Lotus cars has donated a brand-new Exige to the Bankstown, NSW police force. The six-month loan gives the local constabulary a head-turner that it plans to leverage in community policing projects, particularly with regard to reaching out to local youths and car enthusiasts. The thinking is that the Exige will be an instant conversation-starter with both groups, and that, in turn, will enhance the police department's credibility with them.
The Lotus sports full police markings and a removable light bar that'll be used when it's on duty helping out with things like DUI checkpoints and radar duty (nice pursuit vehicle, guys). Lotus decided to donate the ride after seeing success with a similar collaboration it had with the Norfolk police in the UK. Here you have a police car that's capable of putting smiles on the faces of both the officers behind the wheel and the local citizenry. Well, maybe not all of them -- Lotus or not, if you're getting pulled over by the the Bankstown PD's new corner carver, odds are you're not in a smiling mood.
Full press release after the jump.
Lotus Volunteers A Sporty New Recruit For Bankstown Police
Lotus Cars Australia has donated a special new recruit to the NSW Police Bankstown Local Area Command with the arrival of a high performance Lotus Exige.
The lightweight, high performance Lotus Exige sports car will be used by Bankstown Local Area Command for a number of community policing roles over the next six months, including most importantly, helping to build better relations between police and local performance car enthusiasts and youth.
As well as helping with critical community relationship issues the Lotus Exige will assist Bankstown Highway Patrol in raising its profile during work at Random Breath Testing, Radar and Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) sites.
The Lotus also boasts significantly better fuel economy than conventional V8 and turbocharged six cylinder Highway Patrol cars and will bring a new green hue to the command's vehicle fleet.
Being almost half the weight and with an engine that is less than a third the size of traditional Highway Patrol sedans the Exige is significantly kinder on the environment consuming on average around five litres less fuel per 100km while still being able to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h up to 30 percent faster than the big V8s.
The Lotus' supercharged 1.8 litre four cylinder engine and lightweight extruded and bonded aluminium tub, encased in a lightweight composite body also ensure the Exige has a better power to weight ratio than the big V8s meaning it requires less energy to achieve better performance.
Superintendent Dave Darcy accepted the keys to the Lotus Exige from Lotus Cars Australia's national sales and marketing manager Jon Stretton and thanked the company for its contribution to policing in the Bankstown area.
"The Lotus Exige will help break down barriers between our officers and youth in the area, it gives them a discussion point and a way of breaking the ice," said Superintendent Darcy.
"We have a large proportion of car enthusiasts in the area and it is a challenge to influence them to drive safely. Whilst its easy to give this group tickets to slow them down we would prefer to influence young drivers to take care on the roads.
"I see that the use of the new Lotus Exige police vehicle will break down barriers allowing us to get our safety messages through.
"There is no doubt that the Lotus will be highly visible and generate public interest, it will assist us operationally by promoting our road safety crime prevention messages to a targeted group of offenders."
"Giving youth the chance to realise that police are real people and have a job to do is an important part of our work, and if the Lotus can help us achieve that then it will be an asset during its time with us," he added.
Bankstown Local Area Command will use the Lotus for the next six months under long term loan from the manufacturer.
According to Jon Stretton from Lotus Cars Australia the precedent for this co-operation with the police was set in the UK where the company forged a similar relationship with the Norfolk Constabulary lending the force a Lotus Elise to achieve similar goals.
"Following the success of the co-operation with Norfolk Police we saw the chance to link up with NSW Police to help it achieve similar goals," said Jon Stretton.
"The Norfolk Police had similar challenges to Bankstown Local Area Command with performance car enthusiasts and in establishing stronger relations to help prevent unacceptable behaviour," he said.
"The Lotus gave the Norfolk Police credibility with the performance car enthusiasts and I expect the Lotus Exige will do the same for Bankstown officers," he added.
"We are also very conscious of environmental issues and keen to demonstrate ways of using less fuel with more economical performance cars.
"Just because the police have always used conventional cars with large engines doesn't mean they can't look at alternatives that can reduce fuel consumption and be kinder on the environment," Jon Stretton added.
The police Lotus Exige features full NSW Police livery and is equipped with a removable emergency light system that can be used when it is at particular operations such as random breath test and radar sites throughout the Bankstown Local Area Command.