While the average police car might be a Vauxhall Astra or Hyundai i30 with a livery and lights, there are many exciting and exotic pursuit vehicles, too. From Autobahn-storming super saloons to blues-and-twos Lamborghinis, these are the police cars you don’t want to see flashing in your rear-view mirror.
ABT Audi RS4-R
The standard Audi RS4 isn’t the sort of car you can be caught in a chase with and still get away. Nonetheless, renowned Audi tuner ABT Sportsline has given the car added muscle befitting an elite member of the force. This 530hp RS4-R was displayed at the Essen Motor Show in 2019. Schnell!
Ford Ranger Raptor
Meanwhile, in the UK, our police force has got something in stock for rural getaways. The new Ford Ranger Raptor is a baja-bashing beast of a truck, with trick Fox Racing shocks and knobbly tyres. You’re not getting away, even if you trade that stolen Golf R for an ATV.
Ford Focus ST Estate
Even if you stick with the Golf, you’ll need to be quite tasty behind the wheel to get away from the new liveried Focus ST wagon that’s just joined the fleet. In days past, it was the fast Fords being nicked and chased after…
Honda Civic Type R
A police force in Australia has taken delivery of a 320hp Honda Civic Type R. The hot hatch will join New South Wales Police officers on the Eyewatch social media initiative, aimed at building relationships between law enforcers and communities. Keep clicking to see other cool police cars from around the world.
Black Badge and ‘blues and twos’
If you’re hoping to add some sparkle to a police station event, it helps when you have the home of the world’s most famous luxury carmaker on your doorstep. Which explains why this one-off Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge made an appearance at a Chichester police station open day. Unsurprisingly, there are no plans for it to join the Sussex Police fleet of patrol cars, but it would certainly be a relaxing way to accompany an officer to the station for questioning.
Porsche on patrol
Bad news for criminals in Austria: the country’s police force has taken custody of a Porsche 911 for motorway patrol duties. The turbocharged 991 Carrera has all the equipment it needs for service, including blue lights and a radio system.
BMW X4 by AC Schnitzer
A lifestyle SUV-cum-coupe might be an unusual choice for a cop car, but hey, even the police have to look good, right? This is BMW’s X4 ‘Polizei’ modified by German tuners AC Schnitzer for the Essen Motor Show.
The German police machine is only an X4 20i, so it’s not packing the triple turbo straight-six from the M3 and M4. Still, AC Schnitzer has tuned the 2.0-litre turbo motor from 184 to 245hp, dropping the 0-62mph time to a respectable 6.7 seconds. Should be enough to keep up with any opportunistic joyriders.
The New South Wales (NSW) Police Force in Australia also uses a fully-liveried Porsche 911 for patrols. Any criminal is likely to think twice before trying to out-run it.
The 911 can hit 62mph in less than five seconds, although the NSW Police force says that this car will mostly be used to attend community events where “the fascination of a Porsche in police decals is helping to break the ice especially with youths in disadvantaged areas”.
This is certainly one of the coolest police cars around, but it has more competition than you might imagine. Here, we’ve collected some of the most eye-catching and unusual vehicles ever to wear a police logo and a set of flashing lights.
Dodge Charger Pursuit
This is the Dodge Charger Pursuit, a seriously mean-looking machine that became available to US police forces a few years ago.
Dodge Charger Pursuit
The Charger Pursuit is far from being all show and no go, either – it’s available with a 375hp 5.7-litre Hemi V8 and comes with upgraded suspension and a reinforced chassis.
Police forces with more modest pursuit goals – or greater concern for fuel economy – can opt for the rear-wheel-drive V6 version.
The Italians are known for their flair and style, and it seems that extends to the country’s police force, too. Even before many customer orders were fulfilled, the Italian State Police took delivery of its brand new 610hp, 202mph-plus, 5.2-litre V10-engined Lamborghini Huracan police car in spring 2014. Now you’re going to need an Aventador to get away from them…
Named after a Californian lake, the Chevrolet Tahoe is the perfect US cop car. A bull bar ensures chases are over before you can say “stay in the car, sonny”, and its go-anywhere ability means offenders aren’t getting away even if they take a detour through the desert. It looks menacing, too, and there’s a couple of spotlights to help catch suspects in dark alleys.
Greater Manchester Police Pride Hyundai i30
There are plenty of Hyundai i30 police cars dotted around the UK, but none quite as colourful as this. The Greater Manchester Police ‘Pride Police car’ was created to reach out to the LGBT community during Manchester’s Pride Festival and decked out in the event’s rainbow flag colours.
Renault RS Megane
The French are a pretty patriotic bunch when it comes to cars, and that extends to what the gendarmes drive. From Paris to Poitiers the French force can usually be seen driving a battered old blue Megane or Scenic; this racy Renaultsport Megane 265 is a cut above the rest.
BMW 4 Series
German tuner AC Schnitzer regularly toys with police cars and one of its most recent creations is this BMW 428i complete with Polizei graphics and flashing lights on the roof. Before being put into service with Germany’s finest motorway cops, AC upgraded the engine to 294hp so it should be powerful enough to chase down speeders on the Autobahn.
First, a Lamborghini and now a Ferrari FF – the Dubai police force is building an impressive fleet of supercars to track speeding motorists in the desert. With four seats, the FF makes more sense than a Lamborghini Aventador as a cop car, and it’s just as potent: the £227k motor has a 6.2 V12 putting out 650hp and capable of 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 208mph.
New York City police officers man a checkpoint in Times Square, using their Chevrolet Caprice cop cars to block the road. Notice the rubber bumper bars to ram other cars off the road. The US cops don’t mess around if they want you to stop.
It’s known as the capital of bling, so when it comes to policing Dubai, it takes a special kind of cop car to keep up with the 200mph+ hypercars you regularly see in the Emirate city.
Step forward the Lamborghini Aventador – one of the many jaw-dropping cars on the Dubai police force’s fleet.
While it’s clearly more of a marketing exercise, it is expected that the Aventador will have a practical purpose as it tries to reign in the propensity for young male drivers to speed on the quiet desert roads. The Dubai police force has imposed strict new punishments for drivers who speed above 124mph, with hefty fines and even jail sentences on the cards.
The £250k Aventador is perfect for the task: its 6.5-litre V12 engine produces 700hp and 508 lb/ft of torque and can hit 62mph in 2.9 seconds. Flat out it’ll reach 217mph. Fast as that is, it will still struggle to keep up with a Bugatti Veyron…
More of the coolest cop cars: