Aussie Stinger police car lights up the US
Kia flew under the radar at the opening day of the SEMA automotive show in Las Vegas, where an Australian-spec Stinger pointed toward an interesting future for the brand.
Gunning for a space of the enormous law enforcement fleet in the states, Kia flew a Queensland Police highway patrol Stinger to the US as an example of what the car is capable of.
Sitting alongside a modified Stinger and a compact Cerato-based drift car all powered by the same 3.3-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder engine, the Aussie police car could attract attention from fleet buyers at the US’ largest automotive trade show.
Kia America chief operating officer, Michael Cole, said the Stinger needs minimal changes to reach police fleets, unlike some existing options.
The brand does not expect it will be easy to win favour from parochial American cops accustomed to US metal.
“It’s sometimes difficult to get into that [police patrol vehicle] market in the US, but what we’re demonstrating here is you really don’t need to do much to that car — it’s pretty much good to go in standard form,” he said.
“It is a tough nut to crack but we’ve got a range of vehicles that are suitable for police work and there could be opportunities there, so we never say never.”
The Stinger and Sorento are used reasonably extensively by Australian police. NSW and Victoria are the key states which have shunned the Stinger so far (largely in favour of a turbo-diesel BMW 5-Series), though they may give it a second chance.
David McCowen is Drive’s news editor, combining automotive passion with more than a decade of reporting experience. Dave is often found at a racetrack – either in the press room, or driving his hot hatch.