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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 May, 2004, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Italian police to have supercar
Police show off their new Lamborghini Gallardo in Rome
The Gallardo is unlikely to become standard-issue
Traffic police patrolling a motorway in southern Italy have a tough decision to take: who will get to drive the force's first Lamborghini Gallardo?

The gift from Lamborghini has been unveiled in all its blue and white glory, marked with the word "Polizia".

With a top speed of 309km/h (192mph), it should have the edge in any chase on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway.

However, the car is just as likely to be used for emergency deliveries such as human organs for transplant.

The sleek two-seater, topped with a flashing blue light, was put on display in Rome at a police event before entering service on the notorious motorway in the south.

It is a six-speed luxury vehicle with a 500-horsepower engine designed to go from zero to 100km/h (60mph) in four seconds.

Donated by the Lamborghini factory in Bologna, its list price is US $165,000, probably making it unlikely that the Italian police force will actually buy any for its fleet.

Other traffic police forces which cannot boast a Lamborghini resort to devices of their own against speeders: in Russia, for example, officers have been known to shoot out the tyres of offenders with machine-guns.

Country profile: Italy
04 May 04  |  Country profiles

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