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Around The World in a ‘COP CAR’

When in hot pursuit by the police, criminals have but two choices; getaway or get taken away. Rahul Basu shines the beacon on some stylish and immensely powerful Cop Cars that are speedy and ready to take down law breakers racing down city roads to escape the ‘clutches of the cuff’

The “E7″ prototype from Carbon Motors is out to shatter the idea that retrofitted

sedans that are designed for retail sales can provide the

protection and tools needed by 21st-century law enforcement

As auto enthusiasts first and resident civilians thereafter, I wouldn’t have to explain why a zebra coloured, loud beacon ringing machine on wheels fascinates me more than the noble, law enforcing human beings sitting inside them. And add to that the decades of glorification in the form of Hollywood movies, whose action sequences never fail to exhibit the relentless nature of police cars in their constant pursuit to catch criminals on the run.

Dominic Sena’s Grand Theft Auto flick Gone in Sixty Seconds starring Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie is one of my earliest recollections of an adrenaline pumping action movie, showcasing of one the most thrilling cop chase sequences ever seen. Action sequences in movies like The Fast and the Furious, Italian Job, The Bourne Series, James Bond flicks and countless others have left us spellbound and subconsciously we have grown fond of our favourite stars and superhero’s being chased around by cops driving underpowered cars, which along with some well scripted roadblocks on the way ensures our stars never see the rear seat of a police patrol car.

But movies are and have always been an escape from reality and in the world we live in, we should pray that the security agencies that are sworn to protect us have the right set of wheels to reach their prey. With the global reach of today’s automotive world, we look at the some of the finest specimens patrolling today’s ‘sinful streets’ in an attempt to hunt and take down those who dare to run away from the law.

Nissan Police Pathfinder

Since Hollywood sparked of the idea for this article, it’s only right I pay my first respects to the cop cars that will be serving and protecting Uncle Sam’s streets in the years to come. The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor has been the most widely used police cruiser in the United States and Canada, and after close to two decades of service in the law enforcement business, the Crown Victoria is scheduled to be decommissioned in September this year, and its replacements are already queuing up.

The “Big Three” have all pounced at the opportunity to build the machine that will patrol their country’s streets and so far all the top contenders seem ‘built for the kill.’ First in line is Ford’s Taurus-based Police Interceptor, which was unveiled at a private fleet sales event in Las Vegas in March last year. Powered by a 3.5 litre V6 engine, the Taurus Police Interceptor is Ford Motors Sapphire on four wheels to the American Police.

Ford’s Taurus-based Police Interceptor

Further up North we have auto giant General Motors, whose Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) will join the ranks of police departments across North America later this year. With a lineage dating back to late 1980’s, the Caprice has come a long way since replacing Chevrolet’s Impala model and in its 2011 edition, the Chevrolet Caprice is to put it simply, ready for active duty once more. Coming in both V6 and V8 options, the Caprice’s 6.0 litre engine is estimated to produce a mind numbing 355hp with an estimated 384 lb-ft of torque.

Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV)

Although, both Ford and GM have brought out two marvelous versions of their next generation police vehicles for the United States, the last contender in this list is not one to be taken lightly. Developed and modified for active police duty, Chrysler presented its 2011 Dodge Charger Pursuit in August last year. Being offered with either Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or 5.7-liter Hemi V8, the Dodge Charger Pursuit is by no stretch of one’s imagination one of the meanest and most aggressive cop cars ever to be made in the United States.

2011 Dodge Charger Pursuit

Volvo V70 Police Car

We now move on to the hot bed of the automobile industry, Europe, where some of the biggest and most influential names in the automobile industry find their homes. Considered the world’s sixth largest economy, the United Kingdom has much to serve and protect and in the course of time it has managed to hire the best in the business for doing just that.

Swedish car maker Volvo presented to the UK Police a specially tuned up version of its V70 model in 2007, which was back then one of the police force’s most popular vehicles.

2010 BMW 530d Police Saloon

It’s been a while since, and in a recent report, German carmaker BMW was approved as the key supplier for all the 52 Police forces around UK. Very soon cars such as the BMW 330d Saloon and Touring, 530d Saloon and Touring, all variants of X1, X3 xDrive20d, X5 xDrive30d and xDrive40d, and the R1200 RF-P Police bike will all take a pivotal role in the fight against crime in the United Kingdom.

Police-specification Jaguar XF

Legendary British luxury sports car marque Jaguar has also launched a high performance Police pursuit vehicle based on its award-winning XF Diesel S model. The first ever Police-spec XF is currently being evaluated by Police forces across the country. The Police specification Jaguar features the 275PS 3.0-litre Diesel S engine with its unique, parallel sequential turbocharger system.

Lamborghini Gallardo Police Interceptors

South-central Europe and the birthplace of the Renaissance, Italy is a country oozing history, heritage and a culture rich society, and not surprisingly its Italian carmakers, whose badges flash brightly on its country’s law enforcement vehicles. With Fiats and Alfa Romeos being the most common patrol cars, it’s the year 2004 which completely changed the aura of the Italian Police Department when Lamborghini presented the Polizei di Stato with two custom made Gallardo’s on their 152nd anniversary. In November 2009 however, one of the two Gallardo Police Interceptors was damaged beyond repair in a car accident and has been out of service ever since.

Porsche 911 Carrera Police Car

Although police outfits and the colour schemes of their vehicles are quite similar all over Germany, their police forces are structured differently for each state. Being the absolute automobile nirvana that it is, Police Forces in Germany have little to worry about with legendary car labels, the likes of Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Porsche sitting in their back yard. The Bavarian State Police uses mainly BMW and Audi vehicles, as both companies are based in Bavaria (BMW in Munich and Audi in Ingolstadt). In the eastern states of Germany, mostly Volkswagens are in use (Volkswagen is based in Wolfsburg, close to the eastern states).

Holden Commodore

Police Cars in Australia are predominantly white, with the exception to those roaming the streets of Tasmania, which are blue with a blue and white checkered strip on its side. General Patrol Cars in Australia are the immensely powerful Holden Commodores and the Ford Falcons. Prisoner transport vehicles are based on light commercial vehicles such as the Holden Rodeo, Holden Crewman or Mercedes Vito.

Northumbria Police Cars

As much as cars fascinate us, it’s their ultimate purpose that makes them an indispensable part of our lives, and a must have tool for out police forces that stand guard day and night for our security and safety. So here’s paying a tribute to them and their fantastic machines that always have and will continue to push the brink of automotive technology to fight crime and chase down the bad guys.

If you liked reading about Police Cars from around the world, keep logging onto ZigWheels for part 2 of this Cop Cars exclusive, which will be a special tribute to automobiles built and designed for our very own Indian Police Force.