Last February, the Bankstown police received a late Christmas present in the form of a bright yellow lightweight Lotus Exige. With full NSW Police livery and a removable emergency light system, the Exige was used at Random Breath Testing, Radar and Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) sites. Its bright Saffron Yellow paint was chosen specifically to assist identification and increase profile.
The police Exige attended Chinese New Year celebrations at Picnic Point and Warwick Farm, the Eastern Creek Powercruise, Padstow Heights Primary School fete and a Community & Road Education Scheme (CARES) display, with lessons to school children on road safety with police.
The Exige also featured at Paul Keating Park in Bankstown for a community BBQ including members of the Bulldogs NRL team, Fairfield Showground's 'Bring It On' Youth Festival and Bankstown District Scouts awards ceremony.
And, now its time to give it back....with Police Commander Dave Darcy handing the Exiges keys back to Lotus Sales and Marketing Manager Jonathan Stretton.
"It's been a fantastic tool for community relations, with thousands of people speaking to police when the Lotus was on the streets, patrolling school zones or 'working' at Random Breath Test sites,? recalled Dave Darcy.
A police partnership is nothing new to Lotus. The precedent for this co-operation was set in the UK, where Lotus forged a similar relationship with the Norfolk constabulary, lending the force a Lotus Elise in 2004 to achieve similar goals. Pre-dating the Elise, a Lotus Esprit donned the Norfolk police colours in 1995.
There were other ecological benefits during the NSW Police loan. The Exige's 1.8-litre four-cylinder, producing 141kW, combines with a kerb weight of just 875kg to offer not only outstanding performance, but fuel consumption of just 7.4l/100km. While the Exige would have delivered the goods on the road, we would have liked to see the officers in full uniform trying to make a speedy exit from the low slung sports seats...