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Audi RS 4 Avant police car joins Australian police force

The impulse to reach out to a community using the appeal of cool cars has led police departments around the world to add some rather unusual vehicles to their motor pools, from an Ariel Atom in the U.K. to a Lamborghini Gallardo in Los Angeles and, of course, the comically opulent Dubai Police fleet.

Compared to many of those cars, the Audi RS 4 Avant almost seems like a sensible choice (it is a station wagon, after all). One of these über-wagons recently joined the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command (LAC) of the New South Wales Police Force in Australia.

The RS 4 Avant will be used by the police for a year, on a unique assignment. It will be used to highlight the police’s involvement in community and youth engagement programs, and to generally give the service a more friendly, approachable air. The car’s livery was even designed through a poll on Facebook.

Related: Porsche 911 Carrera reports for police duty Down Under

Officials hope the car will “encourage people of all ages to introduce themselves to local police,” and help “start a conversation,” Superintendent Wayne Starling, Commander of the Lake Illawarra LAC, said in a statement.

That means Australian speed freaks can rest easy, because this particular performance car won’t be used for pursuit duty. With a 4.2-liter V8 producing 459 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, the RS 4 Avant would probably be pretty good at that. Audi says it can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, and reach a top speed of 174 mph.

This version of the RS 4 isn’t long for this world. Audi is planning a new version based on the redesigned 2016 A4 that should debut sometime after that model. While there have been rumors that the RS 4 will ditch its naturally-aspirated V8 for a smaller turbocharged engine, nothing has been confirmed yet.

The next RS 4 Avant could also be the first version of the wagon sold in the U.S. Audi previously offered the RS 4 here, but only as a sedan.