When you think of rare cars being used as police vehicles, most people would think about those fleets from Dubai. But Japanese police vehicles, especially those from Tochigi Pref., also got some unique lineups.
Perfect cars used for catching over speeding
Sedans or SUVs are what you normally think when you hear the word “police vehicle”. In Japan, Toyota’s Crown is the most popular selection as a police vehicle and is used for police officers to patrol the area, deter crime, and crackdown on traffic violations.
In this article, we have picked up five cars that are unique when used as police vehicles in Japan.
In the 1980s, many Nissan Skyline 2000GT, the sport model for the Skyline at that time, were used as police cars to patrol urban areas.
It was not the fastest, but given the dull image of the Toyota Crown and Nissan Cedric, which had been the mainstream for years, the introduction of the Skyline as a police car, the dream of most young people at that time, may have been meant to renew their image.
Later, when Nissan revived the high performance “GT-R” for the Skyline, some highway police unit used as their police vehicle. It was said that when you were targeted by a police GT-R, you would never get away from them.
And now, the current R35 GT-R, equipped with a 570 hp VR38DETT 3.8-liter V6 twin-turbo, is also used as a police vehicle too.
The Tochigi Prefectural Police was the first Japanese police force to introduce the R35 GT-R police vehicle. The car was brought in duty as a donation from a local Tochigi man in 2018.
The fact that the current GT-R model being manufactured at Nissan’s Tochigi Factory might be one of the reasons the local police has chosen this car.
The Honda NSX, introduced in 1990, was a true sports car with the world’s first all-aluminum monocoque chassis and a 280 hp 3-liter V6 DOHC midship-layout engine.
Honda’s NSX was the most expensive Japanese passenger car at that time, but thanks to the economic bubble in the ’90s, buyers needed to wait three years to get their NSX delivered.
Dubbed as the “Japanese supercar” with its outstanding design and performance, the NSX achieved commercial success both in Japan and abroad, greatly surpassing the quality of its European counterparts.
And it was the same Tochigi Prefectural Police that used the NSX as their own police vehicle. In 1992, Honda donated the NSX to the police force and it was widely reported in newspapers.
The ’90s was the time when Japanese carmakers introduced high-performance models such as Nissan’s Skyline GT-R and Toyota’s Supra, and the selection of the NSX as a police vehicle might be aimed to deter traffic violations such as speeding.
Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Subaru’s Impreza WRX was built to compete in the toughest rally championship, the World Rally Championship (WRC). It was the direct successor of the Legacy RS and undoubtedly one of the top cars not only in the world of motorsports but also in terms of performance on public roads.
The Impreza WRX STi, in particular, was a special model developed by Subaru Tecnica International, Subaru’s motorsports division. The car was equipped with a specially tuned engine, chassis, suspension, and aero kits which were all capable of competing in races without additional modifications.
The Saitama Prefectural Police has used this special model as their police vehicle.
Large bumpers, huge air intakes, and massive rear spoilers that came straight from the World Rally Championship were never removed even the car was used by the police. Moreover, optional STi exhausts were installed and the car boasted its distinctive boxer sound when it came to events.
Although not the STi edition, the Impreza WRX, and the normal 1.5-liter engine models were also used as police vehicles by other police forces besides the Saitama Prefectural Police. Not only used as normal police cruisers but also as unmarked police vehicles, the Impreza was widely used in various police activities.