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Gallery: the world’s best police cars
1. New South Wales police Honda Civic Type R
The police of New South Wales, Australia would catch everyone escaping via backroads in this Type R. If it wasn’t merely a publicity tool for the force. Oops.
2. US police Ford Hybrid
Not a surprise: US police use a big, scary looking SUV to aggressively chase down baddies. Surprise: it’s not a V8, but an actual hybrid. Yikes.
3. Carabinieri Jeep Grand Cherokee
We’re used to seeing the Italian police roll around in Alfa Romeos or Lamborghinis. This Jeep is only slightly less glamorous.
4. UK Police Rolls-Royce Ghost (kinda...)
No, the Dubai Police Force hasn’t been shopping again. The police-liveried Rolls-Royce Ghost up top is in fact the work of Rolls-Royce itself, which fitted this Black Badge with flashy lights and a Sussex Police livery to raise money for local children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House.
Rolls displayed the car at an open day held by its local police station in Chichester, not far from its Goodwood HQ. Unfortunately it wasn’t then pressed into active service – Rolls has since turned it back into a ‘standard’ Ghost Black Badge. Shame.
5. Queensland Police Kia Stinger GT S
Behold, the first non-Australian car to police Queensland streets. It’s a Kia Stinger GT S, and it probably couldn’t be much better suited to the job.
The Australian car industry has dwindled in recent years, and its two big home-grown saloons – the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore – are no longer produced. Which is a pain for police forces who’ve relied entirely on these slightly overpowered rear-wheel-drive saloons for the past few decades.
Happily, Kia’s bombastic new Stinger GT S just so happens to be a slightly overpowered rear-wheel-drive saloon, too, making it the perfect substitute. Its twin-turbo V6 produces 365bhp and hits 100kph in sub five seconds, enough to catch most miscreants, we’d think. The Queensland Police Service has initially bought 50, but up to 200 could be put into service.
6. Italian State Police Lamborghini Huracan
Lamborghini has just donated a second Huracan to the country’s Highway Patrol. Like the first, it will be used for “normal police operations”, as well as the urgent transport of blood and organs. Naturally, it isn’t entirely standard. There’s the same 610bhp N/A V10 and all-wheel drive system, sure, and all the normal stuff you’ll find in any regular police car. Lights, sirens, radios, a video camera and gun rack - it’s all there. The tyres even have special blue sidewalls to match the ‘Police Medium Blue’ bodywork.
7. UK Police Ford Mustang V8
This is a picture of a Ford Mustang decked out in police livery. You’ll agree, it looks fantastic.
It is - apparently - a pre-production model, displayed at the National Association of Police Fleet Managers trade show. So it’s a bit off policing the streets of the UK.
But, as cop cars go, it’s certainly up there amongst the coolest around. Or is it?
8. Carabinieri Alfa Giulia QV
Italy’s smart-suited Carabinieri – the harder, military arm of the Italian police – had some amazing company cars.
Being suave, sophisticated types, they didn’t just slap some stickers and two-tones on a bunch of Fiat 500s. Oh no. See, the Carabinieri have form when selecting patrol cars. Previous fleets include Lamborghini Gallardos, Huracans and Lotus Evoras. But this time they stayed on home turf and went for Alfa’s new M3-rivaling saloon, the 503bhp Giulia QV.
9. Dubai police Ferrari FF
Announced on Twitter, Dubai’s police force admitted that yes, they had bought a V12-engined pursuit vehicle in the shape of the four-seat Ferrari FF. The four-wheel drive will doubtless prove vital for all those snow-and-ice police chases across the UAE.
10. Dubai police Lamborghini Aventador
That FF was preceded by a Lamborghini Aventador cop car, handy for pursuing criminals driving Lamborghini Aventadors.
11. Carabineri Lotus Evora S
Ah yes, the Evora S. Though this time, used by the Carabinieri - surely the world’s hardest and most scariest police force (they’re trained as soldiers for crying out loud) - for expediting the transfer of essential human organs. They’re even equipped with fridges to keep said organs fresh. Don’t get on the wrong side of the Italian rozzers, mind, or you’ll find your own offal-parts in there too…
12. UK police Caparo T1
Another ‘safety-message’ stunt saw this Caparo T1 liveried up as a police car. But just imagine if it really was a police pursuit vehicle.
13. Italian police Lamborghini Gallardo
326kph, 0-100kph in 3.7 seconds, 560bhp and four-wheel-drive: this is how the Italians do law enforcement. Well, did anyway. Though replaced by the new Huracan, this Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 was donated by Lambo to the Italian State Police to help ‘accident and crime prevention and sustain security on Italian roads’. Yikes.
14. US police Chevrolet Corvette
Not a Real Thing, unfortunately, instead drawn by former GM man Bob Lutz as a flight of fancy. Quite a good flight of fancy.
15. Dubai police Brabus G63 AMG
This 690bhp ‘Widestar’ can accelerate from 0-100kph in 4.9 seconds and on to an official top speed of 239kph. Unofficially, you’d have to be clinically bonkers to attempt to outrun any police force that ultimately decides on a four-wheel-drive, modified off-roader as a suitable police vehicle.
16. Humberside Police Lexus IS-F
Yes please. You can keep your Astras and Insignias and Hyundais thanks; we’d much rather see UK cops behind the wheel of a 416bhp Lexus IS-F. Although mainly used as a deterrent, it could be used to chase crims on the run: the IS-F packed an onboard computer to allow officers to access the national police database while on the move.
