The Saudis used Lambos too...
...they had a few Lamborghini LM002 for desert border patrols. Not sure if they're still in service.
The Dubai police force can expect a flood of applications to its cadet academy now that it has added a 217mph Lamborghini Aventador to its cruiser fleet. How much did it set back Dubai's Finest to get their hands on this stylish bit of four-wheeled extravagance? It depends upon whom you believe: Sky News puts the price at £250 …
The Italian police had a couple of Gallardos too..
'Had' being the operative word...
@AC 06:37 ".... Women of course are not allowed to drive cars, restricted visibility of the burka could lead to loss of life."
I think you'll find that the restricted visibility of the burka has nothing to do with women not being allowed to drive and that it is entirely down to narrow minded religious shite!
That and maybe the fact that women have more accidents per mile driven than men....
If that is really fact in Dubai, it might be because women are not allowed to take driving lessons there?
Otherwise they have less accidents than men on than men on the same mileage. That is why they get cheaper insurance in some countries. (Not in Dubai, probably).
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Lived in Saudi for a couple of years, money great but restrictions on my wife not being able to do this or do that and having to live in a compound was crap. Also when out and about there was enormous unwanted attention given to my wife and daughter and my young son.
Now you may think it religious Shiite or what ever, but in that country a woman has second class rights, can only go out if accompanied with a male family member, cannot drive a car, if found in the company of a man not of her family can be arrested, whose word is worth half that of a man, should cover herself from head to foot to remain modest, when the men are allowed a free reign to do what they want, all in the name of religion.
A tell me, do you think that is OK? If you do then I know full well were you come from.
"It's the only way they can catch the younger members of the Saudi royal family. Women of course are not allowed to drive cars, restricted visibility of the burka could lead to loss of life."
Why bother catching them? It's not like they don't get away with it... because they're Royal.
And the idea that female arab dress affects visibility is a joke: What exactly do you think a keffiyeh does for peripheral vision?
... were offered to all forces, but at the time they cost roughly twice as much as a tuned Astra GTE variant. A friend on the West Yorkshire force said these were far more usable in urban environments. This was back in '88, and he said that the Astras were good for short, very high speed bursts, but if used to chase something very high speed over longer distances then they would need engine attention afterwards.
Both equally nickable, mind, and response times would be severely hampered by the need to unchain the Cossie from the garage floor (an extreme scurity method employed by one guy I know who has an RS500).
Cool wasn't even an option... ;-)
Not just the Subaru Impreza, but a Prodrive-tuned Subaru Impreza, from the company who did Colin McRae's winning cars. Humberside police were the first to have one, as a few criminals tried some off-road evasive tactics. As well as being faster, the Prodrive versions have panels underneath to protect the car from rocks and debris.
Heh! My first thought :)
The Interceptor's a muscle car. Good durability, fine for reasonable (!) speed in a straight line
The latest gen of Lambos are still speed-orientated & more flimsy, but they also have 4WD (I haven't checked this particular model) & a heck of a lot more accel
Also the MM Interceptor had a manually operated supercharger. I'm fairly sure (from memory) that at least some Lambo's have this accoutrement, & if so it would be electronically controlled. So more precise useage = better power delivery = better chance of catching perps (& not being killed in the process, or at least not through raw speed itself)
Aren't the UK cars tuned though? I thought their old Volvo T5's could do 180mph? That 5 series looks seriously lowered at the back (or maybe just a fat convict in the backseat). Also I remember hearing there was a police Porsche 911 in London a while back, which had been confiscated from a crim.
AFAICR if they're factory tuned it's for endurance, not speed. When you take into account the amount of kit a 'standard' British cop car has to carry - deployable hazard warning signs, extra radio gear + batteries, etc, etc - it's not surprising the suspension may look 'lowered'
Maybe in the 'old' days (pre-1985 or so) there were special 'interceptor' units that were factory-tuned, but now there's just what we're given, plus garage mech knowhow
There /are/ special 'interceptor' patrol units around the UK, but their cars aren't any different from the factory models (above adjustments notwithstanding)
The babylon do frequently use 'police spec' cars, although exactly what that means varies (larger fuel tanks, tuning etc).
As for the 5 series, it may be lowered but I doubt by much as it would leave them having to slow excessively for speed humps in a chase. The clue is the blue light on, the popo is just ragging the car and has switched lanes loading up the suspension on that side making it appear closer to the ground.
I'm all for them having suitible cars, it makes sense that at least some of them have more poke then a corsa. Engaging in 200mph chases is a little risky however. You also know some idiots will take racing the local plod supercar as a badge of honor.
