Photo: Policie ČR
We’ve all tried to defend our irresponsible acquisitions. If you’re reading this website, that purchase was probably a project car. You and I only have to justify our vehicles to family, friends, or maybe coworkers. Now, the Czech police force faces a bigger challenge, attempting to justify to an entire country why they seized a Ferrari 458 Italia and retrofitted it for patrol duty.
The Police of the Czech Republic, the country’s national law enforcement agency, announced this week that it has added a 2011 Ferrari 458 to its fleet. The 458 has about 1,240 miles on it, and can exceed 200 mph thanks to its 4.5-liter V8 producing 560 hp.
This particular Italian sports car was seized during some kind of Czech police raid. The agency explained that most seized vehicles are usually sold, but this Ferrari is different. A video published by the police service covers three of the most common prospective uses of the agency’s new supercar, and it’s all very familiar to anyone who has found themselves justifying their latest vehicle.
Policie ČR: Nový policejní speciál začíná svoji službu právě dnes
First: try to impress people. The agency decked out the Ferrari in Czech police livery, which admittedly does look cool. Also, the announcement video opens with an eight-second sizzle reel of the car in a dark room, illuminated only by its own lights — headlights and police lights, of course, but also a LED panel mounted in the engine bay. The panel reads “Nasleduj mne,” Czech for “follow me.” The intro is a bit over the top for my taste, but I respect it.
Second: try to explain the practical uses of your new sports car. Colonel Jiří Zlý, Director of the Traffic Police Service, explained that the Ferrari 458 will be assigned to a nationwide unit tasked with patrolling highways, pursuing stolen vehicles and stopping illegal street racing. Zlý added that the agency usually has to confront vehicles that can outrun most police cars. faster than its usual police vehicles. Though, it’s difficult to see how a single Ferrari can adequately patrol the more than 780 miles of highway that cover the Czech Republic.
Photo: Policie ČR
Finally: try to downplay the cost of your ride. The Police of the Czech Republic say they only spent $14,000 to repurpose the Ferrari 458, mentioning the cost was less than purchasing a new example of the agency’s standard car, the Škoda Scala. This ignores the fact that the police service could have just sold the Ferrari. A 458 Italia with similar mileage is currently for sale in Las Vegas, Nevada for $279,990.
The Czech police could have used the funds from the sale to purchase vehicles far more suitable for the role. The Federal Police in neighboring Austria formerly had a Porsche 911 Carrera in service, but retired it after the agency could no longer justify the high maintenance costs. The Austria Bundespolizei also noted that the Carrera didn’t have space to transport arrested drivers and that the agency would need a second Carrera to sufficiently fulfill its assigned tasks. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Czech police eventually come to the same conclusion.