• Oct 5th 2009 at 12:50AM
  • 102
Chevrolet Caprice PPV - Click above for high-res image gallery.

Well, it's official. General Motors has resurrected the Australian-built Zeta sedan for North America, only this time around, it's just for the cops. Set to arrive in your local muni's police fleet in 2011 is the Chevrolet Caprice police patrol vehicle (PPV). First thing's first: it is not the Holden Commodore, a.k.a. Pontiac G8 (rest in peace). It's a left-hand-drive version of the long-wheelbase, Zeta-platform Holden Caprice/Statesman. Many of you already know that this car is also sold in the Middle East as, you guessed it, the Chevy Caprice. Also, as had been rumored – you can't buy one. It's a fleet special only, and we can envision fistfights breaking out over these at police auctions in a few years.

The Caprice Cop Special gets an E85-compatible 6.0-liter V8 dishing out 355 horsepower and 385 lb/ft of torque, and as you'd expect, the engine's duly ruggedized for police duty with oil, transmission and power steering coolers, along with a heavy duty alternator. And yes, the brakes and suspension are uprated. Cue the Elwood Blues litany whenever you're ready.

Inside, it's obviously outfitted with all the toys, including seats designed to accommodate officers' gun/equipment belts, a front-seat computer, and all the other stuff you'd expect to find in a police car. And since the fuzzmobile's based on the LWB sedan, there's plenty of room in back for you to relax should you find yourself involuntarily sampling the rear passenger seating. Actually, with your hands locked up behind your back, it probably won't be that comfy after all. Check out more photos of the Caprice PPV in the gallery below.

[Source: GM]


Be On The Lookout: All-New Chevy Caprice Police Car Reports For Duty In 2011

DENVER – An all-new Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) will join the ranks of law enforcement departments across North America in 2011. It's a modern, full-size, rear-drive sedan that will offer both V-8 and V-6 engines, as well as a host of specialized equipment and features.

Chevrolet made the announcement at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police convention, in Denver, Colorado. The Caprice PPV will be available for ordering next year and will hit the streets in early 2011.

"The new Chevrolet Caprice police car is the right tool at the right time for law enforcement," said Jim Campbell, general manager for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. "We asked for a lot of feedback from our police customers, which helped us develop a vehicle that is superior to the Crown Victoria in key areas."

Vice President, Global Chevrolet Brand Brent Dewar added, "Along with Impala and Tahoe, the Caprice PPV gives agencies a greater range of choices for police and special service vehicles that are all available from Chevrolet."

Unlike other police cars on the market, the Caprice PPV is not based on existing "civilian" passenger-car model sold in North America. It has been developed in key areas specifically for police duty, containing modern equipment and features:

* Powerful 6.0L V-8 with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management technology and E85 capability delivers expected best-in-class 0-60 acceleration (sub six seconds) and top speed; a V-6 engine will also be offered, beginning in the 2012 model year
* Optional front-seat-only side curtain air bags allows a full-width rear-seat barrier for greater officer safety
* Two trunk-mounted batteries, with one of them dedicated to powering various police equipment
* Designed for five-passenger seating, meaning the upper-center section of the dashboard can be used for equipment mounting without the concern of air bag deployment interference
* Compatibility with in-dash touch-screen computer technology
* Special front seats designed for the long-term comfort of officers whose car is their effective office, including space that accommodates the bulk of a typical equipment belt

The front seats are sculpted to "pocket" the equipment belt, which greatly increases the comfort for a great range of police officer sizes. The foam density of the seatback and cushion insert surfaces are designed to conform to the shape of an equipment belt's various items, too, allowing the officer's back to rest properly on the seatback surface.

"The Chevrolet Caprice PPV's seats represent a revolution in comfort and utility for officers who spend long hours in their car," said Bob Demick, lead seat design manager. "The shape also enhances entry and egress, making it easier for officers to exit the vehicle quickly. The seatback bolsters, for example, have been purposefully contoured to help pocket the equipment on the belt, which includes the gun, Taser and handcuffs, which rest comfortably in the sculpted lower bolsters. That also increases the longevity of the trim cover surface."

