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This Town Has Two Volkswagen Passat Police Cars

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author photo by Will Kinton February 2018

If you're driving around Northern Virginia a bit too quickly in the vicinity of the town of Herndon, you may find yourself getting pulled over by a Volkswagen Passat police car. As it turns out, the Herndon Police are in possession of two 2010 Passat 2.0T models: a wagon with a light bar and department graphics, and a blacked-out undercover sedan. Better yet, the department actually uses the cars to catch unaware speeders.

As you'd expect, these two Passats were not procured by the Herndon Police Department through standard means. Instead, they were given to the department as gifts by Volkswagen of America when the company moved their headquarters to Herndon back in 2010. The Passat police car models aren't standard cars with some lights, but they are fairly modified. They've been given special communication compartments that allow the cars to retain the look of a standard Passat without the tall antennas and lighting that often belie the true nature of other police vehicles.

And the changes didn't stop there. VW also worked closely with the tuning company APR to boost the output of the police Passats' 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engines to 250 horsepower and 299 lb-ft of torque, thanks to a software update, a special carbon-fiber cold-air intake and a downpipe exhaust. VW also gave the two Passats the larger brakes from the V6 model, along with a special H&R law-enforcement-spec suspension to increase handling and stopping power. Inside, the Passat police cars retain everything that's great about Volkswagen interiors, with leather seats and standard-looking trim, which likely makes it a much nicer patrol car than your run-of-the-mill Crown Vic, Taurus and Charger police interceptors.

Even though it's been almost eight years since their introduction, the cars are reportedly still in use; someone recently posted a video to a Northern Virginia VW Club Facebook group of the wagon making a traffic stop on the Fairfax County Parkway. The Herndon Police department has likely found the Passat wagon in particular pretty useful over the years; when the department received the wagon back in 2010, the now-ubiquitous Ford Explorer Police Interceptor was still two years out. That being said, sightings are still fairly rare -- and if they're still in service, it's fair to assume they've been babied over the years.

So the next time you're in Northern Virginia, keep an eye out for tuned Passats. They could be less friendly than you'd think.

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This Town Has Two Volkswagen Passat Police Cars - Autotrader