El Reg goes Top Gear! Hmm...
However, the idea has some merit. Dubai, therefore little rain & long straight roads (mostly - the Lambo's not expected to go anywhere else shirley) plus a driver (excessiive) speed problem on the aforementioned roads
NP with fuel allowance, but what do they do with perps once they've been pulled over? Wait a couple of hours while the local equivalent of paddy-wagon arrives, or shoot/chop their hands off on the spot? Unkless they're princes of course (the most likely perps), in which case they may get a stiff talking-to
Yep, they do.
You get "negative" points on your licence much like in the UK, and if you get too many you lose the licence and have to retake the test after about a month.
Oddly you can also get "positive" points that cancel out the negative ones - so you could save a few of those up before going speeding!
Recently there was a case where an Emirati argued in court that he shouldn't lose his licence because speeding is a national sport!
Thankfully he lost that argument - but of course he was back on the road a few weeks later anyway.
You only get in real trouble if you kill someone by driving like an idiot - then it depends if you're an expat or Emirati. Most expats would spend some time in prison then be deported, while most Emiratis have to pay blood money, but that's about it.
It's a weird country.
If the cops actually need to go 150+ MPH to chase someone down, I rather wonder what they intend to do with them once they catch up to them in this particular car. I can't imagine they plan to ram or PIT maneuver them with a 250-300k vehicle. (That's ignoring the question of what harm making a car spin out at those speeds might result in.)
I suppose this could just be used to follow the speeder doggedly, and thus ensure the speeder actually can't get away, to be bagged (one way or the other) when they finally give up or eventually crash. In that case, the cops better hope whatever they're chasing doesn't have dramatically better MPG than their 12-cylinder beast. :)
... just get close enough to fire a magnetic/adhesive GPS tracker onto the vehicle. Pretty hard to outrun the helicopter then ... even if you can beat it in a straight line.
Which reminds me - have you guys seen P.R.E.Y A.L.O.N.E - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccw4OepTDUY
In this amazing Irish short film, whose SFX were done on a farm of cheap PCs, there is a blistering chase of a car through the subway system by a couple of fighter jets - and a great twist in the tale ...
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I never drove a Lamborghini that I actually enjoyed driving.
To date, all have been absolute pigs to drive on the street (worse than street Ferraris, even, and that's difficult) ... and not a one of 'em has actually delivered the advertised "top speed", not within 20%..
Art? Maybe, depending on your perception & prejudice. Driver's car? Not so much. Real world? I have better places to spend money when it comes to fast transportation.
They do have quite a lot of them, and unlike the UK they don't paint them yellow and they hide them fairly well.
However, the locals quickly figure out where they are - and even visitors spot them fast because it's where everybody suddenly brakes hard.
The speed traps that actually catch people are the 'mobile' ones the police set up at random.
Sorry, but the Arabs are late to this publicity/posing party again (http://cars.uk.msn.com/features/the-world’s-coolest-ever-police-cars?page=72). IIRC, we also had some Jag E-types for chase duties on the M1. And turbo Scoobies. In the UK, not only did we have Imprezza WRC chase cars, we had WPCs driving them! If I'm going to be stopped I'd rather be stopped by said ladies than some hairy Arab.
I see not too much has changed.
I can remember that in the 1980's there was no speed limit on the road between Dubai and Sharjah because the two cities hadn't agreed where the border was. The main deterrent to excessive speed was the huge stacks of wrecked cars dumped on the sides of the road.
« Really, what if the offending motorist is also in a stupidly fast car? »
What, like say, a German police car? :) http://www.concept-cars.org/the-worlds-finest-police-cars.html
Interesting page that I've linked above. Not to fall victim to stereotypes, but that "mucho macho" look on the American specimens...
Also, it appears that the Met have, or at one point had, a Lamborghini too? Still, it's probably just about fast enough to keep up with the other traffic on the Berliner Ring, so not surprising the Germans went for something faster (and a bit more sober-looking, if I may say).
The accidents on Sheikh Zayed Road are partly due to it having slip roads that are far too short, which result in traffic queuing on the highway, but mostly down the the generally low standard of driving.
The cops will have bought a Lambo for the same reason as every else who has one in Dubai, to crawl along at 15 mph revving the engine and generally looking like a twat.
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When I was there, nearly ten years ago, it also had some excellent concrete end-pieces to ram into at full speed, with minimum crash barriers. There were at least some slip roads where the concrete barrier at the side of the road meets the ones either side of the slip road in a nice pointy concrete triangle. Sometimes people hit these at lots-of-mph. I saw the nasty results of this a couple of times.
