The last FCA product to wear the Carabinieri police uniform was the Fiat Tipo; a total of 500 units were committed to patrolling Italian roads. But the relationship between the Group, led by Sergio Marchionne, and the police force has now been renewed thanks to a new recruit: the Jeep Wrangler.
The SUV debuted in the Carabinieri fleet today, in the presence of General Commander Giovanni Nistri, Deputy Commander Riccardo Amato, Chief Executive Officer of FCA, Sergio Marchionne, and COO of the EMEA Region, Alfredo Altavilla. A sort of last hoorah for the U.S. off-roader – which has already been replaced by a new generation presented at the last Detroit Motor Show – its task will be to provide services between Cattolica and Bellaria, but not just on asphalt.
The Carabinieri Jeep Wrangler (nicknamed Gazella, or Gazelle) will drive directly onto the shoreline, Baywatch style, patrolling the hottest parts of the Romagna coast, including popular destinations like Rimini and Riccione. Enhanced with a special Mopar One package, the Jeep gets a two-inch lift with special shock absorbers, a stabilizer bar, 17x 8.5-inch black alloy wheels with 32-inch oversized tires, front and rear splash guards, and mudguards with side tangs.
Being a Gazelle of the Carabinieri, there are also flashing lights and sirens, as well as a portable radio, among other features. Power comes from a 2.8-liter diesel four-cylinder engine, paired to an automatic transmission producing 158 horsepower (118 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque.
Jeep already had a presence in the Carabinieri with the Renegade, flanked by the aforementioned Fiat Tipo, and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio – used for special interventions such as the transport of organs and blood, and as escort for institutional ceremonies. The team also includes the Fiat Panda 4x4, and the Dobḷ and Ducato commercial vehicles.