The LAPD Chose One Of The Slowest Cars Ever As Its Newest Police Car


Criminals aren't exactly shaking in their boots.

Taxpayers in greater Los Angeles may have a reason for outrage at the fact that the LA Police Department has just decided to purchase a fleet of vehicles from luxury automaker BMW. Before any Angelinos pick up the pitchforks, know that the LAPD isn’t trying to use tax dollars to ride around in luxury. Instead, the department is trying to do its best to protect and serve by switching part of its fleet over to electric vehicles. In smog-infested LA, this move may save more lives than getting to the site of an emergency on time.

If you know anything about BMW’s lineup, this means that the Bimmer LAPD selected is the i3. In all fairness, the car represents many aspects of LA lifestyle, but is it as good as a cop car (and is it even a car)? LAPD must think so, because to secure the fleet purchase, the i3 had to compete with the Tesla Model S. At the conclusion of the test, the i3 was chosen for its combination of best in class efficiency, reliability (not a Tesla forte), availability of service centers, and BMW connected drive services that make managing the fleet easier. Before any criminals plot to circle the LAPD parking lot unplugging any of the department's 100 new BMWs prior to the big heist, know that the i3 will not be used as an emergency response vehicle.

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This is a wise move even though the i3 has good handling brought on by a low center of gravity. After all, the i3 makes a 0-60 mph run in 7.0-seconds, hits a top speed of 92 mph, and will only ever make it 160 miles on a single charge even with the two-cylinder 0.6-liter range extender at full tilt. Metrics like this mean that the i3 is no high speed pursuit vehicle. Instead, its duty will be shuttling around officers that are on official police duty. The LAPD also looked into purchasing the Tesla Model S for these duties but were held back by the high price. At least now you know that running a red light in front of a police car in LA might be something that anyone with a semi-fast car can get away with. It's still frowned upon though, so umm, don't do that.