Mercedes-Benz to Preview New Police Vehicles in Germany, Promises They'll Be 'Electrifying'

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Daimler will be present at this week’s General Police Equipment Exhibition & Conference to showcase its new law enforcement units. While Mercedes-Benz patrol vehicles are fairly common in the fatherland, Daimler may be seeking to broaden appeal within Europe and beyond. Don’t expect a sudden rush of imported squad cars for North America, however.

The only possible exception would be the Sprinter van. The NYPD currently fields a large number of E-Series vans as “Paddy wagons” but has started replacing them with the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The city also uses Smart ForTwos as parking enforcement. Likewise, the LAPD has also expressed an interest in adopting the Sprinter as a transport vehicle but chose the BMW i3 as its small unit intended primarily for virtue signaling.

The Smart brand will be present at the police exhibition. However Daimler’s fourth-generation lineup consists entirely of zero-emission versions of the ForTwo, ForTwo Cabrio and ForFour. The electric trio have a Euro-claimed range of 99 miles between charges — a domestic analysis of the 2018 ForTwo yielded 58 miles of range.

Mercedes’ Sprinter will receive a battery option in 2019 while the smaller Vito (Metris) already has an EV option available. Both units can currently be equipped with the applicable police packages. According to the release, the Vito is intended as a “radio patrol” unit while the Sprinter is supposed to be a “team vehicle.”

Daimler’s policing portfolio also includes the new X-Class — the pickup , based on the same platform as the Nissan Navara/Frontier, that Benz didn’t think America deserved. Law enforcement upgrades include extensive suspension tuning and ventilated disc brakes.

Also added in the lineup is the updated E-Class wagon, which features a new diesel engine and numerous safety systems. It was accompanied by the GLC 350e 4Matic, a plug-in hybrid version of the the brand’s compact SUV. While the car is no slouch, with enough power to deliver a 6.2 second 0-to-60 time, Mercedes chose to focus primarily on the model’s efficiency saying “plug-in hybrids represent a key technology on the road to the locally emission-free future of the automobile.”

The vehicles will be on display at the General Police Equipment Exhibition & Conference between February 20th and 22nd in Frankfurt, Germany — ready to prove to the world that Daimler can comply with Europe’s RDE (Real Driving Emissions) legislation and provide “electric mobility” to law enforcement.

[Images: Daimler]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • ThomasSchiffer ThomasSchiffer on Feb 19, 2018

    Daimler police cars are already common in the company‘s home state of Baden-Württemberg, just as Bavaria generally uses BMW vehicles and so forth. For patrolling the city the Bavarian police is now using electric BMW i3 cars. The most common police cars are a mixture of the current and last generation BMW 3/5er in wagon format, and a number of older E39 and E60 5er cars. The Volkswagen Touran and Transporter as well as the Mercedes Sprinter comprise the rest of the police cars in use with the Bavarian police. Aside from the i3, they are all diesel-powered.

    • Cactuar Cactuar on Feb 19, 2018

      I've always wondered how the European fleet managers manage to stay on top of BMW/Mercedes cars' maintenance without going bankrupt. Are they not considered money pits over there?

  • Sub-600 Sub-600 on Feb 19, 2018

    Every time I hear those euro-weenie police sirens I chuckle, they remind me of Peter Sellers for some reason, which isn’t a bad thing.

  • Pig_Iron 💝
  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.