Along with comfort, the materials used in the seats were also carefully selected. High-wear materials were chosen to stand up to long hours of everyday use, while breathability, long-term durability and ease of cleaning were also important criteria.

Engineers worked on several iterations of the seat, testing a couple of versions in the field to get real-world feedback from police officers, who used prototype seats in their cruisers for a month. Their input helped determine the final design.

Class-leading space

The Caprice PPV is based on GM's global rear-drive family of vehicles that also underpins the Chevy Camaro. It uses the longest wheelbase of the architecture – 118.5 inches (3,010 mm) – along with a four-wheel independent suspension that delivers responsive high-performance driving characteristics that are crucial in some police scenarios.

Caprice PPV's long wheelbase also contributes to exceptional spaciousness. Compared to the primary competition, its advantages include:

* A larger interior volume – 112 cubic feet / 3,172 liters – than the Ford Crown Victoria, including nearly 4 inches (101 mm) more rear legroom
* The barrier between the front seat and rear seat is positioned farther rearward, allowing for full front-seat travel and greater recline for officer comfort
* At 18 cubic feet (535 liters) free space (beyond battery located in trunk), the Caprice's trunk volume is large enough to accommodate a full-size spare tire under a flat load surface in the trunk storage area.

The Caprice's 6.0-liter V-8 is rated at an estimated 355 horsepower (265 kW) with an estimated 384 lb-ft of torque. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission that is performance-calibrated for police duty. Additional, police car-specific powertrain and vehicle system features include:

* High-output alternator
* Engine oil, transmission and power steering coolers
* Standard 18-inch steel wheels with bolt-on center caps
* Large, four-wheel disc brakes with heavy-duty brake pads
* Heavy-duty suspension components
* Police-calibrated stability control system
* Driver information center in the instrument cluster with selectable speed tracking feature.

A host of complementary features are also offered, including special equipment packages such as spotlights; lockouts for the power windows and locks; and an "undercover" street-appearance package (9C3).

To enable more room for interior equipment, the standard radio can be relocated to the trunk, allowing for an in-dash, touch-screen computer to be used.

Caprice on patrol: A brief history

Chevrolet's history with law enforcement is almost as old as the brand itself. Police departments have used Chevy sedans as police cars for decades, ordering them with basic equipment and powerful V-8 engines – including some special engines that weren't available in regular-production models, such as the 1959 Biscayne that was offered with up to 315 horsepower.

The full-size Chevrolets joined the force in 1976. All Caprice police cars – including the new, 2011 model – have carried the 9C1 order code. Here's a quick look back at Chevys on patrol:

1959 – Chevy Biscayne police model capable of 135 mph with specially tuned, police-only version of the 348-cubic-inch V-8 engine

1965 – The new "big-block" 396 engine is offered in Biscayne and Bel Air police cars, making them among the most powerful on patrol; a 427 V-8 was added in 1966

1976 – The 9C1 order code is given for the first time to a full-size Chevy police car package. It carries the Impala name.

1977 – The full-size Chevy is downsized. The 9C1 police package is retained, as is the Impala name.

1986 – The Caprice name replaces Impala, as the car is updated for the mid- and late-1980s – including the option of a powerful, 5.7-liter small-block V-8.

1991 – A new-generation Caprice is launched, with the 9C1 police car still on the beat.

1994 – The 260-horsepower (194 Nm) LT1 V-8 engine is offered in the Caprice 9C1, making it one of the fastest full-size police cars ever offered.

1996 – Caprice police car production ends, as GM's full-size, body-on-frame car architecture is discontinued.

2011 – The Caprice PPV returns to active duty.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The fender vents will lead to 3.4 more arrests per month.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not only, as everybody has already noted, is the fact that it's a police-only vehicle going to be a dead giveaway, but that thing looks totally nonthreatening. It's almost... cute.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How come the last two shots in the gallery is the Pontiac? Taillights clearly look different.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Tael -

        The Commodore/G8 are built on the standard Zeta platform. The Camaro is built on the Shortened Zeta, and this Caprice (Statesman) are built on the Long wheel base.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Feketelaszlo, keep in mind that cars in North America are generally bigger, and there are way more pickup trucks on the road than in Europe. Police cruisers here have to be bigger too, lest some poor cop in a Suzuki Swift finds out the hard way that Bubba's jacked up 3/4 ton truck will squash him flatter than a pancake.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You know, the police are usually armed...I doubt he'd be squashing much with a few buck shots in his tires and/or torso. Fox would be glad to show you hours of police footage of Bubba in his jacked-up truck that didn't get anywhere.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car seems designed for Highway patrol use, not real urban crime fighting.

