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SEMA show: Kia Stinger puts on an arresting show
Queensland Police Kia Stinger takes the Las Vegas spotlight at 2018 SEMA
31 Oct 2018
AN OPERATIONAL Queensland Police Kia Stinger has been shipped to Las Vegas for display at the annual SEMA aftermarket and accessories show at the request of Kia Motors America.
One of 50 Stingers from an initial fleet order placed by the Queensland Police, the right-hand-drive car’s appearance at SEMA this week appears to be a fishing expedition by Kia for potential global police car sales after the successful foray into police business by Kia Motors Australia (KMAu).
The 272kW twin-turbo V6 Stinger – complete with Road Policing Command signage, emergency lights and police equipment fit-out – appears on Kia’s SEMA stand alongside a flock of pimped Telluride large SUVs, a K900 and Stinger revved up by custom car magazine Dub, and a trio of new Fortes (Cerato), including a wild Red Bull drift car.
To ensure that Queensland wrong-doers are not getting away with speeding and other anti-social acts while the Stinger is away in Sin City, KMAu has provided a replacement car for Queensland Police.
KMAu media and corporate communications general manager Kevin Hepworth said the Queensland Police could not have been happier to help with the request to borrow one of its operational cars for display at the show, which has grown into one of the biggest events on the world automotive calendar.
“Kia Motors America approached us about displaying the car at SEMA, and so we asked Queensland Police is we could borrow a Stinger,” he said.
“They could not have been more helpful,” he said. “Of course, we made sure they were not disadvantaged by having one of their cars away.”
Mr Hepworth, who was in Las Vegas for the opening of SEMA, said the police-spec Stinger had attracted a lot of attention.
The car is due back on the beat in Queensland in January.
Queensland Police has placed an order for another 22 cars to take its Stinger fleet to 72.
Western Australia also has 50 Stingers on order, while the Northern Territory and South Australia have the Stinger under assessment.
Whether Kia can break into the massive law enforcement car market is questionable, as most police forces in the United States have a buy-America policy, favouring cars such as the Ford Taurus and Dodge Charger. The Stinger is made in South Korea.
However, the show is an international event, drawing attention from around the world.
Most Australian police forces had similar policies until the demise of the Australian manufacturers in 2016-17. Since then, previously excluded importers have been able to bid for patrol car fleet sales.
BMW, for example, has won contracts for patrol cars from the Victoria and New South Wales police forces.
Apart from the Queensland Police Stinger, Kia showed a host of vehicles specially modified for fun rather than enforcement.
No fewer than five hot-rodded versions of the new Telluride large SUV are on display, four of which are off-road-focussed with a range of different modifications.
A more refined Telluride features design themes drawn from fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s New York Fashion Week show.
Kia is using the show to launch the Forte (Cerato) GT. Apart from the standard Forte GT, the company is also displaying enhanced versions, including a highly modified, V6-powered, rear-wheel-drive drift car designed and delivered by Red Bull and Race Service.
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