The New York Police Department is developing plans to replace its scooter fleet with Smart Fortwo two-doors that are painted like police cruisers, officials said this week.
The Fortwos—equipped with airbags and A/C—would actually be less expensive for the force than the current three-wheeled scooter model that officers on patrol have been using. The scooters cost around $27,000 each.
"They're midget cars, I guess you can call them," said Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, as quoted by the New York Daily News. "We have acquired a number of them to test them out. Actually, in many instances they are more maneuverable than the scooters."
The move comes just as the next-generation Fortwo will replace the current one.
Officials have purchased nine Fortwos for $119,000, and have so far put one on patrol in Central Park. If the program is successful, 100 more cars will become part of the fleet, some of them as soon as later this month.
"Smart cars are cheaper and much safer," Deputy Commissioner Robert Martinez of the NYPD's Support Services Bureau told the New York Daily News. "It's a no-brainer."
The pilot program is designed to see if the vehicles can more effectively navigate New York City streets and park paths, the New York Post reported.