Ouch! I imagine you weren't doing 90 at the time, or you probably wouldn't be posting on here. Unlike the poor sods I saw in Dubai. Not a very forgiving piece of road design.
Thinking back, it's a very cramped motorway - given how much space is available in Dubai. Short slip-roads and not very much gap until you run out of junction markings, and run into concrete.
Women are allowed to drive. At that point (some 5 years ago) they needed written permission from their employer or husband though. Things may have changed as the UAE is a lot more progressive than other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.
While I was living there, I witnessed first hand the appalling driving standards. Arab drivers in particular are very aggressive behind the wheel, brake-testing being a common reaction to any situation where they are held up for a few minutes. (Happened to me once, but my UK Driving habit of leaving space and driving within the speed limit meant I was more than ready to slow down a little without causing problems for anyone else).
There was a mighty crash in 2008 where 60 vehicles were involved and 300+ people injured. (http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/traffic-transport/horrific-accident-on-abu-dhabi-dubai-highway-near-ghantoot-1.90996) which caused a major debate. Add to this the prevelance of overladen, under-maintained HGV's where tyre blowouts are common, and the highway isn't cleared of the resulting strips of discarded rubber means you have to be on your toes.
For what it's worth though, the trip is usually uneventful heading from Dubai towards Ras Al Khaimah & Oman. Sharjah is a bottleneck, but once past there, it's open, wide highway (5 lanes in places) where you can happily trundle along at twice the speed limit without police intervention (witnessed, not done myself) As for the Lambo? it's nothing more than a show of wealth for an Emirate which is in financial trouble. (It borrows from Abu Dhabi regularly, which is the wealthier state and holds most of the oil resource for the UAE). All show.
I have lived in Dubai for last 8 years (hopefully my last now), and you've summed it up perfectly.
Apparently the Dubai police guy said they bought the car 'to show the world how classy Dubai is'. They still haven't figured out the difference between 'crass' and 'classy'. Monaco is classy. Dubai most definitely is not.
The problem with the cops is that here it's all about 'wasta', which translates roughly as 'status'. Basically, if you are a well-connected local, or part of a family that is, you can do pretty much what you like and the cops won't touch you. Which goes a long way to explain why the roads here will continue to be about 40 times as deadly as those in the UK.
Now I have two small children, even a big 4x4 doesn't seem protection enough when many of the nutters on the roads are driving similar vehicles. Dubai likes to tell everyone how 'safe' it is, and in terms of being mugged, that's true. But in terms of your overall risk of death or serious injury, Dubai is many times more dangerous than the UK solely due to its appalling accident rate, which their culture makes them unable to properly address.
Goodness, no. Monaco's not classy. Some people there are, but most are pretty crass about their unsubtle displays of wealth. Although they do tend to stick to wearing the gold in a crass way, rather than plating their Ferraris with the stuff. So comparatively speaking, yes, you're right.
Whiznot, If that was the result of the study, it was rubbish. The cause of most accidents in that country is a combination of poor driving standards (Sadly, indian/pakistanii drivers make up the bulk of these), combined with a aggressive driving style as I mentioned earlier. With only a few exceptions, Arabs are some of the most friendly, welcoming and gracious people you could meet as individuals or in small groups. On the road however, they seem to have a sense of entltlement to the road. It's their road and you should get out of their way NOW.
I soon learnt not to pull away immediately when lights turn to green. You always wait for that 1 or 2 cars that WILL (not may) drive straight through red lights.
You forgot to mention the additional risks posed by appalling driver education, drunk Westerners, total lack of any clue about what the orange flashy things are for, no peripheral vision, rear-view mirror set up as a vanity mirror to adjust headwear, 'InshAllah' attitude towards wearing seatbelts, etc etc...
for over 30 years IIRC, in California, spec for a police interceptor is 115mph top speed .. and while some models can approach 130mph they are normally limited to 120mph for reliability issues and, believe it or not, legal liability issues .. Crown Vic is no more .. and I'll tell you at 120mph it does not handle safely on a typical urban - suburban Freeway
anything faster than 100mph .. we just bring out the helicopters and radio ahead
The 1992 Ford Taurus SHO is an easy 130 MPH cruiser. I averaged ~140 between Lost Wages & Flagstaff & back once (including over the damned dam). Top-end of mine after 50K miles was about 152, in decent conditions (cool, level, no wind), according to calibrated CHP radar. The CHP used 'em as interceptors. Probably still should. My (bought new, and well maintained) car has 340,000 miles on it, and can still do an honest 140MPH for over 100 miles without a hiccup. The drive-train has never been apart.
Best factory sleeper x four-door touring car ever built, IMO.
