Fleet News

Police forces trial new Astra

EVERY one of the UK's 53 police forces has been offered a new purpose-built Vauxhall Astra police beat car for test and appraisal. Many forces took delivery of a police-spec Astra at a special launch event at Donington race circuit, where police fleet managers were able to put the cars through their paces, including a steering and braking performance test.

Vauxhall sold 8,800 of the outgoing Astra to police forces during the last seven years, and 47 forces operated the lower medium sector car. The new Astra has been modified by Vauxhall Special Vehicle Operations to cope with police work, which means the car features bigger brakes, raised ground clearance and extra wiring for their communications systems.

Brian Taverner, head of Vauxhall SVO, said: 'We are confident the next generation Astra will continue as the number one beat car with the UK police. Certainly the initial impression from our most important critics, the police drivers who drove the cars at Donington Park, was that we have another winner.'

Sam Sloan, assistant fleet manager at Strathclyde Constabulary said: 'I think it's a fair improvement over the old Astra, and the 2.0 Di engine has more torque than our low-blow 1.7 diesel Astras. It felt a lot more spacious inside.' Peter Corder, head of transport services at Suffolk Constabulary, said: 'The new car handles better, and the diesel engine seemed more free revving.'

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