The police vehicle market is flush with new iron from all quarters, making the results of this year's Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluation hotly anticipated. Ford brought its new Taurus-based Police Interceptor, Chrysler had the 2011 Dodge Charger Police Pursuit model, and General Motors showed up with the Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle. Preliminary results of the performance and dynamics testing put the Caprice PPV on top of its rivals, says GM, but there's a catch.
Chevrolet is touting the unofficial test outcome (final results will be released later this year) as proof of the Caprice PPV's superiority. Being quicker to both 60 and 100 mph and offering shorter stopping distances are performance attributes that officers appreciate, as is a 6.0-liter V8 and a chassis that handled Grattan Raceway with the best average lap time. Thing is, despite the fact that Ford's forthcoming Taurus-based cruiser was on-hand and competed in the tests, GM only compares its new Caprice to the ancient Crown Vic. The reason? The Blue Oval's new PI won't be available for more than a year. According to the blokes at Jalopnik who were on-hand for the shootout, the Caprice was actually bested by the AWD Taurus PI in braking and lap times, but GM has fashioned the 'not available yet' loophole to create victory (nevermind that the Caprice isn't on the streets yet either).
Of course, good performance numbers aren't all there is to police work, or departments would patrol in Corvettes. Chevrolet says the Caprice PPV leads in interior space and thoughtful touches like seats designed to accommodate officers' equipment belts. All of this, GM says, adds up to an open-and-shut case for the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle. You'd expect no less from a press release (posted after the jump), but clearly, the real victory in the race to replace the Crown Victoria has yet to be determined.
[Sources: General Motors, Jalopnik]
The performance testing against the 2011 Dodge Charger Police Pursuit police card and the 2011 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was conducted on Saturday in Chelsea, Mich., and on Monday during a vehicle dynamics comparison at the Grattan Raceway near Belding, Mich., where the Caprice PPV had the best overall average time per lap.
"Police departments around the country told us they needed a modern, high-performance rear-drive pursuit car," said Joyce Mattman, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations product director. "These results are proof that the Caprice PPV delivers the performance officers want, without compromising safety or comfort."
Results from the tests from the Michigan State Police Evaluation Program are considered preliminary. Final results will be published later this year.
"I'm tickled to death to see all of the manufacturers back into (police cars) in a big way after a period of stagnation," said Jerry Newberry, Fleet Manager for the Texas Department of Public Safety, which purchases 900-1,000 vehicles annually. "It's still a work in progress for all manufacturers, but that's been the nice thing in the development of this Caprice – GM is doing what it takes to bring the best car to the market."
The Caprice's 6.0-liter V-8 is rated at an estimated 355 horsepower (265 kW) with 384 lb-ft of torque (521 Nm). It is also backed by a six-speed automatic transmission, which is performance-calibrated for police duty, and standard Stabilitrak electronic stability control. A unique Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (PAL) calibration, within Sport shift mode, allows the transmission to "understand" the driving conditions and select the appropriate gear - even through tight turns - and provides the required engine torque.
With segment leading interior space and sculpted front seats to "pocket" the equipment belt, the Caprice PPV provides maximum comfort for officers, allowing them to effectively do their jobs with minimal back soreness.
Reporting for duty next spring, the Caprice PPV joins the front-wheel drive Impala PPV and Tahoe PPV, making Chevrolet the only manufacturer to offer a full range of police vehicles.