Anyone crazy enough to drive away from a speeding police car pursuing them is likely to get caught. Along with outnumbering the driver, the police have many things on their side, including radar, the skills to clip your car so it skids to a stop, and some of the fastest cars on the road.
Wouldn’t it be fun to drive one of those police cars, or one capable of similar feats? Not in order to evade the police, of course – but to enjoy the same high-quality handling, stopping, acceleration and other features that police cars typically have.
Ford stopped producing its Crown Victoria police car in 2011, and that classic has been replaced by a new generation of official vehicles from Ford, Chevrolet and Chrysler. The companies sell their amped-up cars – called “police interceptors” – to police departments only, not to individuals. Still, similar models are available to civilians.
Two law enforcement agencies in North America test the road-worthiness of police cars: the Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles CountySheriff’s Department. Here are some of the top cars they rated, along with the most similar options available to Joe Public:
Dodge Charger Pursuit
These cars with a 5.7-liter V-8 engine had the fastest acceleration, going from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and 0-to-100 mph in 13.65 seconds in Michigantests. While these police cars look like something from the future, their extra wiring – required for all those law enforcement extras – have caused overheating, and led to a recall of nearly 10,000 vehicles. The 2012 Dodge Charger starts at $25,495.
Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle
This was the fastest car in theMichigan tests, hitting 154 mph with its 6.0-liter V-8 engine. It had the shortest stopping distance from 60 mph at 125.8 feet. In theLos Angeles testing, it got to 60 mph in 6.76 seconds.
Car and Driver says there’s no civilian version of the Caprice, but AutoGuide.com reported last year that that General Motors had changed its mind and planned to sell it to the public. Few were released, and they sold for as much as $37,053.
Ford Taurus-based Police Interceptor
This is the only police sedan equipped with all-wheel drive. It has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. In the high speed test in Los Angeles, it averaged 64.62 mph. The Sheriff’s Department simulated a slower pursuit in an urban setting and found the Ford ran the fastest lap, at a little more than two minutes, for an average speed of 35.8 mph. The 2013 Ford Taurus Sedan has the same sized engine and costs $26,600.
The best thing about buying one of these law enforcement-ready cars? You don’t have to sit in the back seat.