Police in the Czech Republic have turned a 200mph Ferrari into their latest patrol vehicle in a bid to crack down on illegal racing.
The 2011 Ferrari 458 was seized as criminal property and, after years in storage has now been modified to serve as the force’s most high-profile pursuit vehicle.
The 570bhp supercar, which uses a 4.5-litre V8 engine and can reach a top speed of 202mph, is worth around £150,000 but was converted for 340,000 Czech crowns (around £11,500) - less than the price of a new Skoda Scala hatchback.
Modifications include covering its red bodywork in a full silver, blue and yellow police livery, adding lights and sirens and fitting a camera system and handheld speed gun.
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The 458 will be used by specially trained officers from the special surveillance department to crack down on illegal street racing and for pursuing and recovering stolen cars.
Czech police deal with up to 30 international “races” which pass through the country every year, featuring high-powered performance cars often being driven irresponsibly, which regular patrol cars cannot keep up with.
Jiří Zlý, director of the traffic police, said in a translated statement: “The vehicle will be used in a nationwide unit against aggressive drivers.
“We will also be able to use it when pursuing stolen vehicles that are going to neighbouring countries. The range of tasks that the vehicle will perform is really wide.”
He added that the Ferrari, which will cost around £855 a year to service, was not even the most valuable or rarest car police have seized.
Officers have seized almost 900 cars from criminals in the last year alone. While some are kept and used as official police vehicles, the “vast majority” are sold off, with the proceeds “used to cover the damage caused by the offender”.
The Czech police are not the first to press performance cars into service as patrol vehicles. Authorities in Dubai have a fleet of supercars to keep up with well-heeled locals, including Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys, and Italy’s traffic police have a Lamborghini Huracan to sit alongside their regular Alfa Romeos.