Will the V6 Kia Stinger replace the V6 Holden Commodore as the main police patrol vehicle in New Zealand?
Australian police are reportedly interested in the Stinger, unveiled at the Detroit motor show this week. Police in NSW, Queensland, and Victoria are already evaluating Kia’s all-wheel-drive SUV, the Sorento.
Kia Motors Australia PR chief Kevin Hepworth told media outlets across the Tasman that police were welcome to check out the Stinger, too.
“It’s too early for us to have serious conversations, but it’s definitely something we’d be interested in looking at,” said Hepworth. Below is an artist’s impression of how the Stinger would look in Australian police colours.
The Stinger is rear-drive, like the Commodore, although the Kia will be available in some global markets with all-wheel-drive (AWD) and the choice of two engines, a turbocharged 2.0-litre four from the Optima sedan and a twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6 shared with the Hyundai Genesis.
The V6 is good for 272kW at 6000rpm and 510Nm between 1300-4500rpm, output that betters all but the most powerful Commodore V8. Top speed is 270km/h and Kia claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of just over five seconds. At just 4831mm long, Stinger almost matches the current Commodore police sedan for size, too.
Australian reports say Kia is looking to fill the gap left by the Commodore and Ford Falcon. Falcon production ended last year and Commodore ends later this year. The Commodore in NZ police livery is picture below.
Holden will replace the 3.6-litre V6 and 6.2-litre V8 Commodore in Australia and NZ in 2018 with an import from Germany, a rebadged Opel Insignia that is smaller than Commodore. The base model is front-drive with turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol or diesel options, and the flagship is AWD with a V6 petrol unit.
The V6 Kia Stinger is expected to go on sale in Australia in September, a month before Holden shuts down its factory. It will be priced to rival outgoing Commodore V6 models like the SS and SS-V.
Already, Holden Australia has reacted to the possible role of Stinger as a police vehicle and has thrown out a challenge to Kia over the car. “Good luck to them,” said Holden’s communications chief Sean Poppitt.
“Competition is a healthy thing and the car (Stinger above) looks pretty good,” Poppitt told media outlets. “The proof will be in the pudding as to how it drives, particularly when you consider the current VFII is undoubtedly the best Commodore we’ve ever made in terms of being a driver’s car. Can the Kia live up to that? It remains to be seen.”
The Stinger is the first car to be developed by Kia’s new head of chassis development, Albert Biermann. German Biermann was previously the head of dynamics for BMW’s M division.
Meantime, one of America’s most notable car guys calls the Stinger “world class.” Former General Motors executive Bob Lutz told a Road & Track magazine interviewer at Detroit that Stinger was “an outstanding design.”
“It’s unconventional, new and different looking, obviously with pretty high-class, soft-feel materials inside. There is absolutely nothing cheap about this car at all. This is a world class car.”