Skoda NZ general manager Rodney Gillard will next week meet with senior police officials over the choice of the Superb station wagon as the force’s main patrol vehicle.
“They haven’t told me exactly what the meeting is about, only that they want to get together,” said Gillard. The Superb, the Czech carmaker’s premium model, will replace the long-time Holden Commodore range as the high-vis patrol car. The Holden is no longer being made.
It is understood police trialled vehicles from 12 carmakers before settling on the Superb. “They phoned and told me I was successful and said they wanted the Superb wagon, in two-wheel and four-wheel drive,” Gillard (below) said.
Police Commissioner Coster said the two Superb models stood out, the wagons offering greater flexibility for deployment. “Frontline staff said they handled well and they felt confident and safe driving the vehicle,” he said.
“They liked the large doors with a wide opening range, easy-to-read instruments, front and rear visibility, and the spaciousness of the rear passenger area.”
The front-wheel drive Superb runs the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine used, among other Volkswagen Group models, in the hatchback Golf GTi. It generates 162kW between 4500-6200rpm and 350Nm between 1500-4400rpm. Gearbox is a seven-speed double-clutch unit.
The four-wheel drive Superb borrows the same 2.0-litre engine, this time from the more powerful GTi Golf R. It delivers 206kW between 5500-6500rpm and 350Nm between 2000-5400rpm. Gearbox is a similar seven-speeder. The four-wheel drive arrangement is the VW Group’s 4Motion system, which can split drive 50:50 front and back.
The last of the frontline Australia-built Commodore models ran a naturally aspirated 3.8-litre V6 engine delivering 147kW/304Nm. The German-built (Opel) Commodore ZB liftback, in use by police here over the past three years, came with the choice of two powerplants: a boosted 191kW/350Nm 2.0-litre four, and a 235kW/381Nm 3.6-litre V6. Opel, once the General Motors brand in Germany, was bought a couple of years ago by France’s Peugeot-Citroen group.
The Aussie-built Commodore wagon had a huge rear space, more the 2600 litres with the second row seats folded down. The ZB liftback offered 1665 litres when the second row was not in use. The Skoda Superb wagon provides 1950 litres.
Commissionar Coster (above) said the Superb would “deliver significant reductions in our fleet’s carbon footprint.”
The average CO2 emissions for all fleet vehicles in New Zealand is 180.7 grams per kilometre, while the Superbs sit on the greener side at 162 for the 162Kw model and 176 for the 206Kw.
“When compared to our current fleet, C02 emissions per kilometre could be reduced by up to 38.6 per cent per vehicle, depending on what is being replaced,” Coster said.