You don’t want to see this Saleen Mustang cop car in your rearview mirror

Riverside Police Department Saleen S302 Mustang police car

California’s Riverside Police Department is the latest to take delivery of an insane, high-performance cop car. But crooks needn’t worry, as the department’s new Saleen S302 Mustang will likely be used for promotional purposes only.

The car started out as a 2016 Ford Mustang GT, and was handed over to famed Mustang tuner Steve Saleen and his Saleen Automotive outfit. Over the years, Saleen’s various companies have built some epic Mustangs, tuned the Tesla Model S, and even built a supercar, the S7.

Saleen added a supercharger to the Mustang’s 5.0-liter V8 and made other modifications, bringing output up from 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque to 730 hp and 600 lb-ft. Bad guys beware.

Anyone concerned that police departments are wasting taxpayer money on muscle cars should know that this car was built largely as a charity effort. Saleen donated time to do the conversion, and other companies donated parts and services to make the Mustang into a proper police car. Federal Signal donated a full array of lights and sirens, and West Coast Lights and Sirens donated the installation work.

The Mustang was conceived by the Riverside Police Officers’ Association as a memorial to officers killed or injured in the line of duty, the department said on Facebook. As such, it will probably be used for promotional events rather than as an active-duty police cruiser. Still, if you find yourself in Riverside, you might want to mind your speed.

Extreme police cars are nothing new — the Dubai Police Force has everything from a BMW i3 to a Bugatti Veyron in its fleet, and many other departments around the world have turned high-performance cars into police cruisers, mostly for publicity reasons. The Riverside Police Department’s Mustang at least has the right genealogy, as Ford actually offered a police-spec Mustang back in the 1980s.