From a limited edition $4m supercar to a snail-like Chinese Ute, the world’s police car fleet is astonishingly diverse. Chasing Cars identified the fastest cop car in every country.
These are the vehicles that put the ‘hot’ in ‘hot pursuit.’
Chasing Cars listed the police cars used in every country, and then researched their top speed and how much they cost.
All prices are in US dollars except when noted.
The United Arab Emirates (the world’s third-richest country) dominates the top twenty. It’s a lot of fun to be a police driver in the capital, Dubai, with nine superfast vehicles as diverse as the McLaren MP4-12C and Bentley Bentayga available. However, these cars are mostly for show, with the 253mph/407kmh, $1.9m Bugatti Veyron cruising wealthy areas in police colours to reassure everyone they’re still rich.
Most of the remaining top twenty fastest police cars are in Europe. Italy is the home of Ferrari and Lamborghini. There are two Lamborghinis patrolling Rome, and a Ferrari 458 Italia in Milan, each with top speeds of around 201mph/323kmh.
The United States fields eight models capable of 150mph or more. The fastest is the 1,005-horsepower, 228mph/367kmh Corvette Z06 enjoyed by the New Braunfels Texas Police Department. This is also the fastest police car on the continent.
Outside the States, the fastest po-po in America are in Guatemala City. The Corvette Stingray (184mph/296kmh) has been valued at around $55k. However, the National Civil Police “liberated” it from a drug dealer named Manuel Felipe Arelanes Monroy. Perks of the job, eh? (They also took his house, which is now the Prosecutor’s Office for Women).
South American police cars are relatively modest in speed. The quickest is Chile’s Dodge Charger (LX) – a commonplace cop cart in North America, but the pacemaker in the south. The Charger does 155mph/249kmh.
Chile is also home to the region’s second, third, and fourth-fastest police cars: the Mitsubishi Challenger, Dodge Durango, and Chevrolet Colorado. The slowest in the region is Brazil’s VW Beetle, a familiar shape across the country since the car was mass-produced in Brazilian factories in the 20th century. The ‘bug’ reaches just 62mph/100kmh.
The Brabus Mercedes CLS Rocket doesn’t look like a rocket. It looks like a police car. But it moves like a rocket, tracking criminals through German streets at up to 225mph/362kmh – making it the fastest police car in Europe. The CLS Rocket is big, safe, and easy to stay in control. Indeed, ‘Mercedes whisperer’ Brabus produced the cop’s Rocket as a one-off special edition to publicise a German Federal Traffic Ministry safety campaign.
Italy is not so far behind with its locally-produced Ferrari and Lamborghinis. But the oddest car on the list is the convertible, scissor-doored Spyker C8, one of only 94 built, which serves the Frevoland province of the Netherlands. The C8 can do 187mph/301kmh.
The ten fastest police cars in this region are all in the UAE. And even the tenth, “the world’s most luxurious and fastest sports utility vehicle,” is 30mph faster than the closest competition. The Bentley Bentayga SUV does 190mph/306kmh next to Uzbekistan’s Chevrolet Cobalt at 160mph/257kmh. The Dubai ‘superfleet’ is about public relations rather than performance – in a country with an actual supercar graveyard in the desert, looks matter.
Speed is not the priority in much of the Middle East. All-terrain manoeuvrability makes more sense in some landscapes. The Toyota Land Cruiser is capable of just 109mph/175kmh, and is a common police vehicle across the region. But the Mercedes-Benz W211 in Iran and Audi A6 in Jordan both manage 155mph/250kmh and bring a little Vorsprung durch Technik into the region.
You’ve heard of the bullet train. Japan also has bullet police car. In fact, six of the eight fastest cop cars in this part of the world are found in Japan. The number one is the Nissan GT-R which is actually faster than a bullet train – its top speed of 205mph/330kmh just pips the 199mph/320kmh of the Shinkansen lines.
New Zealand’s Holden Commodores (sedan and ute) are the Aussie-made vehicles giving Japan’s fleet a run for its money. A Holden is also the fastest in Australia, and you can be sure that “every cop and his dog will love it” – it’s the modified Holden Ute used by police dog handlers.
The fastest cop cars in Africa are the two BMW M3s in the Somali fleet. They reach a speed of 155mph/249kmh and were donated by the Italian embassy to help secure the troubled capital, Mogadishu. As such, the beamers are kitted out with anti-explosive devices as well as crime detection equipment.
The fastest police cars in Malawi are also a gift – an apparently ‘no strings attached’ gesture from China. The Chinese sent 60 utes, 15 sedans, and 10 vans, and 10 minibuses. The quickest are the utes: Foton Tunland Wellsides that do a rather arduous 115mph/185kmh.
The world’s most expensive police car costs the same as numbers five to 20 combined. The Lykan HyperSport costs $3,400,000 (AUS$ $4,371,890) and there are only seven of them in the world. It was built by the rather unsnazzy-sounding Arabian supercar company W Motors and boasts a turbocharged 3.5-liter, flat-six Porsche engine, offering 750 horsepower and 708 lb-ft of torque.
But the price tag isn’t due to the Lykan’s extraordinary engine. No, in police work it is the details that matter – and the HyperSport’s cost is inflated by details like the 420 diamonds etched into the titanium LED blade headlights, gold-stitched leather interior, and “Virtual Holographic Display.” Perfect for receiving emergency transmissions like, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope!”
The majority of police vehicles are closer to the jalopy end of the spectrum, rather than sci-fi inspired supercars. And there will always be a charm in seeing the familiar bounce of a disposable black-and-white in hot pursuit. But cops feel the need for speed like anyone else – wherever they are in the world. Which country’s force is getting your job application?
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