A plethora of special use Fiat and Alfa Romeo models were put on display as the Carabinieri took delivery of an adapted Jeep Wrangler which the police force will use to patrol the beaches of Romagna this summer, protecting residents and holidaymakers.
Wearing the force's livery, the vehicle was presented in Rome at a ceremony in the grounds of the Carabinieri High Command, in the presence of Commander-in-Chief Giovanni Nistri, Vice Commander Riccardo Amato, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne and EMEA Region COO Alfredo Altavilla.
Once in active service, the Wrangler will be used for surveillance work on the Romagna Riviera, and more specifically the 30 km of beach between Cattolica and Bellaria that includes the popular resorts of Rimini and Riccione.
It will be the first time such an operation – designed to provide even greater safeguards and security during the busy summer season – will have been conducted in Italy.
The Wrangler given to the Carabinieri is powered by a 2.8-litre CRD turbodiesel engine with automatic transmission. It features the “Mopar One Pack”, a special customisation that enables the vehicle to handle more extreme off-road terrain. The pack includes a 2-inch lift kit by Fox Performance, front steering stabiliser, 17-inch x 8.5-inch Performance Gladiator black alloy rims, extra-large 32-inch all-terrain tyres, front and rear moulded splash guards and side mudguard extensions.
In addition, the Jeep SUV has also been fitted out with an array of specialist Carabinieri features, including a flashing light, siren with telescopic mounting, two signalling disc holders and a portable radio as well as – and perhaps a little surprisingly – a machine gun holder.
Fully fitted, the Wrangler will give the Carabinieri a round-the-clock presence and ensure the patrol is able to respond quickly to any incidents along the shoreline, with its advanced 4x4 system adapting effortlessly to all terrains including road surfaces and sandy beaches.
The Jeep brand originated with the military: Jeep Wrangler is the true descendant of the 1941 Willys Overland MA/MB, the all-terrain vehicle that gave birth to the Jeep legend. It is remembered not only as a symbol of freedom but also as a rescue vehicle, due to its invaluable service during the Second World War, when it was used as a troop carrier, reconnaissance vehicle and ambulance.
The model's evolution has led to the development of the classic design elements that still make every Jeep distinctive. The 1945 CJ-2A model already featured the seven-slot front grill, and over time this design cue has become one of the brand's most genuine, iconic symbols. Ever since, the brand has always remained true to its roots, while still looking firmly to the future. Other signature features include the round headlights, the trapezoidal wheel arches and the almost vertical windscreen.
As well as the Jeep Wrangler, a large number of FCA range models were also on display at the official ceremony in the Force's livery, reflecting the historic partnership between the Group and the Carabinieri. The relationship was born after the Second World War, when all the Force's patrol cars had the Alfa Romeo brand on their radiator grilles, starting from the Giulietta and moving on to its direct descendant, the Giulia. The latter, in particular, was the car that introduced state-of-the-art concepts in the 1970s, combining excellent speed and agility with outstanding reliability.
Over time, as needs changed and evolved, the Group has gone on to supply cars with different characteristics, to satisfy every requirement. For example, on show today was the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, used for special missions such as transporting organs and blood, as well as for escort duties at official ceremonies.
Alongside it were the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and the various Fiat cars including the Tipo (5-door) and Panda 4x4. The display also included two Fiat Professional models, the Doblò and Ducato, used by the dog handler and bomb disposal corps respectively and the first off-road vehicle to be used by the Carabinieri, the Fiat Campagnola, introduced in the 1950s. Also on display was a Jeep Renegade that had been previously delivered.
Photos: Carabinieri Fiat, Alfa Romeo & Jeep vehicles