What's the car of choice for Reg readers? i.e. Any tech workers done well for themselves and are now going around in a Lamborghini? Yes?... Care to share the secrets of your success? For contract or highly-bonused IT workers in Dubai, Singapore or Hong Kong its not unheard of. Epecially if you work on a trading desk. This AC can only dream of Lambos, but he does an old XK8.
@ Dave Bell - Yup, owned by Deutz-Fahr now but still available.
Of course the tractor factory was sold by Ferruccio to finance the car company so they have almost nothing in common other than the same founder.
As you can guess by looking, the Explorer is actually a rubbish pursiut vehicle. Piss-poor handling (don't forget about roll-overs!), poor brakes, acceleration that is average at best, and CHUGS gasoline. The Crown Vic? I test drove a police interceptor, and my ~13 year old V6 Buick could have lapped it within a few times around the block. To join the 20th century at least (won't claim joining the 21st...) the PDs here are starting to get some V6 Chevy Impala pursuit vehicles (about the same performance as a Vic with about 1/2 the fuel consumption), and the one PD here that is crazy about traffic tickets is getting Dodge Charger V8s.
Actually the standard of driving in Dubai compared to the rest of the Arab world is fantastic. Slip out into the other emirates and the standard plummets. Rulers want Dubai to be the Singapore of the Middle East and really have done miracles over the past 3 or 4 decades to civilize the place - partially by using western, often British in older times, consultants in key government positions. Hats off.
I've lived in Dubai for 8 years, and the driving is still as dangerous and clueless as it ever was.
As for the Dubai Police, if they've had British consultants, one can only assume they were MI6 interrogators fresh from a posting in Afghanistan:
There isn't such thing as a civilized dicatorship....
It was around a quarter-century ago.
There were a couple of Dutch police officers at the Lincolnshire Agricultural Show, with their vehicle.
A Porsche 911
I expect they had been picked for the visit, but my later experiences in the Netherlands suggests that their Police are much less inclined to confrontation that they have become in the UK.
Maggie Thatcher's claim that there is no such things as society would be loudly mocked by the Dutch, though the context of her claim is a little bit more subtle than the way it gets reported now.
> Maggie Thatcher's claim that there is no such things as society would be loudly mocked by the Dutch,
Only if they misunderstood the context, as you seem to have done.
That soundbite was in the middle of a debate (on the health service, IIRC) when someone said that "society" would have to pay, and Maggie pointed out that when it comes to paying bills there's no such thing as "society" since ultimately it is the individual taxpayers who have to cough up, i.e. there isn't some bottomless pot of money owned by something called "society" that can pay all our bills for us. It was more of a comment on collective responsibilty. The leftie press jumped on the soundbite & delighted in using it out of context.
Whilst I was poodling around the touristy areas of DXB. Would hate to be in it (or anywhere near) when it comes across one of the gazillions of speed humps on the roads (other than Shk Zayed) at high speed. Why do you think they prefer the 4x4s out here?
Also read that this wasn't going to be used to chase perps just to show that Dubai is back in the game - finance speaking.
i notice you compared it to the BMW 5 series that the UK plods use, however they have also been using both Lotus esprits and elans for the past decade - many of the UK police forces use lotus's for high speed motorway chase cars, hell they even have em in northern ireland. while not exactly in OTT supercar territory its still a closer comparison, but i guess it doesnt make as good a story when the gap in performance isn't quite as high as you'd lead us to believe.
I've just returned from a year in the UAE. The standard of driving is terrible (and women do drive). They have a lot of speed cameras but the locals ignore them as they either have the money to pay the fines or simply don't pay. It's only enforced on the ex-pat community. The locals don't care about speed or the risks. Every local driver is a graduate of the "Inshallah school of motoring".
I've been overtaken by cars doing 200 km/h plus at night without lights, had cars coming the wrong way down the dual carriageway towards me, seen huge pile-ups on the SZH in fog (yes, they do get fog in winter time) In December 2012 they had their heaviest rainfall for 50 years and there were more than 600 accidents in one morning. When the 'great Blackberry outage' ocurred traffic accidents dropped by over 25% for those 3 days, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. Thye will cut you up and overtake, leaving less than an inch to spare. You have to drive so defensively, how I got through 12 months without an accident is beyond me.
God knows what effect those cheap lights will have on the Aventadors aerodynamics. I hereby offer my services as test driver :-) In the UK we don't need fast police cars. Helicopters are faster and Radio travels at the speed of light which is a tad faster than any car, motorcycle or anything else man-made for that matter. Soon the Police will go back to bicycles as they will become the fastest thing on the roads.
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