Pontiac G8 Could Live On As Chevy-Badged Police Car Photo:
pontiac_g8_lapd_proto.jpg Photo: tmr
Tony O'Kane | Apr, 29 2009 | 3 Comments

While Pontiac is well and truly dead, the Commodore-based G8 sports sedan sold under the American brand may live to fight another day.

Fight crime, that is.

Melbourne-based organisation, the National Safety Agency (NSA), is currently conducting negotiations with a number of law enforcement agencies in the United States, where its specially-prepared G8 has been shortlisted as a highly-desirable replacement for the ageing Ford Crown Victoria.

The Crown Victoria is the current staple of America's police fleets, but with production set to end next year and the Crown Vic's outdated design putting US cops at a technological disadvantage, the G8 could be in a prime position to move in.

"There are a number of things that make the G8 an attractive car for law enforcement," said NSA operations director Des Bahr.

"It's rear-wheel drive, has stability control and an independent rear suspension.

"The technology that we've put into the car is also well-integrated, and ergonomically it's a far better proposition for police."

It's also much safer than the antiquated Crown Vic too. Aside from boasting a much more modern chassis, the G8 also ships with curtain airbags as standard; and if all of those police-chase TV shows are anything to go by, that in itself will be a very enticing deal-sweetener for US law enforcement agencies.

The NSA will be shipping two protoype vehicles over to the US to undergo field trials with the LAPD. Eight other jurisdictions are also keeping a keen eye on NSA's G8, and the potential sales numbers would be significant.

Around 30,000 cars would possibly be needed for those nine jurisdictions alone, and with law enforcement agencies from Canada, the Middle East and the United Kingdom also interested in the V8-powered cruiser total foreign exports could be very lucrative for Holden:

"I would say it would definitely be in excess of 80,000 per year, there would definitely be a very high demand," said Bahr.

With Pontiac out of the picture, the left-hook Commodore would have to be badged as something else - most likely a Chevrolet. Negotiations are currently underway between Holden and GM regarding the future of the Commodore overseas, but with the law enforcement sector possibly representing a huge market for the big Aussie sedan, Holden's export future may be looking bright.

Holden is still keeping its cards close to its chest regarding any future exports of the Commodore, but spokesman Scott Whiffin says the company is still investigating its options.

"We continue to look at all opportunities but we don't want to be too explicit at this stage about exactly what we're working on," said Whiffin.

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