The Story Behind the LAPD’s Sexy Squad Cars


Many Angelenos have lifted a quizzical eyebrow when a new LAPD patrol car whizzes by, since the cars look so different from those dusty, dated Crown Victorias. Sleek, striking, and futuristic, the new rides look like set pieces from RoboCop or Terminator.

The truth is, the LAPD’s newest rides are simply Dodge Charger Pursuits painted black and white and outfitted with emergency lights and sirens. After enduring a long spell of no new squad cars, the department spent $6.5 million to purchase 100 of the Chargers last year, as well as 50 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles and 38 Ford P.I. sedans. But it’s the Chargers, with their graceful, curved windows and roofs, that are getting the most compliments.

The LAPD purchased the V-6 Charger, forgoing the V-8 engine so they’d be more fuel efficient. “There is no real advantage for us to have more horsepower or speed because these cars go fast enough to do the job,” LAPD’s fleet manager Vartan Tegiyan told POLICE magazine. “They have equivalent performance and speed compared to the Crown Vics.”

While we’re impressed by the Chargers, the department has an even sexier car: a $182,000 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo. Don’t worry, your taxes weren’t used to purchase the glam vehicle: a telecommunications company donated it to the LAPD for charity events and recruitment.

Photograph by Ken Koller via Flickr