It has been years since the last Ford Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line, but these body-on-frame sedans are still the most recognizable police cars in the US. Volvo is making a strong push in hopes that its XC70 can attain the same level of success as a global police car. As it is, Volvo is a popular choice for police cars in its home country of Sweden, but its cars are also used in police fleets in the UK, Belgium and Switzerland.

With an upgraded chassis, Volvo is looking to attract agencies from around the globe, including the rest of Europe, Asia and even the Americas. Changes over a stock 2014 XC70 include a beefier suspension setup, and the automaker has also tested the police-spec version of the jacked-up wagon in just about all conditions it could encounter in Europe – from the high speeds of the German autobahn to the low traction of Sweden's snowy, winter roads. We doubt we'll see many, if any, of these Volvos policing the streets of the US, but if we do, we're sure it will be in New England, Colorado or North Carolina.
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New Volvo XC70 D5 AWD receives top marks from Swedish police
Specially developed new chassis underpins Volvo Cars ambitions in global police car market

Following the development of a special, new chassis for police cars, Volvo Cars is now actively targeting a significant increase of its sales of police cars around the globe. The qualities of the new chassis were recently underlined when the Swedish Police designated the 2014 Volvo XC70 D5 AWD as the best car in its fleet after exhaustive tests, with an overall score of nine out of ten.

"The vehicle fleet of the Swedish police is subject to among the most stringent demands in the world and the Volvo XC70 D5 AWD is the best police car we have ever offered. We see a clear opportunity to increase our sales on a number of markets, both in markets where we previously had a presence as well as in entirely new markets," says Ulf Rydne, Business Manager Commercial Vehicles at Volvo Car Special Vehicles and Accessories, where Volvo police cars are developed.
Model year 2014 Volvo XC70 D5 AWD police car (UK livery)
Currently Volvo Cars sells between 500-600 police cars every year. Most of them are sold in Sweden, where Volvo Cars has close to 90 per cent of the market, but Volvo police cars can also be found in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. "With our new model year 2014 cars with the new chassis, we have an even wider product range and we believe we can double our sales numbers in the coming years. Already now, we are in discussions with at least a dozen different police forces around the globe: seven in Europe, two in the Americas and three in Asia. And we are determined to add more to that list," says Ulf Rydne.

Volvo Cars will continue to offer fully-equipped police cars like it has done for many years. "However, with our new chassis we now also have the possibility to offer police forces a 'base' car with only a specially developed chassis," explains Ulf Rydne. "Police forces can then equip their police cars according to local demands. This approach makes our police cars attractive to a much broader target group, because it allows us to compete on price as well as on quality."

The new police car chassis has been changed in a number of aspects, including the introduction of new anti-roll bars, shock absorbers and springs. The cars are also subjected to a large number of verification drives on all types of road surface: for example, cars are taken on high-speed driving tests on the German autobahns, winter road driving in northern Sweden, as well as high-friction driving in Spain. Volvo Cars is one of few car manufacturers that have developed a special chassis for police cars.

"We have been working on the development of a new chassis for almost a year. We realised that it was necessary," says Ulf Rydne. "The weight of police cars is increasing, which requires a stable chassis, and we were approaching the limit. Police forces need a car that performs predictably and does not offer any surprises. That is why we develop our police cars in close cooperation with the Swedish police, who are involved throughout the product development phase. That way, we get first-hand insight into the demands placed on a police car," says Ulf Rydne.

Already last year the XC70 D5 AWD was voted the most popular police car among Swedish police officers, due to its comfort, safety and flexibility. But a recent test by the National Police Board in Sweden of the XC70 D5 AWD with its newly developed chassis resulted in the highest overall grade of all six car makes used by Swedish police. The Volvo XC70 D5 AWD scored ten out of ten in emergency driving and booked an overall score of nine out of ten in the test, that also covers noise, comfort, stability, elk and braking tests and evasive manoeuvres. Driveability, engine performance as well as cornering and braking stability were some of the features highlighted in the test report.

"Unlike in many other countries, the police car is seen as a workplace in Sweden, which means it has to meet very strict demands," says Ulf Rydne. "So when our car is seen as the best in the Swedish police fleet, it is no wonder that other police forces around the globe are also interested in our offering. Because it has been developed with Swedish standards in mind, the basic quality of the car is excellent."

