Click above for small high-res gallery of 2009 Dodge Charger police car

Sheriff Buford T. Justice will now be able to chase your Bandit *** all over the country if he's protecting and serving behind the wheel of a 2009 Dodge Charger police car. The Charger's 368-horsepower HEMI is nearly double what Pontiac was putting underneath the screaming chicken back in '77, and gives the cop-spec Charger the most power of any police car on offer; plenty of snort underfoot when it's time to apprehend individuals devoid of respect for the law. Hot pursuit will last longer, too, with Chrysler's Multi Displacement System switching off half the cylinders in the V8 to conserve 20-percent more fuel. The venerated Ford Panthers were rugged and inexpensive for fleets, but the Charger gives officers a firepower upgrade while also offering a chassis that's far more capable. It's never been advisable to attempt running from the police, but that's now an extremely bad idea with the upgraded Charger on the beat. We discovered this first hand, not when we were arrested, but when Dodge gave us a cop-spec Charger to play with for a week, which you can read about here. Press release after the jump.

Related Gallery2009 Dodge Charger Cop Car

Related GalleryIn the Autoblog Garage: Dodge Charger Cop Car

[Source: Chrysler]


PRESS RELEASE

Dodge to Arm Police Officers with Best-in-Class Power and Even Better Fuel Economy

  • New 2009 Dodge Charger police car gives the good guys 368 horses under the hood, making it the most powerful production police car on the road
  • New-generation 5.7-liter HEMI® with fuel-saving Multi-Displacement System (MDS) technology achieves 20 percent better fuel economy
  • Achieves best-in-class performance in available power, acceleration, top speed and vehicle dynamics
  • Charger offers segment-exclusive Electronic Stability Program (ESP) that includes Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), All-speed traction control, Yaw Sensor and Steering Angle Sensor
  • Superior rear-wheel-drive performance and handling characteristics designed to perform and protect
  • Since 2007, Dodge Charger police cars sales have increased 17 percent

Auburn Hills, Mich., Oct 9, 2008 - Bad guys beware.
The new 2009 Dodge Charger police car is ready to patrol the streets with the ultimate in pursuit power – the new-generation 5.7-liter HEMI® V8 engine. The new engine will give the good guys more horses under the hood and even better fuel economy.

"With rear-wheel drive and HEMI power at the pavement, our new 2009 Dodge Charger provides optimum police car pursuit performance," said Mike Accavitti, Director – Dodge Brand Marketing. "Dodge has a strong police car heritage, and we are proud to offer a vehicle armed with modern muscle and cutting-edge technology to help law enforcement agencies perform their duties."

With the new 5.7-liter HEMI, the 2009 Dodge Charger is the most powerful production police vehicle on the road, producing 368 horsepower and 395 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2009 Dodge Charger is the only police vehicle that offers best-in-class performance in four key pursuit categories: available power, acceleration, top speed and vehicle dynamics.

With a fuel economy rating of 16 city/25 highway, the new HEMI engine also gets up to 20 percent better fuel economy with the addition of fuel-saving Multi-Displacement System (MDS) technology, which deactivates four of the eight cylinders when less power is needed while cruising.

"Our fuel-saving MDS technology functions so smoothly that officers won't notice when four of the eight cylinders are deactivated, but they'll always have the power of the V8 when they need it," said Roxie Thomas, Senior Manager -- Government Sales.

The 2009 Dodge Charger police car comes standard with a five-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick® mated to a powerful, 3.5-liter High-Output V-6 engine that provides 250 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque, offering an outstanding blend of performance and fuel economy (16 city/25 highway).

The Dodge Charger police vehicle was designed from the ground up in order to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies. Police-specific features include greater stability and improved handling achieved through a "wheels-to-the-corners" design; performance-tuned steering and suspension; convenient shifter mounted on the instrument panel to make room for police equipment in the center console area; police interior lighting shines white to illuminate the interior and red for use with night vision equipment; heavy-duty seats accommodate fully equipped officers; and a spacious trunk.

The Dodge Charger police vehicle comes equipped with Electronic Stability Program (ESP), a segment exclusive that includes Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), All-speed traction control, Yaw Sensor and Steering Angle Sensor. ESP electronically detects and automatically assists drivers in critical driving situations, including adverse conditions. ESP works by constantly comparing the driver's intended course with the vehicle's actual course, detecting differences, applying the brakes to individual wheels and controlling engine power in order to help keep the vehicle on its intended path. Dodge Charger is also equipped with Brake Assist, which helps apply maximum braking power in emergency situations.

Both passive and active safety features are incorporated into the 2009 Dodge Charger police vehicle. These features include unibody steel construction; standard advanced multi-stage driver and front-passenger air bags; available supplemental side-curtain airbags and seat-mounted air bags; best-in-class braking from 60 mph to zero in 135 feet*; and mid-vehicle-mounted saddlebag gas tank.

Standard Features
Standard features on the 2009 Dodge Charger police vehicle include the following items of particular importance to law enforcement customers:

  • 3.5-liter High-Output V6 engine with 250 hp and 250 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 160-amp high-output alternator
  • 160-mph or 260–km/h(certified) calibrated speedometer
  • 18 x 7.5-inch steel wheels
  • 800 CCA battery
  • AM/FM radio with CD player, changer controls, four speakers and clock with auxiliary audio input jack
  • Bright hubcaps
  • Easy Path Wiring Grommet between underhood and passenger compartments
  • External oil coolers
  • Four-wheel disc heavy-duty antilock brakes with all-speed traction control
  • Four-wheel independent performance suspension
  • Heavy-duty cloth front bucket seats with manual lumbar and a cloth rear bench seat
  • Column-mounted shift lever
  • Load-leveling, height-control shock absorbers
  • P225/60R18 BSW V-rated performance tires
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Brake Assist and all-speed traction control
  • Police performance-tuned steering
  • Trunk-lid key lock cylinder
  • Separate key and key fob
  • Severe-duty cooling system
  • Independently switched red/white LED dome lamp
Additional standard features and optional equipment are available on the 2009 Dodge Charger police vehicle in order to provide law enforcement customers an affordable vehicle with industry-leading innovations that make upfitting the vehicle faster and safer.

Police Car Heritage
The former Chrysler Corporation dominated the police car business throughout the 1960s, '70s and early '80s, with U.S. market shares ranging from 45-60 percent. Police vehicles manufactured by the former Chrysler Corporation included the Dodge Monaco, Dodge Royal Monaco, Dodge Coronet, Dodge Diplomat, Dodge Dart, Dodge St. Regis, Plymouth Fury, Plymouth Gran Fury, Plymouth Volare and Chrysler Newport.

After a 12-year hiatus, Dodge returned to the police car market with the 2002 Dodge Intrepid. The front-wheel-drive Dodge Intrepid earned a 4 percent share of the approximately 70,000 unit U.S. market. That vehicle was phased out of production in 2003.

In the fall of 2004, Dodge previewed the 2006 Dodge Magnum as a police vehicle, offering enhanced rear-wheel-drive performance and handling with a spacious, flexible interior for police special service uses. In 2005, the Dodge Charger joined the ranks, offering law enforcement agencies a four-door sedan option.

The Dodge Charger continues to gain momentum in the marketplace as the preferred vehicle for law enforcement. Sales of the Dodge Charger police car have increased 17 percent over 2007.