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6 October 2010

We’ve all seen it before, the distinctive headlights of a Ford Crown Victoria in our rear view mirror. Is it a taxi or a cop? We hope it’s just a taxi, but that’s just wishful thinking, we know we’re about to get pulled over. If you live in the Town of Herndon, you need to keep an eye out for another set of headlights – the Passat.

When Volkswagen moved their corporate headquarters to Herndon, Virginia two years ago, they wanted to make their presence known in their new home. In an effort to give something back to the community, they donated a new 2008 Passat 2.0T Wagon and a 2010 Passat 2.0T Sedan to the Town of Herndon Police Department.

The Town of Herndon is only 4.2 square miles and has 23,000 residents and 54 police officers, which seems like quite a lot. Add to the fact that during the day, thanks to the numerous government offices and other companies headquartered in the Dulles technology corridor, there are often 100,000 more people in Herndon, which then makes the 54 police officers seem stretched thin.

passat popo 1

Rather than just donating the cars and being done with it, Volkswagen outfitted the cars with a plethora of genuine Volkswagen Accessories. The sedan received a High Def body kit with matte black accents, matte black 18” Velos wheels, a VW first aid kit, a rear CarGo liner with retention blocks, and Monster mats. The wagon received the same accessories, except the body kit for the sides and rear of the wagon were outfitted with the Passat business kit.

While 200 HP is considered enough for daily use, for a police car there needed to be some performance upgrades. APR was contracted to do a Stage II upgrade on both cars, and custom tuned the software to run on 89 octane, which is the only octane available to the police department. As we are often told, power is nothing without control, so Passat R36 front brakes were retrofitted to both of these cars to provide increased stopping power. To top off the performance modifications, H&R installed a custom tune coil over setup to handle the added weight of the police gear.

passat popo 2

Now that the looks and performance of these Passats have been upgraded, it was time to outfit them with light bars and sirens and turn them into real police cars so they can be of benefit for the police department. For this, the cars were shipped to FMS Automotive where they received the flashing lights we’ll soon be seeing in our rearview mirrors. The wagon received a Sound Off light bar and light controller, which was integrated and custom mounted to the roof rails, as well as Sound Off LEDs custom mounted in the headlamps, tail lamps, grille, side view mirrors, and side quarter glass. For the sedan, which is an undercover car that has now been put into traffic enforcement, FMS Automotive outfitted the car with a Sound Off under cover light bar and rear deck lamps, with a control unit mounted in the driver’s side door panel. More LEDs were hidden in the front grille, headlamps, tail lamps, side view mirrors, and into the air vents on the rear bumper of the high def body kit.

We think that the final products turned out quite nicely, and we’re not the only ones. The Passat Wagon was entered in Hendon Publishing’s Police Vehicle Design Contest – People’s Choice award, and for the “Municipal Over 50 Officers – East” category, the Passat took first place. So If you ever find yourself driving through the town of Herndon, keep your speed down and your eyes open, or you may very well have an up close and personal meeting with one of these Passats.

Links:

Herndon PD: http://www.herndon-va.gov/Content/public_safety/default.aspx?cnlid=49

Foam Molders & Specialties: http://www.foammolders.com/

APR: http://www.goapr.com/

H&R: http://www.hrsprings.com/

Volkswagen Accessories: http://www.drivergear.vw.com/vw08/



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