For several decades, most police cars have been modified versions of passenger models sold by the major manufacturers. Most of the modifications are very significant. Some of them are common, like flashing lights on top and in grills. Other modifications are less easy to see but for law enforcement drivers are much more significant.
These are the primary ways that police cars are different from cars sold in dealerships.
1. The Police Interceptor Utility is built by Ford and is fundamentally a modified Explorer. It is modified so that it can pass a 75-mile-per-hour rear-crash impact. According to Ford, no other vehicle in the world has this capacity. Such a crash would almost certainly result in death for passengers of some car models. These are the deadliest cars in history.
2. The vehicle also has built-in steel intrusion plates in both front seatbacks to protect officers from behind.
3. The doors of police cars can be modified to stop armor-piercing bullets. Based on U.S. Department of Justice standards, these doors can stop rounds from an AK-74.
4. StarChase uses a laser on the front of the police car to target a vehicle it is pursuing. The system then shoots a small device that adheres to the rear of the car being chased. The technology cuts down on the need for high-speed chases because suspects can be tracked at a distance.
5. Dodge makes Rear Cross Path Detection for police vehicles as “an ambush warning system that alerts officers to movement at the rear or side of a parked vehicle.”
6. The screen on the instrument panel on the Dodge Charger Pursuit has been tested to operate in temperatures between −40° and 185° Fahrenheit.
7. Ford has a system called “silent mode” that makes police cars hard to see at night. It turns off all the lights inside and outside the vehicle.
8. One Ford police car model can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just over five and a half seconds. Still, some automobiles are extremely hard to catch like these fastest cars on Earth.
9. Many police car seats are designed to accommodate officers who carry guns, handcuffs, batons and flashlights.
10. Plastic rear seats make for easy cleaning.