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As Australian police forces wrestle with the notion of replacing their long-serving Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore patrol cars, we take a look around the world to see what other police services have come up with.
Aside from the obvious shortcomings – no roof, nowhere to safely restrain a person of interest – the space frame Atom makes a pretty handy pursuit vehicle, thanks to a 220kW Honda four-cylinder engine attached to its flyweight 600kg frame. Police forces in the UK used the British built sportster as a 'community engagement' car.
Okay, so this will struggle to get through a handful of OHS issues, granted, but how about those flames? If that won’t get someone out of the fast lane on a freeway, what will?
The Dodge Daytona pictured here tours the USA’s provincial drag strips under the control of former law enforcement officer Mike ‘Ho-Jo’ Hojnacki, and is powered by a small (apparently) Pratt and Whitney jet engine that makes a handy 2000kg of thrust to push it to speeds in excess of 430km/h.
Sooooo many great gags here… meet the ‘A-tractor’, a farm implement that’s set to plough through crime in New Zealand’s southern district.
With a top speed of 40km/h and weighing more than four tonnes, a fit cyclist could easily get away from the New Holland tractor, but it’s designed to help shut the gate on rural crime. Okay, that’s enough.
This cop-liveried Toyota ran at the Texas 500 a couple of years ago, as a tribute to officers killed in the line of duty for the Dallas Police Department.
If it were ever let loose on the street, it would have done an admirable job of pursuing crims, thanks to a 475kW V8 under the hood… err, bonnet. Of course, once the perps stopped turning right, the chase would be all over.
Now this is an unusual one – while this potent Nissan GT-R looks for all the world like a proper police car that might patrol the streets of Stockholm, it’s actually a mock-up. Now while such a stunt would usually land you in serious trouble with the constabulary, in this case the GT-R was mocked up by its owner for a kid’s charity day event, and the Stockholm police authorities gave it their blessing.
The Japanese plod are not above very sneaky tactics to tackle poor driver behaviour – we’ve even seen 10-year-old Toyota Crowns with no livery still in active duty around Tokyo.
The Nissan Skyline GT-R has long been a favourite with Japan’s police forces, and the last generation R34 GT-R is no exception. A 320kW twin-turbo six-potter and all-wheel drive certainly don’t hurt.
This police-pack oddity is designed to give riot officers a 360-degree view of the action. From the looks of the vehicle it’s attached to, one hopes the riot police can run quickly, because it’ll no doubt be quicker.
You’ve all seen the various special versions of HSVs and FPVs over the years, along with mock-up Mustangs, but Queensland racer Jonathan Webb took it one step further, mocking up a version of a NSW Police Force highway patrol car to kick off his 2013 season in the V8 Supercar championship.
Designed to highlight 40km/h speed zones, the livery brings to mind the reason why legendary racer Peter Brock used 05 throughout his career – it started as a sponsorship deal with the Victorian Police Force to promote the then-new 0.05 blood alcohol limit being enforced in the state.
The mid-engined RS200 was a World Rally Championship refugee from the 1980s, and it joined the UK plod for a brief period in 1986 as a publicity stunt. Exactly 30 years later, Ford UK recreated the iconic picture of the original RS200 pulling up a Sierra Cosworth, adding in the new Focus RS instead.
The RS would make a pretty awesome police car, but a lack of an automatic transmission will cruel its chances, particularly here in Australia.
In truth, picking just one police car from the world-renowned Dubai Police Force’s jaw-dropping collection is virtually impossible, so we thought we’d pick out the most practical.
Featured in this amazing documentary put together by the police the Ferrari FF is a V12-powered all-wheel drive shooting brake that redefines the notion of pursuit vehicle. Unlike the force’s Bugatti Veyron, for example, the FF can carry two police plus persons of interest, equipment in the boot and still travel at speeds of up to 330km/h. Handy.