      Its large, has that console shifter, and seems oriented for chases more than anything. Would've been nice to see a more thoughtful design effort in improving the car for police work - i.e actually acknowledging that the real work happens once the officer steps out of the car and enters the line of fire.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting that they have inserted a base-spec Commodore interior instead of the Statesman/Caprice interior used here in Aus. Of coruse that makes alot more sense though - cheaper more basic interior with simple air con is going to appeal more towards the police force

      Shame they couldn't launch this as a Chev Caprice for US consumer sales though, but good news for the boys at Holden
      • 5 Years Ago
      i have to find a way to sit in the back seat of one of those, Its a privilege.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like it, but I still think Carbon Motors is going to walk away with the best piggy car in the long run. The diesel and design alone are better than what Fritz has to offer. Provided the Hoosiers can handle building it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I dunno, the bean counters will probably be more confident buying from a big company like GM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not sure any of these will turn up at a police auction (nor will the Carbon E7 for that matter) because it will be a special-purpose vehicle that is exempt from the federal safety and emissions requirements that would allow their sale to the general public. I'm sure that's a huge part of the reason GM isn't offering the Caprice to the general public. The Caprice may well meet the federalization reguirements since it is so similar to the G8, but until GM gets it officially federalized (an expensive process), these won't be sold to the public.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Has Carbon Motors even produced a working model yet that delivers on all the performance promises made for the E7?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Call it the "best" if you want, but it's going to be really expensive and most municipalities and states don't have the money to buy $50,000 cars as police cruisers.

        If the Carbon Motors car ever sees production, I'll be surprised.
      • 5 Years Ago
      6 liters. they haven't evolved much, nice plastic. the console shifter takes up room. why not column and leave console for something else. do they need a b
      and m shift kit for drag racing to dunkin donuts? I'd like to see a benz crank v8 at four liters in a fleet cop car showing the world it will beat everything...
        • 5 Years Ago

        Agreed, but the alternative is re engineering the steering column to accept a column shifter, which can't be a cheap proposition. Chrysler wound up doing that for the Charger police package; if the demand is high enough, it will happen here too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, at least they can do sweet e-brake turns. I see a handle on the console instead of a pedal on the floor!
      • 5 Years Ago
      they need to sell this to the public and to taxi fleets as well. If the demand was high enough they COULD REOPEN one of the assembly plants in the U.S. that is currently closed or schduled to close. Or I could see them maybe building a Buick off the same platform to sell here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because Buick sells well in China is not a reason to keep the brand. It's a lousy and unlikely reason that continues to be perpetuated. If it was all about the brand, they could easily take Chevy's and slap Buick badges on them to sell in China. And GMC is not a global brand. All they need is Chevy and Cadillac.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The demand would have to be very, very high. As in, enough to outsell all Cadillacs, Buicks, and GMCs combined. Moving production to the U.S. would be extremely expensive as they'd have to completely retool a factory. Even moving production to Canada to use the Camaro line would require a considerable investment. The best bet would be to keep building them in Australia and ship them over, but that would price it out of reach for most Chevy buyers (although Ford doing it anyway by pricing the SHO out of the market). They could make it a Buick and charge more of a premium, but that would compete too much with Cadillac (seriously, why did they keep Buick?).
        • 5 Years Ago
        they kept Buick only because it sells well in China. as you notice GM ditched both Pontiac and Saturn. I think the main reason is because those lines were only sold in North America. Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac are sold worldwide. and those 4 divisions were the only ones to make a profit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This chassis would be good for the Cadillac XTS, better than the Epsilon II.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You traded this for the Bluesmoblie?!?
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