Perhaps one of the most feared sights in motoring; a police car with the blues and twos ablaze in your rear-view mirror.
Standard police cars mirror the regular hatchbacks and saloons that we see day to day driven by the public - Vauxhall Astras and the like which if we're honest, are not the scariest cars out there. However, when we think of traffic cops, well, they get the tasty stuff to ensure our road networks stay safe.
We still see the fully-liveried 'Battenberg' Volvo and BMWs patrolling the motorway, but certain police forces have had access to some pretty tasty motors over the years. We have put together a list of our five coolest below.
Kicking off the list with a car that's not in-your-face cool, but there is a certain something about a high-powered Beemer. Available in either saloon or touring spec, the BMW 3 Series 330d is ideal for carrying masses of traffic cop kit. With a 3.0-litre turbocharged engine developing 245hp it's pretty quick too, with 62mph achievable in just 6.1 seconds.
It's no M3 but then a few eyebrows would be raised if the police were rolling around in a top-of-the-range M car. Therefore, being a diesel the 330d will still pass many petrol stations with ease thanks to great mpg, ensuring criminals will more than likely run out of fuel before the 330d ever will!
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
If the 330d is pretty subtle, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo is wonderfully lairy. Essentially a road-legal rally car, the Evo has always been a properly fast performance car. With aggressive looks and huge power, whichever era of Evo is on duty, car thieves will have no escape as real-world performance is at times, unmatchable.
South Yorkshire Police had access to a fleet of Evo VIII (Evo 8), IX (Evo 9) and X (Evo 10) cars. The Evo IX was perhaps the standout variant offering models called the FQ-300, FQ-320, FQ-340 and FQ-360, which related to the amount of power they produce in bhp.
Each model is insanely quick with 60mph achieved in 4.5 seconds or less. It was joked the Q stood for quick, and F, well we think you can guess what people said that stood for...
Fast Fords; cars loved by enthusiasts, police and criminals alike. No wonder really with Ford RS and Cosworth models being hugely iconic and immensely sought after. Back in the '80s and '90s RS' and Cossies were some of the fastest cars available.
Cossies came with over 200bhp and 60mph was dealt with in around 6 seconds depending on variant, although many said they were a lot quicker than Ford's official figures. This made them ideal police cars, being able to respond rapidly when needed, and to outrun and scare the living daylights out of criminals.
There are simply too many Fast Fords to pick just one. The Sierra Sapphire Cosworth and Ford Escort Cosworth were once in service in the '80s and '90s, but perhaps the coolest Ford never actually made it into service.
The RS200 police car was a Ford publicity stunt back in 1986, but it made for one extremely cool photo (see above). Ford re-enacted it thirty years later with the trial of the Mk3 Focus RS as a police car. Police forces also got their hands on the Mk3 Focus ST, another Fast Ford to help keep our roads safe.
Lexus IS F
We hear Alan Partridge is a fan, it is the 'Japanese Mercedes' after all. With a beastly 5.0-litre V8 producing 417bhp, and 60mph dealt with in under five seconds, the Lexus IS F is a properly quick motor.
Humberside police were even targeted by ex-prime minister David Cameron over their decision to spend over £50,000 on the Japanese super saloon, and further money (around £30,000) spec'ing the car with police communication and computer equipment. But like the BMW mentioned previous, the IS F is quite subtle, which is sure to surprise many criminals who try to get away - as they won't!
The force also used to have an Escort Cosworth and Subaru Impreza too, so have had their fair share of cool police cars.
Thinking outside the box here, but the UK police force has had access to some high-powered unmarked cool cars over the years, to keep them one step ahead of criminals.
Examples include high-powered hot hatchbacks and performance cars including Subaru Impreza GB270s, Mitsubishi Evo IX FQ-360s, Focus STs, Audi S3s and Volkswagen Golf R32s. The video shown here shows two examples of unmarked Mk5 Volkswagen Golf R32s, with lights in the front grille, headlights, taillights and rear windows.
Being a Golf, they offer plenty of space for police kit and dependable 4WD, perfect for adverse weather conditions. Seen here finished in black and grey, these subtle hot hatchbacks are almost stealth-like, perfect for unmarked duties. To the uneducated, you wouldn't think they housed a 3.2-litre V6 pumping out just shy of 250bhp and capable of 62mph in around 6 seconds dependant on transmission.