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New York City’s finest are trolling the aisles for a new set of wheels and they’ve decided to take the Dodge Charger for a test drive. The NYPD has agreed to buy 15 Chargers for a pilot program this summer, five models with V6 engines and 10 featuring Chrysler’s HEMI V8.

We reported awhile back that the Michigan State Police had tested many potential police cruisers and the results put the V8 Charger at the top in acceleration and fastest lap times. Apparently the NYPD were impressed and if the pilot program goes well, it could replace the city’s entire fleet of 3,000 Crown Vics and Impalas with Chargers.

[Source: Associated Press via DetroitWonk]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      Mike from Scarborough & MacroEQ,
      re: police using domestic vehicles to help the econ.
      In the city I live in we use all kinds of police vehicles, from Intrepids to CVs to Caravans (for some of the Community Service officers). We also use Toyota Tacomas (a lot) for Special Services like crime units, etc. But, the Tacomas are built at NUMMI in this city (Fremont,CA). Its the only city I've seen that uses a foreign car-I guess cuz its cheaper and more reliable and at the same time supports the local econ.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The Charger's, rear wheel,Intependant susp.5 speed auto,big rear seat leg room,big trunk, handles better than the other 2, especialy that Piece of Sheeite Impala.The body is more rigid..Fit and finish is better.As fot the Dude with the bad rental,maybe a Ford Extinction, would be better for you.After all the charger is considered full size.I agree that they should have to help all 3 domestics.The last time the dodges were cruisers,the Monaco ,Polara was the fastest HWY car,at 150 Plus...So If they want speed ,handling,and room ,,They are on the right track.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Roomy, reliable, comfortable, and safe.

      Sounds like a Ford 500 with a more up-to-date engine would do the trick. It has a large enough back seat for any arrestee's transport, a comfortable ride for multi-hour patrols, and a Volvo chassis for optimum safety. The 2.8L, twin-turbo I6 from the Volvo S80 is used in the same platform, and with 272 hp on tap would outperform the 250 HP Crown Vic. Add AWD for colder climates, and you have a winner of a police car.

      WHy not just put that 272 hp I6 in the 500 in general for that matter, as an upgrade option!?!
      • 9 Years Ago
      The Charger RT is great. I got mine back in september and I just LOVE IT. And yea its got a hemi.
      • 9 Years Ago
      In Auburn Hills MI the police use Dodge Magnums with the HEMI. With that said the I have seen a Mustang GT with the two foglamps in the grill with red lenses and that familiar "Trooper Blue" paint scheme without any markings just a couple of antennas.
      • 9 Years Ago
      It is doubtful that Chrysler can sell Chargers to municipalities as cheaply as Ford can sell Crown Victorias. The Crown Vics platform has been around a long time ... meaning development costs were satisfied years ago ... meaning Ford can sell their CV much cheaper and still turn a profit. The bean counters in NYC and every other police/fleet agency will probably win whether or not the Charger is newer and better.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Doubt they would replace the entire fleet with Chargers. NYPD has specifically stated they like to own vehicles from various makes at all times to keep their vehicle diversity. They wouldn't replace anything with only one model.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The biggest considerations are durability, stability, and resale value(in some cases). Acceleration, handling and all that jazz all are secondary for municipal budget concerns, but high on the list for officers.

      All that being said, the last vehicle that met those needs the best was the 94-96 Caprice. Take a look at small city taxi fleets...what do you still see driving around? Ten to fifteen year old Caprices. With probably 250Kmiles or more (and probably their third transmission!) these vehicles maintain their role as workhorse of the livery industry, having long been paid off.

      On the opposite end of the departments' needs spectrum, ask veteran LEO's their favorite patrol car, and inevitably, the LT1 powered Caprice is their answer.

      Their aren't many vehicles out there that have the roominess, power and chassis stability of the Charger, Crown Vic and Impala of today. Further, insane amounts of money are invested in the training of labor, parts and equipment inventories, etc., to "just switch to a more economical" car.

      As for the environmental aspect, if there is a domestic car (for greater dealer saturation in remote areas, and better parts available on the cheap) that has the same or more room as the above mentioned vehicles, has a column shift optional (for computer/lights console installation), similar power and handling, and can handle the electrical needs of police use, by all means, call your local police chief. And while you're at it, maybe you can recommend a good new fire truck too!
      • 9 Years Ago
      I haven't driven a charger to comment. However, I don't see how anything could be much worse than a Crown Vic. I've driven a Grand Marquis on several occasions, and it is truly an anachronism. Whereas other makes and models make the driving experience less crude and intrusive by improving overall refinement, the fox platform takes outdated technology and adds layer upon layer of insulation.

      On perfectly smooth, straight surfaces it is quite enjoyable. Drive over one expansion joint or pothole and the 70's era solid rear axle shows itself very quickly. Take it around a corner at more than walking speed and you'll feel a chassis that is almost as rigid as a slice of bacon.

      Even worse is the interior. I don't think I've ever been in a car that was more difficult to be configured into a comfortable driving position. There are no seat bolsters to speak of, the cushions are stuffed to the point of offering no support, and the controls are illogical compared to the relative standardization you see across Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan and even newer domestic models.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I work in nyc. as far as the Crown Vic headline, they pretty much use all Impalas at this point. Very few straggler CVs left. For what it's worth, the Impalas look weathered pretty quickly.

      If the cabbies turned from CVs, now that would be news. At this point, I'd estimate NYC cabs about about 85% CVs, 10% new model Siennas, most of the remainder split among explorers, old honda/isuzu vans, and run down Town Cars.

      • 9 Years Ago
      Huh.. The guard up front does a nice job of hiding the hideous face of the charger...
      • 9 Years Ago
      About a month ago, I followed a Chrysler 300C up the 5 in San Diego (during the rush hour crawl). It was black, had V8 exhausts, big tires and wheels, 2-3 small antennas, _AND_ a very discreet "Police Interceptor" badge on the lower left corner of the rear end.
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