodore will be available with a police pack which supports a dual-battery power supply and wiring for lights and equipment; however the proof in the pudding will ultimately be their performance and safety at high speed.
As well as considering a range of vehicles for highway patrol duties, Victoria Police is looking to replace the VF Commodore for general patrol work.
In addition to the ZB Commodore and Kia Stinger, some of the contenders for that role are believed to be the Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai Sonata (which is already in use with Queensland Police) and even an undisclosed Infiniti model.
Victoria Police will roll out 80 highway patrol turbo diesel 530ds by the end of 2018, which will be a fleet, entry-level offering, without the usual luxury features.
Powered by a 195kW/620Nm 3.0-litre straight six oil burner, the 530d's 5.7 second stock 0-100km/h sprint time is 0.8 seconds behind the 6.2-litre V8-powered Commodore SS.
Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer said BMW “has come to the party and worked with us on making sure their cars are as fit for purpose as possible”.
“They are the only company to date that has been able to provide a factory fitted ‘police pack’ making the commercial agreement an extremely attractive value for money decision.
“This is a great opportunity, where together with BMW, we can deliver more integrated solutions for policing through technology and innovation while still meeting our performance needs.
BMW told Wheels in February that it had offered the BMW 5 Series as a police ready vehicle with a lower trim to keep costs down.
However, it was uncertain if the pitch would succeed at the time as Victoria Police had just knocked back the BMW X5 to replace its Ford Territory general duties fleet, in favour of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Kluger, despite it proving more capable partly because of the politics of using “luxury” vehicles and ongoing service costs.
BMW must have offered a pretty good deal on the 530d sedans because according to a police source the X5 is back in contention as a future general-duties SUV.