If you were a driver in the UK in the late 1990’s then the site of a Volvo 850 T5 estate emblazoned in Police markings was a familiar to you. If you were a toerag up to no good in a car then you had little chance of making a getaway if one of these gave chase.
In recent years the UK Police forces have been saddled with a multitude of rather sad looking diesel powered cars made by Vauxhall in the form of the Vectra and the Astra. Perfectly good cars but they are hardly likely to put fear into a hardened criminal.
Now that could be about to change as Volvo has announced that Swedish police will start using the V90 estate as part of its fleet. They also confirmed that the V90 “will be made available to any interested police forces around the globe.”
The Police version of the V90 features a strengthened chassis with improved dynamics, likely for tackling kerbs and the like at reasonable speeds when in pursuit or on route to an emergency. The brakes and suspension also get a fettling and the Police spec version is equipped with all the required Police equipment and communications gubbins.
During testing of the V90, the Swedish Police drivers concluded that “overall, it is difficult to find any faults at all. Chassis, steering, suspension, traction control and powertrain all show exemplary performance. Quick lane changes at high speeds feel almost deceptively easy, the car does what it is told to do and shakes off lateral forces without any protest.”
The Swedish Police car torture testing focuses on key factors: braking, handling in the form of an obstacle course, evasive action tests with and without braking, and of course high-speed emergency driving.
The V90 scored a 9.2 out of 10 in these tests which is the highest ever rating scored by any car they have ever tested for Police duty.
Given that the V90 performs so strongly at Police work, expect to see them upholding the law in the UK very soon.