The Italian Carabinieri have broken with tradition and chosen British brand Lotus to supply their latest special pursuit vehicles.
The decision is no doubt a bit of a snub for Lamborghini, which traditionally fulfils this role – but having driven in rush hour traffic in Milan, I can see at least one reason for this decision. The narrow Lotus would be a lot easier to hustle through traffic than one of Lamborghini’s rather wide offerings.
To celebrate 150 years of Italian unification (yes, Italy used to be made up from multiple states), the Carabinieri have purchased two Lotus Evora S cars for special rapid response duties. The cars have been built to a bespoke specification that includes a fridge (for transporting urgent blood and organs in medical emergencies) and Lotus’ Enhanced Vehicle Automation system (I’m not sure what that is, but it involves voice recognition).
The Italian Carabinieri is a branch of the Italian Armed Forces and the carabinieri are a cross between military and civilian police. However, they are not the first police force to have been seduced by the charms of the highly-rated Evora (or perhaps its relatively affordable price tag?) – at least one British police force already uses the Evora for traffic and pursuit duties.
The two cars purchased by the Carabinieri will be based in Rome and Milan and will be driven by specially-trained drivers who have been through a driver training program at the Lotus test track at Hethel, in Norfolk.