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Italian police opt for SEAT

SEAT has won a contract to supply bulletproof Leon 2.0 TDI cars to Italy’s two police forces.

It’s the first time the Polizia di Stato and the Carabinieri have tendered and selected the same brand and the same vehicle.

SEAT says low fuel consumption and emissions figures, as well as its high quality and excellent total cost of ownership, were major factors in the decision.

SEAT Leon police cars

The first 206 vehicles have already been delivered. Overall, the contract includes the option for up to 4,000 vehicles over the next three years.

As well as armoured protection, the SEAT Leons are fitted with special safety tyres, warning and alarm lights, radio and communications equipment and weapons carriers.

The back seat is also laid out as a secure “prisoner cell”, with police officers seated in the front protected by a dividing partition.

Extensive prototype tests were conducted with two vehicles codenamed “gazelle” and “panther”. The base vehicles for the new Italian police cars are produced at the SEAT factory in Martorell near Barcelona. The cars are then transferred to Chivasso, Italy, for further adaption.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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