By on February 14, 2011

It’s not out yet, and it won’t be before the end of the year, but Opel is already flogging the Euro-version of the Volt, the Ampera, as the perfect cop car. Main selling point: It’s a veritable multi mission vehicle. “Whether emission free on patrol, or silent during undercover surveillance, or fast and persistent when in hot pursuit – the Opel Ampera is the ideal police cruiser,” brags Opel, which appears to humor AutoBild.

The paper grants the Ampera perseverance (500 km range), low emissions, and the ability “to silently sneak up to the scene of the crime.” But fast? “A top speed of 161 km/h may be not enough to keep up with the gangsters in their hot rodded escape vehicle.”

Be it as it may, “in the end, the matter will be doomed to failure by the price: €42,900 probably won’t be what the police wants to spend,” writes AutoBild. “That’s what a civilian has to plunk down when he wants to drive an Ampera.” $58,000 also would be a bit rich for an American police dept.

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14 Comments on “Silent Running: Opel Pushes Ampera As Cop Car...”

  • avatar

    Of course, Volts (same car, sold here) don’t cost anywhere $58,000.  But, I’m sure since this is like the 1,153rd time you guys have posted quick currency conversion rate numbers knowing they don’t reflect reality, you knew that. lol
    (You knew it was coming, I just thought I’d be obnoxious and get it out the way)

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      I’m confused. Their currency conversion is accurate. What about that doesn’t reflect reality?

    • 0 avatar

      It says a German civilian has to plunk down €42,900,converted to dollars using today’s rate, that’s approx $58,000. I can’t help it if people read something else into it than what’s typed here. Opel doesn’t offer the car to U.S. police.

    • 0 avatar

      M 1 – if you compare the price of a Insignia sold in Germany to a Regal sold in the US – they both cost roughly the same (in different currencies of course), so a quick currency conversion doesn’t tell the whole story (what Hank was referring to).

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      As usual, currency conversion doesn’t work. The German price likely has sales tax and registration built in.

    • 0 avatar

      Also, purchase-power-parity is a big deal.  When I was in the UK in 2005, a lunch that was comparable to a $5 lunch in the US was sold for 5£.  It cost /me/ around $10 because of the currency conversion. But, when I looked in to the relative salary for someone of my profession, my UK counterparts were making about 50k£, while I was earning around $50k at the time.  So, while a 30k£ car may cost me $50k if I were to fly over to the UK and write a check for it, that 30k£ car would likely take the same proportion of my income if I were to move to the UK for a job as it would if I bought a $30k car at home.
      That’s why just a straight-up currency conversion is mostly-bogus.  The question that most car-blog readers are probably asking is “who can afford that car over there?” — and the answer turns out to be much more complex than just turning Pounds or Euros into dollars.

  • avatar

    Yes, a €43,000 compact police car is especially appropriate for the PIIGS: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain.

  • avatar

    The mascara is running.

  • avatar

    You could only “to silently sneak up to the scene of the crime.”  if it’s the 1st call of the day – after that the batteries would be empty and that noisy engine would cut in.

    considering (in the UK at least) most cop cars have really high mileage – I can’t think of a worse vehicle than an amped up volt

    • 0 avatar

      Not to mention battery drain from the lights, computers, radio and other gizmos all police vehicle have running constantly… the battery would be dead before they even arrived on the scene.

    • 0 avatar

      Being able to power those electronics without running the engine constantly seems like a very good argument for a machine like the Volt/Ampera.  Instead of idling a V8 100% of the time, you can run a small engine for a few minutes on the hour while the car sits.  That seems like it would save a lot of fuel.
      The Prius is a great car for sitting still for this reason.  In the 2nd-gen and 3rd-gen models, you can run the air conditioner without running the engine, which is great if you need to wait for a while with the A/C or heat on.  The engine fires up every few minutes to keep the catalytic converter and coolant bottle warm, and to keep the interior comfortable.  The rest of the time, the engine is off.  If I had to sleep in a car, I’d choose the Prius over most other options.  Alas, the Prius suspension is lightweight, and it’s not particularly sporty, which precludes it from police duty.  Also, the backseat is comfortable enough for two grandparents and a baby, but it would probably wouldn’t be comfortable with a police barrier in there.

  • avatar

    What do they mean, “emissions-free?”  Those donuts gotta go somewhere.

  • avatar

    The Polizei have always had a wide range of vehicles, from Opel Saloon cars, to full size Mercedes, Posches, Motorcycles and even VW vans.  A Volt/Ampera would probably be more than adequate for most suburban patrols.

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