Volvo police cars are first built on the production line in the Torslanda factory, and then equipped as police cars in an integrated production process. The process of converting a car into a police car takes around 45 hours. Production for the 2014 model year with the new chassis will commence in late November, with the first new police cars being delivered at the start of next year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      jonnybimmer
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they were pushing this 5 or more years ago, they might have had a better chance, but today there's a few issues. Firstly, Ford's Taurus and Explorers both offer AWD, as well as Dodge's Charger (though I'm not sure if Dodge would offer any AWD models to be made into police cruisers). Secondly, I don't think its wagon platform will offer any benefits either, since 1. It's not like the current fullsize sedans lack room for gear and 2. Most fleets have SUV's if they really need to haul more items. And lastly, cost: Though I don't know where the price point would be for US police fleets, I feel that both initial and maintenance costs will be higher than domestic offerings given that both cars and the replacements parts are produced overseas. So yeah, makes sense in Europe and maybe Asia, but in the North American market, I think the domestic make more sense.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        Charger will now be offering AWD in the police spec Charger I believe. I'd agree that this would cost more, as well.
        compassstl
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        The Taurus and Explorer are both based on Volvo's P2 platform, which underpins the V70, XC70, S80, and XC90, so really this car already is in police service, just with a different body. I'd be OK seeing the original version in use though.
      GR
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe for Europe and China. The US has a good stable of domestic police cars that offer AWD. Japan has it police cars set too, including kei police cars which makes sense for their cities.
      Philbert579
      • 1 Year Ago
      "It has been years since the last Ford Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line" One isn't exactly "years", is it?
        Edsel
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Philbert579
        Yes, perhaps, but the Crown Vic design screams decades old to me.
        audisp0rta4
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Philbert579
        Time really flies in the auto world.
      TriShield
      • 1 Year Ago
      It doesn't sound like anyone here has actually driven an XC70, they are extremely well sorted and sturdy cars. The eletronics in it is no different than any of the US offerings or any other car for that matter. These are specially built for rough use like a Crown Victoria, have 300hp, a raised height for better foul weather and off road ability (it would shame an Explorer and a Tahoe in the rough). They are also in the same price range as the Charger and Taurus, a plain XC70 is surprisingly affordable. I wish them luck in penetrating the US market but since it's so wide open now they might as well give it a shot.
      PatrickH
      • 1 Year Ago
      I gotta ask, why did you say North Carolina? As a resident of NC, that comment leaves me puzzled.
        flychinook
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PatrickH
        Yeah, I caught that as well. Is there an inside joke that I'm missing?
      4gasem
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd like to see U.S. Police fleets use vehicles where the money doesn't go to the Chinese. Seeing that the Chinese own Volvo, I'd say let's PASS and buy from GM, Ford, and Chrysler. They have great police packages with AWD and 4wd options.
        jay.ai
        • 1 Year Ago
        @4gasem
        Yeah, they even misspelled police.
        matal341
        • 1 Year Ago
        @4gasem
        Thank you for reminding me why a majority of the rest of the world looks down on Americans. Volvo is not Chinese, nor do their profits go there. It's refreshing to see that the misinformed are still the loudest on here. Competition is what keeps things moving forward, how good would it be if the rest of the world refused to buy American products to keep their domestic brands afloat? YOUR statement is as un-capitalistic as it gets, especially for someone talking crap about the communists!
          4gasem
          • 1 Year Ago
          @matal341
          Thanks Tegdesign! Yes, I have an issue buying vehicles from a company financially owned by a Chinese company. I don't like the way they treat their people and if I can buy something similar NOT made or owned by a Chinese company, I WILL!
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @matal341
          By your definition, matal, Chrysler is Italian, Bugatti is German, Land Rover & Jaguar are Indonesian, and Lotus is Malaysian.
        Zoom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @4gasem
        They're also twice as big as they need to be.
          jonnybimmer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zoom
          How's the Volvo any different? 10" shorter and 3" narrower than a Taurus is barely a difference and there's no reason for American police cars to be particularly compact. US streets aren't tiny like European streets and there's much, MUCH more ground to cover compared to what European police forces deal with. Little Hyundai i30's and Ford Focus's make sense on Europe's smaller roadways and they could make sense in metropolises like NY or SF, but for the rest of the country, full size sedans are perfectly capable.
      Jesus!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah I dont see that happening here. I do not really see anything dethroning American choices for police vehicles.
      rstonnerdd
      • 1 Year Ago
      Volvo wants to build a Crown Vic for the rest of the world? Will it last its first 10 years as a police car and then another 10 years as a cab? Best of luck re-inventing the anvil - Ford has already done it and now is done with it.
      Ok
      • 1 Year Ago
      OK, I'll bite. Why North Carolina?
        FutureDoc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ok
        Western NC, in the mountains.
          oneeightteenth
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FutureDoc
          Sure, there are mountains in NC, but there are also lots of snowy, mountainous states that are not NE, CO, or NC. It seems weird for the author to single out NC...
          FutureDoc
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FutureDoc
          Such as forgetting about the Eastern Pacific NW states. The other thing is that the areas listed are the populous states with higher income and educational levels... ie traditional (new) Volvo buyers. Buncombe County has just under 50% the population of Wyoming. So, it might be more than just snow and mountains. For example, the 3 of the largest Subaru Dealerships are in Denver CO, Asheville (NC), and NY.
      Floridian
      • 1 Year Ago
      I only see this working in Europe. And even then, Germany will choose a Passat over the Volvo, France a Citroen or Peugeot probably.
      Bassracerx
      • 1 Year Ago
      "untill ferrari builds a wagon this is it"
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      How many PD's in America will buy foreign branded cars?
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