Lotus Eletre joins the world's most arresting police cars

Published: 08 February 2024 Updated: 08 February 2024

► The world’s wildest police cars
► From supercars to electric cars
► Bugatti cop cars, Allegro pandas…

Car spotters will have a field day spotting different police cars around the world. Whether it’s the glitzy supercars of the Dubai constabulary, which recently added the all-electric Lotus Eletre R to its fleet (above), or the unmarked cars of British M-ways, from silly publicity stunts to the electric cop cars in inner-city areas, there’s always something to keep an eye on in your rear-view mirror.

Here we round up the best police cars from around the globe. Flick through our gallery above and read on for our guide to the most outrageous, unusual or just downright eye-grabbing police wheels from all four corners of the world.

More car culture stories by CAR magazine

Honda NSX police car: not your average patrol vehicle

Honda NSX police car

Few car manufacturers can resist the allure of dressing up their latest model in stripes, blues and twos. Even the normally sensible and cautious Honda succumbed to the temptation with its first NSX supercar, which led to this delightfully two-tone edition seen patrolling roads in Japan back in the 1990s.

The Nissan GT-R police car in Japan

Nissan GT-R police car in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

It’s a trend still rife among Japanese manufacturers: a benevolent resident in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, recently donated a Nissan GT-R to his local police force. It went back to Nissan to have a few tweaks made, boost added and livery painted on – and there was even a ceremony to mark the handover.

Yes, they even did a Porsche police car in Japan!

In the early years of the legendary 911, four examples of the entry-level 912 were acquired by the Japanese police to help curtail illegal street racing. The cars were retrofitted with loudspeakers, better rear-view mirrors, lights and increased safety through reinforced seats and belts.

The police supercars of Dubai

Police supercars in Dubai: Bugatti Veyron, McLaren and Bugatti Continental cop cars (Getty)

Any round of cop car Top Trumps will usually be won by the United Arab Emirates. These wealthy sovereign states have turbocharged economies thanks to the oil reserves upon which their fortunes were won; so it seems apt that their police cars are high-octane supercars – there’s even a Dubai police Bugatti Veyron that was added to the fleet in 2014 to bolster the image of ‘luxury and prosperity’ of the Emirate.

The UK does show-off police cars too

Can police cars catch you speeding? Yes they can, in a BAC Mono police car

Back in Blighty, Plod occasionally throws off the shackles of sensible cop cars and lets his hair down. Usually when a manufacturer has sniffed out a publicity stunt. The Isle of Man constabulary wrapped a BAC Mono in blues and twos – with this outrageous result. Only one seat though, which makes it unrealistic to appear in The Bill any time soon.

Read the full story on the BAC police car here

Caparo T1 pursuit car reporting for duty

Caparo T1 police car

Remember the Caparo T1? We just about do. Even though it kind of sank without trace, the extreme hypercar somehow managed time to create a one-off police edition. Not seen patrolling any UK streets ever since.

Plodding in comfort: the Rolls-Royce police car

Rolls-Royce Ghost police car

That’s more like it, Sarge! Even Goodwood can’t resist doing its bit for the local force, wrapping this Ghost in Battenberg livery for a local event.

The Italians know how to do cool police cars

Lamborghini Huracan police car

In 2017 Automobili Lamborghini gave a new Huracan Polizia to the police force in Rome. If you see this in your rear-view mirror, pull over immediately, is our advice!

Even the (slightly) more realistic Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio looks damned cool in police spec. What’s not to like about a Cloverleaf in cuffs?

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio police car

Fortunately, only two Giuilas were taken by the police force, as part of an 800-strong Fiat Chrysler fleet deal. So you’ll be far more likely to see Jeep Renegades and Fiat Panda 4x4s in use with cops in more mountainous regions of Italy.

Read more on the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

The Dutch Porsche 911 Rijkspolitie mobile

1982 Porsche 911 3.0 SC ‘Rijkspolitie’ police car

This high-performance police car lark isn’t just a Middle East and UK thing. The Dutch had this splendid 1982 Porsche 911 3.0 SC ‘Rijkspolitie’ mobile. Which is perhaps the coolest patrol car we’ve yet seen.

The Ford Capri police car

Ford Capri police car: the 2.8 V6!

From a similar vintage is this: the 1983 Ford Capri 2.8 V6, briefly used by Greater Manchester Police force. We can only imagine the squishy black plastic rear spoiler would’ve been great for squashing criminals’ faces into as they roughly slap on the handcuffs…

The WRC-spec Ford RS200 police car

Wildest police cars: a Ford RS200 rally car high-pursuit vehicle!

The Blue Oval has form with blues-and-twos. In the 1980s it bedecked its landmark Group B RS200 with the necessary stickers and lights to make a high-speed pursuit car for the local Essex constabulary (above).

Ironic: a Ford Focus RS police car chasing a Ford RS200

It then, rather cleverly, re-shot this picture for a more recent picture of its Ford Focus RS police car – neatly photographed pulling an RS200 for clearly indulging in a little bit too much dual-carriageway speed (above).

It’s all a far cry from the Allegro police car

Austin Allegro police car

It’s not all high-performance police cars. Let us pause and reflect that one poor force resorted to Austin Allegro panda cars. We imagine many thieves getting away on foot, out-pacing BL’s mid-sized hatchback.

Ford Fiesta: a staple cop car through the years

1970s Ford Fiesta police car

The cars evolve over the years; these coppers look quite pleased to be taking on a fleet of Ford Fiestas. Note how simple the police marking was – and just one, old-school rotating blue light atop the roof. Simpler times… 

Which is your favourite police car? Be sure to sound off in our comments below!

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words