17. Dubai police Aston Martin One-77
Oh dear god, they just won’t stop, will they? Not content with stickering up an Aventador, FF and G63 to police duty, Dubai’s offices pressed one of the world’s most beautiful, rarest and fastest cars into service: the Aston Martin One-77. For the love of all that’s sacred in your life, please, do not speed in Dubai.
18. German Police Brabus CLS V12 S 'Rocket'
Be very thankful that this isn’t actually a real life, working-dog police car. It was built way back in 2006 to promote safe tuning in Germany, though there’s nothing safe inside here. Underneath sits a twin-turbo V12 produced 730bhp, enough to haul the CLS ‘Rocket’ to a top speed of 362kph. Schnell!
19. US police Dodge Charger
Replacing the ageing Crown Vic, this Charger was built with feedback from actual police officers in the States, and is a working, badge-holding, real-life police car. In fact, Chrysler claims it to be the fastest American police car in the history of ever: the RWD version clocked the fastest lap time ever recorded for a cop car around Michigan State Police’s Vehicle Evaluation Race.
20. Australian police HSV GTS
This HSV is a tyre-shredding, police-liveried loon, delivered to the officers of the New South Wales police department, and funded by the NSW Centre for Road Safety. Though - as with many of the cars on this list - it’s more of a ‘message car’ than an actual highway patrol/pursuit vehicle. Though if you see it on the road, don’t be mistaken: there are still REAL POLICE OFFICERS hiding it inside, who won’t hesitate to floor it if you break the law…
21. UK Police Lotus Evora S
You’re looking at a police-liveried Evora S, donated by the fine chaps over at Lotus to officers from Norfolk, Sussex, Essex, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, to help spread the message that speeding, drink driving, not wearing a seatbelt, or driving while using a mobile phone simply isn’t cricket.
The idea is that an Evora S will engage younger drivers better than, say a diesel Astra, thus allowing the rozzers to deliver their important safety messages. And also look well cool, innit.
22. US police undercover Nissan GT-R
Years back, EVI - run by a former secret service agent - told TG.com that it had been tasked with building a police car for an undisclosed US police department for undercover duty. Based on a Nissan GT-R. Judging by the picture above, it is possibly the most terrifying thing we have ever seen.
23. UK police McLaren 12C
Those planning a retirement holiday in Marbella after that ‘one last job’ should probably thank the heavens that the image above is not representative of an actual police car. It is a McLaren 12C Spider dressed up as a police car.
The 12C Spider was loaned by McLaren to the West Midlands Police for the Autosport International show at Birmingham’s NEC as a demonstrator. BMW also got in on the act and offered up an i3 too, free of charge, for display purposes only.
No doubt it’s to encourage a greater discourse between police and motorists, but you have to admit, a 12C Spider in police livery looks quite cool. And a bit scary, not least because underneath the stripes sits a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 with 616bhp, and the ability to accelerate from 0-100kph in 3.1 seconds (the same as the coupe) and top out at 328kph. So, bloody fast, then.
24. Australian police Volvo S60 Polestar
If you are a criminal in Australia, you may want to reconsider your life choices. Because the NSW Police’s Rose Bay local area command have been given a Volvo S60 Polestar as a squad car.
It’s quite a thing, too. Underneath the blue hue sits a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine producing 350bhp, a six-speed paddleshift automatic gearbox and Haldex four-wheel-drive. 0-100kph takes just 4.9 seconds, it’ll hit 200kph less than 13 seconds after, and top out at 249kph.
OK, so it’s not the fire-spitting, 501bhp concept Polestar S60 we drove a while back, but remains plenty quick for… well, community fetes, actually. We’re told that although it won’t be a first response type vehicle, it will be used as a support car and as a festival Thing to show off at events such as the Australian Open (Volvo is a major partner).
Polestar Racing drivers Scott McLaughlin and Robert Dahlgren handed over the S60 to NSW Police, the second high-performance Volvo to be used by the force - they got an S60 T5 previously too.
25. US Police Dodge Charger
This is the 2015 Dodge Charger police car, and you have the right to remain silent.
Not only does it look properly terrifying - monster front bull-bars, sinister projector-beam headlights and a streamlined silhouette - but, as a true American cop car should, it comes with a socking great V8.
You can, of course, get the Charger police car with the ‘Pentastar’ V6 (292bhp, 352Nm torque), but any self-respecting US police force will want the V8 version. Specifically the 5.7-litre, HEMI-engined V8 with 370bhp, 528Nm of torque and a 0-100kph time of less than six seconds.
Fast enough to give the majority of road-bound crims food for thought. Then there’s the reinforced RWD chassis, featuring performance suspension, load-levelling shocks, heavy duty brakes, stabiliser bars all round, 18-inch performance tyres, and - officially the Best Thing Ever - steel wheels.
Inside you get, officer, a new seven-inch full-colour (sorry, color) instrument cluster, police-spec front seats (to better hold officers’ belt-mounted gear and felon-absorbing waistlines) and the ability to customise your ride with the help of Mopar.
Sadly customisations don’t include multi-coloured grenade racks or machine guns in the headlights or oil slicks on the rear or revolving numberplates. Partly because it’s not 1964, and partly because Mopar isn’t run by five-year olds or Top Gear.
Rather, you get the option of bolstering the electrical performance of the car, add new graphics, ballistic door panels for the driver and passenger, and steel seat back inserts for the driver in case perps in the back become… agitated.