For years, there was a rumor that Volkswagen wanted to buy Alfa Romeo from Fiat after acquiring Lamborghini in 1998. That didn’t happen, but it seems like they managed to turn their Spanish brand Seat brand into something sexy enough for Italians. Even the Carabinieri.
Seat just won a fleet contract to supply special TDI Leon wagons and hatchbacks to the Italian police forces, the Polizia di Stato and the Carabinieri. The Italian government ordered 925 cars so far, but the contract includes the option for up to 4,000 vehicles over the next three years. The first batch is split between 475 “panthers” for the Polizia di Stato and 450 “gazelles” for the Carabinieri. Because not every Italian officer gets to drive a Lamborghini.
While these Leons aren’t the fastest ones money can buy with their 150 horsepower diesels under the hood, they still pack a few surprises.
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There’s armor protection up front against small arms fire, including bulletproof doors and glass all around. The suspension got beefed up suspension with tires that can take a few bullets as well, while the rear seats are completely sealed off to keep those suspects under control. Still unconvinced? Have a look at this dramatic video!
While there’s nothing wrong with the Leons, the Italian police fleet have traditionally been full of Alfa Romeos, and although it’s easy to see why a TDI economy car is a more viable choice than the brand new Alfa Romeo Giulia, it’s still sad to see them turn towards Germany as well.
I guess we’re all friends in the EU, so that’s no big deal, but I wonder what these Leons can do when a bunch of British thieves visit them driving a Mini Cooper John Cooper Specials. Which are also German.
I expect they will find the bloody exit and make it to the Alps.
Photo credit: SEAT
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