13 Ways Police Cars Are Different (Typical Modifications)

Police cars might look slightly similar to other vehicles, but they are not the same.

In fact, they have an array of modifications and differences that set them apart and make them much better than ordinary vehicles.

These are 13 ways policies differ from regular cars.

You cannot always recognize police cars by their color but here are some things that ARE different on police cars.

1. Powerful Engines

Because many police cars are involved in high-speed chases, they have to be equipped to take off and keep up.

Therefore, many cop cars have powerful V8 motors with loads of horsepower and the ability to reach 0 to 60 in only a fraction of the time it takes a regular vehicle.

One of the fastest cop vehicles to date is the Ford Inceptor Utility.

Though not equipped with a V8 motor, this model’s V6 EcoBoost engine puts out 400 horsepower and can safely get up to 148 MPH.

Its 0-60 time is 5.5 seconds, which isn’t as good as the top sports cars but can give regular vehicles a run for their money.

You can read here about how police cars are faster.

2. Sturdier Suspension

Because of the nature of a cop’s work, a police vehicle must also be equipped with a sturdier suspension system than most regular cars.

These vehicles need to be strong enough to handle bumpy roads, crashes, and other types of abuse when situations become action-packed.

Examples of fantastic suspension items for police cars are the Sensen 99213 shocks.

They are crafted of heavy-duty steel and are often found on Crown Victoria Inceptors.

Consumers rate them as one of the best strut types because they can last for many years and take much of the abuse that hits cop cars daily.

3. Special Tires

Many cops boast that they have some of the best tires in the industry.

The goal of putting such fantastic tires on cop cars was to ensure that police officers would experience fewer tire blowouts than the average vehicle. A police vehicle must also be equipped for a hot pursuit with tires that support excellent handling at high speeds.

The Goodyear Eagle Enforcer tires are an example of the types of tires you would see on a police car. In no way are these tires normal. 

They have a speed rating of V, which means they’re suitable for speeds up to 149 MPH.

They also have a tread compound that was designed explicitly for pursuits. Wide circumferential grooves and large shoulder blocks also add to their effectiveness.

4. Phenomenal Dashboards

Police car dashboards usually don’t look anything like those of regular cars.

They’re much more sophisticated and have a wealth of additional goodies attached to them. They have dash cams and hour counters that track the amount of time the car is on the road.

Aside from that, their setup looks nothing like a regular vehicle’s. If a typical person got behind the wheel, he or she would most likely feel lost.

A police officer, on the other hand, most likely feels like the captain of a spaceship, traveling to strange new frontiers and locations.

5. Rumbler Sirens

Just about everyone knows cop cars have different “horns.”

They sound nothing like the weak horns of regular vehicles. No, sir. When a cop wants your attention, he or she will activate a rumble siren that you can hear from at least 200 feet away and maybe even farther.

Police vehicles must be equipped with these sirens to pull over people who are sometimes otherwise distracted by music and passenger interactions.

They must also have amazing sirens for when emergencies occur. They can get everyone’s attention to move out of the police vehicle’s way and let it through.

6. Bullet-Proof Glass and Shields

Many police vehicles are also equipped with bullet-proof glass to protect the officers. Some also have bullet-proof separators between the backseat and front seat areas.

One never knows when a perpetrator will do something unpredictable and put everyone in the vehicle at risk.

Thus, these vehicles usually have protective materials to ensure that police officers don’t get hurt while performing their duties.

To the naked eye, the separates on police cars may look flimsy. On the contrary, they are made of sturdy materials that would bounce a bullet off if anyone dared to release one.

7. Massive Computer Centers

Police cars were always equipped with computer stations so that they could stay connected and gain access to certain databases.

It’s nothing new for a cop car to have an advanced computer system in the cabin that an officer can log into to tap into license plate information, criminal records, address information, and more.

These stations are highly sophisticated, and they connect much more quickly than mobile phones and tablets.

Aside from that, cop cars also have all kinds of GPS launchers, CB units, scanners, and other goodies. With a setup like that, it must be difficult for a cop not to have fun.

8. Good and Bad Seating

Police cars have two types of seating instead of just one. The front of the vehicle has seating with additional layers of padding.

This special padding helps police officers to enjoy their long days and not experience back or bottom pain.

The rear seats of a police car aren’t very comfortable.

Manufacturers designed them with the idea that no experience should be enjoyable for a person who has just committed a crime. 

Thus, the rear seats are often flat, hard, and bare, just in case someone has to throw up in the vehicle.

9. Heavy-Duty Electrical System

A cop car has to have a much stronger electrical system than the average car because of its array of electric components that need to be connected to the vehicle.

Their electrical system has to be strong enough to keep the car running at all times, even during challenging situations.

Furthermore, they need to keep the radios powered for the entire shift.

Therefore, cop cars have different alternators than typical vehicles, and they use high-output alternators. Thus, a regular car might have a 140-Amp alternator, and a police car’s alternator might be 300 Amps or more.

10. Hybrid System that Cuts Down Fueling

Some police vehicles are hybrids, meaning they have an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Police officers are currently taking advantage of any benefits of these models.

With some of the hybrids, officers can travel for up to 21 miles without any gas in the vehicle whatsoever.

Not only does that make it easy for an officer to finish a chase, but also it gives the individual enough time to get to a fuel-up station to fill up.

11. Run Locks

Police cars have another feature that many regular car owners envy.

It’s called the “run lock” feature, leaving the battery activated and engaged after the police officer exits the car.

Most cars are designed to shut the car down after the driver removes the key from the ignition.

With the run lock feature, the police officer can get out of the vehicle, remove the keys from the ignition, tend to a person he or she pulled over, and then get back in the car and drive away. 

There’s no lapse time, and the officer doesn’t have to restart the vehicle. This feature saves a lot of time and helps police officers do their jobs efficiently.

12. Impact-Resistant Fronts

Some police cars are designed to be able to ram their way through complicated situations.

The hoods are often fortified with special grilles that allow them to pull off something like that without tearing up the front of the vehicles.

Not all cop cars have this particular design.

Thus, they can’t all do like we see in the movies and bust through things.

However, some of them do have these fantastic features and can function as warrior vehicles.

13. High-Quality Cooling Systems

Cop cars typically must sit for extremely long periods idling when the officers are on speed watch patrol or something similar.

Therefore, the vehicles usually come equipped with radiator coolers and other advanced cooling gadgets to keep those cars from overheating while they idle for hours.

You’ve now learned some of the differences between cop cars and regular cars.

A cop car is designed to make a police officer’s job more efficient, while a regular car is designed to give the user pleasure or to get that person from point A to point B. Hopefully, you had fun learning them and can now recognize a cop car when you see one.


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