What will the New Zealand police use as highway patrol vehicles after Holden and Ford stop building cars in Australia? The Commodores and Falcons will be around long after Holden and Ford close manufacturing plants across the ditch. Parts will be available for years after, too.
But the time will come when they will be replaced. Already there has been talk of the Holden Malibu replacing Commodore and the Ford Mondeo replacing Falcon. Perhaps the government will open up tenders. How about a 3.5-litre V6 Nissan Maxima in police livery?
Whatever happens, New Zealand’s boy and girls in blue won’t find themselves behind the wheel of exotics, like police in other countries do.
Take London’s Metropolitan Police, for example, or Berlin’s wallopers. The coppers in London have as a pursuit vehicle the 3.5-litre V6 Caparo T1. Their counterparts in Britain use a special version of the Porsche 911.
Use of the two-seater Caparo T1 (above) is more off a public relations exercise to show off British engineering. But if it has to go into action, Jack the Lads doing 160km/h in a hot hatchback will be reined in within seconds. “You’re nicked, my son.”
The Caparo T1 is built by the engineers who crafted the supercar McLaren F1, whose company headquarters is in Woking,
just outside of London. The mid-engined, rear-drive flyer uses a 257kW 3.5-litre V6, has a top speed of 330km/h and gets from 0-100km/h in a blistering 2.5 seconds – that’s Formula One territory.
Wayward drivers around Berlin’s autobahn network can expect a special police Porsche 911 for company. It’s a 2005 model reworked by German tuning house TechArt, good for 300km/h and a sub-five second 0-100km/h sprint from its 276kW 3.8-litre flat-six engine.
The German cops also have access to a special Mercedes-Benz, a four-door CLS ‘coupe’ tuned by Brabus and nicknamed the ‘Rocket.’ Under the bonnet is a 6.3-litre V12 delivering 537kW and a top speed of 365km/h. The Rocket gets from 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds.
Italy’s police force the Carabinieri have a Lotus Evora and Lamborghini Huracan to call on in emergencies. Both are more than a match for speedsters on the country’s autostrada.
The V6-powered Evora delivers 257kW and skips from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds. Lotus maintains the police Evoras and trains the drivers on how to handle them.
Volkswagen-owned Lamborghini gave a Huracan to the Carabinieri, complete with blue flashing lights. The car’s 5.2-litre V10 engine generates 450kW, a top speed of 330km/h and 0-100km/h time of 3.2 seconds.
Police in the Netherlands can jump behind the wheel of a Spyker C8, painted in the force’s red and blue colours and with a bespoke stand to hold the light bar. The C8 uses a 4.2-litre V8 that delivers 300kW and 300km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds.