Chevy is out there touting its 2007 Police Tahoe, which is apparently the first SUV that was designed to be a law-enforcement machine from the very beginning. Granted, many of the features that make it a good police truck are part of what make the new GMT900 SUVs good vehicles anyway, but it still features its share of specific elements for the boys in blue.
They include a lowered, stiffened suspension, an upfit-ready electrical system, high-capacity radiator, oil cooler, heavy duty brakes with ABS, a skid plate package, tire pressure monitoring system, long-life spark plugs, and an upgraded battery (or two). Power comes from the E85-capable 5.3L Vortec V8 with 320 horsepower. The Tahoe's substantial size also enables officers to haul a lot of stuff inside.
We get excited about police cars. Maybe it's the painted steel wheels, aggressive rubber, and lowered stance -- we're not sure. Whatever it is, it brings out the kid in us, though, and we dig the looks of the new Tahoe as trimmed out for the fuzz.
It's something we're more than content to enjoy from a distance, though. We like police cars less when they're right in our rearview mirrors, and under no circumstances do we want to be invited for a ride in the back seat...
(Rear view, full press release after the jump)
Redesigned 2007 Chevy Police Tahoe Is The First SUV Designed From Its Inception As A Law-Enforcement Vehicle
The dramatically redesigned 2007 Chevrolet Police Tahoe delivers more power, enhanced ride and handling qualities, and more safety features than its 2006 counterpart. It also delivers a great deal of utility, cargo room, visibility and go-anywhere capability. But those attributes are only part of the 2007 Police Tahoe story. What distinguishes this vehicle is the fact that it is the first SUV designed from its inception as a law enforcement vehicle. That designation delivers a great many benefits to law enforcement agencies.
"Like the 1999 Chevrolet Impala Police vehicle – the first car in automotive history to be designed from its inception as a law enforcement vehicle – the 2007 Police Tahoe includes a number of law enforcement-specific enhancements. These enhancements were achieved during the design phase, with the result being that the Police Tahoe is available to law enforcement agencies with a number of features that set it apart from retail Tahoes," said Bruce Wiley, GM manager of law enforcement and specialty vehicles.
Compared to its retail counterpart, Police Tahoe is lower to the ground for improved handling, especially at high speeds. The front and rear suspensions feature stiffer springs and shocks and there's also a stiffer jounce bumper that is more ideally suited for police loads.
Police Tahoe also features a fully integrated electrical system for 2007, making it easier for upfitters to install such police-specific equipment as light bars and police radios.
"When we say that we design our police vehicles with the needs of law enforcement agencies in mind, we mean it. For example, Tahoe's electrical system is designed the same as the Impala, and both vehicles now function and upfit the same and can share some wiring harnesses. The result is easier upfits and lower costs to law enforcement agencies," Wiley added.
Police Tahoe's standard Vortec 5.3L V-8 engine receives a number of enhancements for 2007. It delivers more power – 320 horsepower (238 kW)* and 340 lb.-ft. of torque (470 Nm)*. That's 25 more horsepower and an additional 10 lb.-ft. of torque than the 2006 version of this engine. The Vortec 5.3L represents the newest chapter in GM's small-block's 50-year history and features Active Fuel Management technology, resulting in improved fuel economy. When combined with other vehicle-wide features, including improved aerodynamics, the small-block V-8 helps give the Tahoe the segment's best fuel economy. Preliminary testing with 5.3L-equipped models shows unadjusted combined fuel economy ratings of 20.5 mpg on 2WD models.
The 5.3L Vortec can operate on fuel that contains up to 85 percent ethanol. E85 reduces reliance on fossil fuels and it's a clean, renewable resource that benefits farmers, because it's derived from corn.
The 5.3L V-8 is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.
Built for speed
Because of the high speeds typically encountered by law enforcement vehicles, Police Tahoe gets H-rated, P265/60R17 blackwall Goodyear RSA steel belt radial tires (compared to S-rated on production models). These are mounted on 17-inch steel wheels. Police Tahoe also receives heavy duty cooling – thanks to a higher capacity radiator and engine oil cooler –and heavy duty brakes with ABS, providing added safety for braking under specific conditions. For an additional level of safety, security and peace of mind, all 2007 Police Tahoe models feature a tire pressure monitor, alerting the driver if any of the tires begins to lose air pressure. A tire pressure monitor is also included in the spare tire and must be activated prior to being placed on the vehicle.
For underbody protection, Police Tahoe features a Skid Plate Package that includes a front underbody shield that starts behind the front bumper and runs to the first cross-member. The Skid Plate Package protects such vital vehicle components as the oil pan and other key drivetrain components.
A 26-gallon fuel tank, 160-amp alternator, a heavy duty 730 CCA battery with run-down protection and extended-life spark plugs are standard on Police Tahoe. Dual 730 CCA batteries are also available.
Superior ride and handling
The 2007 Police Tahoe is built on GM's new full-size SUV platform, which incorporates features such as a new, fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and an all-new, premium interior system that bolster the vehicle's comfort, quality and capability. Wider front and rear tracks enhance handling and lower the center of gravity for a more confident road feel.
Tahoe's engineers paid extensive attention to detail to ensure a quiet driving experience. It starts with a new, stiffer frame, which reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin. The strength and accuracy of the fully boxed frame also enable more precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components, which also help reduce vibration.
Enhanced safety and security
The '07 Chevy Tahoe is designed to be among the industry's safest and most secure vehicles, with a 360-degree perimeter safety system of occupant protection and crash avoidance technologies. New features include a standard dual-stage driver and front passenger frontal air bags; optional roof-mounted head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for all seating rows; and front-seat safety belt pretensioners that are linked to the vehicle's sensing system to provide segment-exclusive deployment in rear-end crashes.
Crash avoidance is bolstered through enhanced design and driver control dynamics, such as wider front and rear tracks, as well as more responsive suspensions – including a new coil-over-shock front suspension design and new rack-and-pinion steering. The vehicles are built on a stronger and stiffer, fully boxed frame that contributes to enhanced crash energy management. The front frame section has been designed to optimize crush progression, resulting in improved energy absorption efficiency.
"Since September 11, 2001, the operating methodologies of police and fire municipalities have changed. They are looking at new and innovative ways to utilize police and emergency response vehicles, to carry more equipment, expand communication capability and address issues created by the need to carry tactical and hazardous material gear," Wiley added. "The Chevrolet Police Tahoe is capable of meeting the rigors of all these needs."
Even with its second-row seats fully upright, Police Tahoe delivers an incredible 60.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity for such items as gun cases, haz-mat equipment and other gear and materials that law enforcement officers may require to do their jobs. The second-row seats may be individually folded forward, adding even more cargo capacity. Second-row seats come with inboard headrests and reclining seatbacks. With both second-row seats folded, Police Tahoe delivers a cavernous 108.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
A number of municipalities are turning to vehicles such as the Chevrolet Police Tahoe because it's a fiscally responsible proposition. Although the initial cost is higher than that of a sedan, the increased capability and durability, longer lifecycle and higher residual value can combine to make Tahoe the more cost-effective choice, said Wiley.
The Police Tahoe joins the Chevrolet Impala Police Vehicle, Chevrolet Tahoe Special Services and Chevrolet Express Prisoner Transport Van in GM's lineup of law enforcement vehicles. Every vehicle GM offers to law enforcement agencies is "road ready," meaning they can be delivered completely equipped and ready for use.