Photos circulating on social media have revealed that the Royal Malaysian police (PDRM) is set to trial an FK8 Honda Civic Type R, deploying it as a high-speed pursuit vehicle. We’ve learnt from sources that the car, decked out in police livery, has not been purchased by PDRM but is a trial unit being loaned out by Honda Malaysia for the purpose of field tests.

This has since been confirmed by a news report. According to Bukit Aman strategic and technology department (StaRT) director Datuk Seri Tajudin Md Isa, the vehicle has been provided by Honda Malaysia for testing purposes, as Harian Metro reports.

“It is a proposal from the company to PDRM to test the vehicle. The vehicle was provided for technical assessment purposes to see its suitability,” he told the publication, adding that the car will be loaned to the police for a three to six month period. “After that, the vehicle will be returned to the company without any cost,” he said.

If it aces the running trials, there is the possibility that the Type R will become the weapon of choice for the PDRM as the new Helang Lebuhraya Polis. With 310 PS at 6,500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque being offered from its 2.0 litre turbocharged VTEC mill, the car won’t be short on ability to chase baddies down.

It’s not the first time a barnstormer has been assigned pursuit duty. A decade ago, the police commissioned 25 units of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X for high-speed pursuit duty, particularly in cases of carjacking, kidnapping and hijacking. Back then, police personnel assigned to the vehicles underwent intensive driving classes to ensure they were able to drive the Lancers effectively.

The police has been upgrading its mobile patrol vehicle fleet in recent times. Last year, the PDRM highway patrol gained a fleet of 15 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SUVs, contributed by highway concessionaire PLUS for use as Expressway Mobile Patrol Vehicles (EMPVs).

It also increased its motorcycle patrol unit (URB) capability last year with the acquisition of 871 Kawasaki motorcycles. of which 200 units are Kawasaki KLX250 off-road bikes to be used by police in states sharing a border with Thailand.