Cars Cops Fear
By Matthew de Paula of MSN Autos
The perfect getaway car: Hollywood has immortalized it countless times. Think of the Dodge Charger from "The Dukes of Hazzard," the MINI Cooper in "The Italian Job," or
the Audi S8 in "Ronin." Then there are the infamous real-life examples, such as Bonnie and Clyde's Ford Model B or, more recently, O.J. Simpson's Ford Bronco. Whether
factual or fictitious, none of these vehicles are alike, and that got us thinking: What makes a good getaway car, the kind that would concern pursuing law enforcement? It takes more than just speed. What about handling, size, weight? Taking those and other factors into consideration, we put together this list of 10 contemporary cars, each with a blend of attributes that might cause a cop's heart to skip a beat.
Bing: Fastest Cars in the World
Few cars are as easy to drive fast as a BMW M3, which means that a wheelman doesn't
need to be highly skilled to exploit its limits. With uncanny balance and unflappable
poise, this supersedan has exponentially more performance potential than the average police car. Its 414-horsepower V8 engine launches the car from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 155 mph. The car could go faster, but a speed governor is installed. Another M3 perk is that it can blend in with average cars more easily than an exotic sports car.
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It should come as no surprise that this $2.2 million beast made the list. With a 16-cylinder engine putting out 1,001 horsepower, the Veyron quickly turns police cars into mere specks in its rearview mirror. It accelerates from zero to 62 mph in a staggering 2.5 seconds. Heck, it'll do 124 mph in 7.3 seconds, which is probably about as fast as many police cruisers take to hit 60 mph. Top speed is 253 mph. Need we say more? There is one significant downside: It chugs fuel. According to the automotive TV show "Top Gear," you have about 12 minutes with a wide-open throttle at 250 mph before the Veyron runs out of gas.
View Slideshow: Built for Speed
Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon
Few would suspect a stately wagon to be of any consequence when it comes to speed. That's part of the beauty of a car such as the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon. With a
supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine and superb suspension tuning, it would be a gross miscalculation to assume the CTS-V Sport Wagon is just a humble family hauler. It can outpace a Ford Crown Victoria, the cop car of choice, without breaking a sweat. It has an easy-to-drive nature, much like the BMW M3, so high-speed handling is secure,
even for novice drivers. Plus, with its accommodating cargo bay and comfortable highway ride, it's not just a sprinter; this Cadillac is up for a long haul any day.
View Slideshow: Manly Machines
Chevrolet Camaro SS
For cheap speed and thrills, nothing beats a muscle car. At a starting price of $31,930, the Chevrolet Camaro SS isn't exactly cheap, but it's about half the cost of a BMW M3
and puts out 12 horsepower more from its 6.2-liter V8 engine. That's a high-performance bargain. And it probably concerns law enforcement because it makes going ludicrously fast more widely accessible. Unlike the Ford Mustang, the Chevy
Camaro's suspension is set up conservatively, meaning that it understeers more, which can be a good thing for lead foots evading the law. There's nothing worse than spinning out with a cop on your tail.
Watch Video: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
The notorious low-speed chase in which police tailed O.J. Simpson for hours on California's Interstate 405 might have had a different outcome if his buddy Al Cowlings had been behind the wheel of a 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor instead of a 1993 Ford
Bronco. This souped-up truck has a 6.2-liter 411-horsepower V8 engine, massive tires and a long-travel suspension that make it capable of blasting over rough terrain as though it were smooth asphalt. It could easily evade a police cruiser by going off-road. And even if police SUVs were in pursuit, they'd have a hard time keeping up with it, because most SUVs are made to go over rough stuff at a slow to moderate pace.
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Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
The problem with flashy sports cars such as the Lamborghini Aventador is that they beg for attention from everyone, including the police. But with 700 horsepower, a lightweight carbon-fiber body, all-wheel drive and a pushrod suspension similar to what race cars use, this monster can shred asphalt. It does zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, nearly as fast as the more powerful Bugatti Veyron. So while this stealth-fighter-like machine has no chance of flying below the radar, it doesn't necessarily need to.
View Pictures: Lamborghini Aventador
Porsche Cayman S
You might wonder why we didn't pick the new 911 S, or perhaps the insane GT2 RS
from Porsche's arsenal for this list. Simple: More isn't always better, and the Cayman is
proof. This is another one of those rare cars that is so perfectly balanced that it can make even a ham-fisted newbie seem like a seasoned track driver. The key is that the Cayman has its engine just ahead of the rear wheels, instead of behind them, as on the 911. This allows nearly ideal weight distribution, which means it will easily outmaneuver a cop car. Its 320-horsepower 6-cylinder might be dwarfed by engines offered in the 911, but it still has more than enough power to keep a healthy gap between the Cayman S and any pursuers.
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Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged
The Range Rover Sport Supercharged handles like a sports car on the road, but it has
the added benefit of being able to go deep into remote areas, far from chasing police cruisers. Its robust construction, high-tech adjustable suspension and myriad other electronic aids practically drive this 2.5-ton-plus luxury SUV down steep inclines and over boulders for you. Even with four adults and a full complement of cargo on board, this Range Rover has more than enough power for brisk acceleration to triple-digit speeds — 510 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque, to be exact.
Watch Video: 2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
You don't need a huge engine, exotic materials and a high price tag to build a fast car. Light weight and efficiency are the prevailing attributes making the MAZDASPEED3 a
formidable adversary to cars more powerful and expensive. This little hatchback could be considered a poor man's BMW M3, thanks to its neutral handling, sharp steering and torquey little 4-cylinder engine, which has been turbocharged and tuned to put out an impressive 263 horsepower. The best part is that the MAZDASPEED3 looks like an innocent compact car, so it isn't likely to arouse suspicions.
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The Mercedes-Benz G550 is a military-grade vehicle the public can use — literally.
More than 30 countries use some form of the G-Class in their armed forces. The U.S. Marine Corps bought 157 of them in 2005 to replace its antiquated Desert Patrol Vehicle. The G550 has three locking differentials, more than 8 inches of ground clearance and short overhangs, so it can climb over boulders and cross rivers with ease, maneuvers that no police car can perform. And it's built like a tank, weighing in at 5,622 pounds. The G550 is no slouch on pavement either, with a 5.5-liter V8 engine that puts out 382 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque, good for zero to 60 mph in about six seconds.