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BMW 5 Series added to highway patrol fleet

Cop that: The 530d is more fuel efficient than the V8-powered Holden Commodore that it replaces, with a 4.7L/100km rating compared with 12.9L/100km.

Victoria Police to start chasing bad guys in diesel-powered BMW 530d

BMW logo20 Sep 2017

VICTORIA Police has added a fleet of up to 80 BMW diesel-powered 530d sedans to its highway patrol fleet, replacing at least some of the outgoing Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon pursuit cars that will be retired next year.

The BMW 530d is powered by a 195kW/620Nm inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with an official fuel economy rating of 4.7 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) of 124 grams per km and a 5.7-second 0-100km/h sprint time.

In comparison, the Holden Commodore SS petrol V8 that is currently used pumps out 304kW/570Nm, has a 12.9L/100km fuel use figure, 300g/km of CO2 emissions and can dash from 0-100km/h in 5.0 seconds.

While it is a standard entry-level 530d, it will be offered to Vic Pol without some of the niceties that consumers would find, such as a sunroof and other luxuries. Instead it is fitted with a factory-fitted police pack to ensure it is ready for heavy duty operations.

All of Australia’s police organisations are in the process of renewing much of their fleet, with the closure of Ford’s local factory last year, and the end of Holden and Toyota production next month, meaning that it is no longer policy bound to purchase Australian-built vehicles.

Holden Commodores, Ford Falcons and Territories and Toyota Camrys have all been used as police vehicles in all states and territories for years, with the former two also used as divisional (divvy) vans.

The German-built BMW sedans will start service in early 2018, but they will not be the only vehicles to make up the new highway patrol fleet, with Vic Pol confirming that it is “continuing to engage with the motoring industry and will consider a range of vehicle manufacturers and other options for the highway patrol fleet in 2018 and beyond”.

While it is unclear what these other models might be, a number of car-makers have been pitching for police contracts across the country, including Holden, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Hyundai and Kia.

GoAuto understands that the rollout of the 530d in Victoria has opened up negotiations between BMW and police organisations in other states.

BMW produces police-spec and other emergency vehicles that are used in a number of global markets and the 5 Series has been used as a police car in Europe for decades. The X3, X5 and 3 Series have been used in other regions as police cars.

It is believed that other BMW models could be in the mix for police service Down Under, but it is unclear what the models would be.

In Australia, the recommended retail consumer price for the 530d is $121,600 plus on-road costs, and while it is unclear how much Vic Pol is paying for each unit, it is unlikely to include the luxury car tax.

The 530ds will be covered by BMW’s condition-based servicing program that permanently monitors the wear and tear on the car’s components and checks the time and mileage recommendations for fixed services to determine when the next service is due.

Given it is as standard 530d, the vehicles can technically be serviced at any BMW dealership.

In terms of running costs, BMW Australia general manager of corporate communications Lenore Fletcher told GoAuto that the 5 Series lined up well when compared with the outgoing Australian-built Holden Commodore V8 pursuit car.

“When you take into account the fuel consumption, the economies of scale and the CBS, it is quite comparable to their current vehicle,” she said.

Ms Fletcher added that there was potential for more models to be added beyond Vic Pol’s initial purchase of 80 units.

“This partnership we have with Victoria Police is not something we have entered into before. Obviously we have had some initial discussions but clearly there is room for further development of the partnership.”

It is unclear when negotiations between Vic Pol and BMW Australia started but Ms Fletcher said they have been speaking for “some months”.

Victoria Police road policing command assistant commissioner Doug Fryer said the BMW sedan was the best fit for highway patrol duty.

“BMW has come to the party and worked with us on making sure their cars are as fit for purpose as possible,” he said.

“They are the only company to date that has been able to provide a factory-fitted ‘police pack’ making the commercial agreement an extremely attractive value for money decision.

“This is a great opportunity, where together with BMW, we can deliver more integrated solutions for policing through technology and innovation while still meeting our performance needs.”

AC Fryer talked up the safety credentials of the 530d ahead of its roll out early next year.

“The BMW 530d meets our safety and performance standards as it has been subjected to the evaluation tests that underpin our vehicle safety classification system.

“We are looking forward to their delivery and the opportunity to enhance the operational and performance needs of our members.

“BMW has a proven history, used widely throughout Europe as police vehicles, and most importantly is one of the world leaders when it comes to safety in cars.”

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