BBC Autos

The Roundabout Blog

The world’s fastest police vehicles

  • Felony speed

    Somewhere, from the counter of the all-night doughnut shop in the sky, Buford T Justice is shaking his fist in the direction of the United Arab Emirates.

    With their recent acquisition of an Aston Martin One-77, police in the city of Dubai have made driving a squad car look a lot more interesting.

    The bespoke coupe, limited to a run of 77 examples, has less to do with helping officers solve crimes than with enhancing Dubai’s hyper-rich image. While it is not the first time that a police department has drafted a supercar into service, Dubai’s latest action has certainly upped the game.

    Workaday, sedan-based squad cars factor less and less in the world’s police departments, and officers have grown accustomed to protect and serve from behind the wheel of faster, more luxurious vehicles of varying body styles.

    But some vehicles blow out the departmental spend sheets. And while nobody would hope to score a ride in these cars’ back seats (where back seats exist), there is a lot to like about law enforcement when it is administered in such machinery.

  • Aston Martin One-77 (UAE)

    The city that introduced the seven-star luxury hotel to the world and counts among its attractions a man-made archipelago and an indoor ski resort brought an Aston Martin One-77 to its police fleet in April. Officers in Dubai who drive the ultra-exclusive hyper-coupe, which has a top speed of 200mph, will have to write nearly $2 million in tickets just to cover the purchase price. Dubai’s fleet of patrol cars already includes such modest, understated vehicles as the Lamborghini Aventador, Nissan GT-R and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

    Pub fact: Female police officers in Dubai will take the helm of the force’s new Ferrari FF. (Getty)

  • Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia (Italy)

    Officers of the polizia di stato were grinning in 2008 when Lamborghini presented them with the Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia. The car, which supplemented two Gallardos previously gifted by Lamborghini, achieved a top speed of 203mph and was well-equipped for the rigours of duty, with an onboard defibrillator and advanced police equipment for autostrada chases. Unfortunately, the LP560-4 Polizia met an untimely demise only a year after it entered service.

    Pub fact: Less desirable, but more manageable in the piazzas, is a police version of the Fiat 500 Abarth, which splits the difference between cute and menacing in its sky-blue livery. (Lamborghini)

  • Ford Focus ST estate (Britain)

    The Focus ST hatchback is Ford’s front-wheel-drive response to decades of hot-hatch dominance by the Volkswagen GTI. In Britain, Ford outfitted the wagon version of the ST – not sold in the US, mind – for police duty. While most of Britain’s police make do with plebeian Vauxhalls and Volvos, officers lucky enough to command the ST have a nice excuse for engaging in hot pursuit up to the car’s 154mph top speed.

    Pub fact: The ST estate police car premiered as an unmarked, black model in The Sweeney, a 2012 film set in London. (Ford Motor)

  • Lotus Evora (Britain)

    In 2011, officers in the West Midlands were among the first to put a Lotus Evora into service as a police car. With a top speed of over 160mph, the gifted Evora kept speeders in check.

    Pub fact: Lucky cops in Romania were also loaned a police-outfitted Evora S for two years, as was the highway patrol in Italy. (Lotus Cars)

  • Spyker C8 Spyder (Netherlands)

    Though countries like Germany use their police forces to show off some of their best and strongest domestic-vehicle offerings, the Netherlands has little to draw on. But Dutch sports car maker Spyker gave it a go in 2006, creating a police version of its C8 Spyder for the province of Flevoland, located east of Amsterdam. As is common among its counterparts from other regions of Europe, the model that entered service was painted in locally recognizable colours.

    Pub fact: Spyker, quiet in the years that its parent company struggled to uphold the struggling Saab, showed a new car, the B6 Venator, at the Geneva motor show in March. No word if it will also see police service, let alone when it will become available. (Spyker)

  • Cadillac CTS-V (US)

    As part of a mutually beneficial understanding between the city of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and General Motors, some fortunate police officers in the Detroit area have a reason to spin doughnuts rather than buy them. The Cadillac CTS-V police car, which wears patriotic grays, reds, whites and blues, makes use of the bog-standard 556hp V8 engine found in the civilian model. Retired police cars of Bloomfield Hills include a Chevrolet SSR and a Cadillac XLR-V.

    Pub fact: The paint scheme on the Stinger in the Grand Theft Auto IV video game is clearly indebted to that of the southeast Michigan cruiser. (Lt Noel Clason, Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety, Michigan)

  • Porsche Panamera (Australia)

    Late in 2012, Australians living in the country’s southeastern state of New South Wales were given new reason to mind traffic laws and give way when police enlisted a Porsche Panamera in their daily patrols. The manufacturer provided the Panamera with the stated goal of spreading awareness about opportunities for community engagement – and unstated, for brand extension. No one but the cops needs to know that the Panamera is powered by the standard-grade V6 engine.

    Pub fact: Australia’s own Holden Caprice serves as the basis for General Motors’ most recent police-car offering in the US, the Chevrolet Caprice PPV. (Porsche Cars)

  • *Bonus* Renault Twizy (France)

    In contrast to sports car-based police cruisers, the most unorthodox French police car on duty is the battery-powered Twizy. It is not fast. It is not particularly expensive. But intended primarily for urban work, the Twizy is likely to provoke apprehension-facilitating stares of confusion from bandits in Paris and its environs. The 17hp EV is unlikely, however, to figure in Ronin-calibre chases through the City of Light.

    Pub fact: The New York Police Department employs the Westward Go-4 Interceptor, a three-wheeled scooter powered by a 69hp gasoline engine, alongside its standard Chevy Impalas, Ford Fusions and Nissan Altimas. (Getty)