Police cars are some of the hardest-worked vehicles on the road, with the demands of round-the-clock service, every day of the year. To help meet this challenge, Toyota has been working closely with a police force to develop the strengths of its UK-built Corolla as a reliable and hard-wearing patrol car.
The Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) plant at Burnaston has an established relationship with its local Derbyshire constabulary, having developed its Corolla Touring Sports model for Toyota’s “blue light” public sector fleet service. That’s led to closer collaboration with the force to design more features that make the model an even stronger proposition for police duties.
Damage caused to police cars from having to drive over speed humps or high kerbs was a particular consideration. TMUK responded by taking the Corolla Trek – a special version of the Touring Sports estate model – and fitting it with a rough-road pack, raising its ride height so there’s less risk of damage to the body and wheel arches. Derby police also asked for built-in satellite navigation, parking sensors, a dog guard for the load space, and steel wheels – including a full-size spare.
The finished Corolla is now ready for the police to evaluate with road tests; TMUK will continue to maintain the vehicle and obtain performance data and user feedback to help plan future improvements.
Terry Hitchcock, Derbyshire Police’s Fleet Manager said: “Derbyshire Police appreciate the opportunity to operate this locally built bespoke product, it will be used for operational purposes within South Derbyshire. We are looking forward to seeing how the vehicle performs in this role, particularly with the hybrid power as we start to move away from the traditional standard diesel and petrol cars.”
Richard Kenworthy, TMUK Managing Director, said: “We have had a good relationship with our local emergency services for 30 years, so when Derbyshire Police approached us requesting a vehicle that could respond to their requirements we were more than happy to investigate solutions. Working in collaboration with our colleagues at Toyota (GB), TMUK is continually exploring and developing additional products and services that we can offer to meet the needs of customers in both the public and private sector.”
The Corolla models manufactured at Burnaston are powered by a choice of 1.8 and 2.0-litre full hybrid electric systems, giving strong fuel economy and low emissions from their combination of a petrol engine and powerful electric motor. Toyota’s hybrid technology allows them to switch to zero-emission all-electric running whenever possible; it also has a well-proven reputation for reliability and durability, qualities that makes it an ideal choice for police and business fleets.
Corolla’s fleet appeal is being strengthened with the introduction of the new Corolla Commercial in 2022. Development of the Corolla Hatchback model, this addition to the growing Toyota Professional range of commercial vehicles will be the UK’s first full hybrid electric van model.