The numbers are in, folks. This year's Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluation pitted Ford's Jurassic Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (the new Taurus-based Police Interceptor was reportedly on hand, but its numbers won't be included until next year), Chrysler's 2011 Dodge Charger Police Pursuit model and General Motors' Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle against each other in a no-holds-barred fight to the finish. And let's just say the results are closer than you might think.
For instance, as pointed out by the proud parents at Chevrolet, the Caprice did, in fact, manage to set the best acceleration times to 60 miles per hour and 100 mph. But... and there's always a but... the 2011 Charger was pretty much neck-and-neck with the Caprice. In fact, the Charger was quicker to 20, 40, 50, 70 and 80 mph. So, which one is really quicker? Pretty much a photo finish, if you ask us.
Also, top speeds between the two competitors were within spitting distance: 148 mph for the Caprice and 146 for the Hemi-powered Charger. There's plenty more intriguing data as well, such as the fact that the new Pentastar V6-powered Charger was, on average, almost exactly as fast around the race track as its more powerful V8-powered sibling, and both were about a second behind the Caprice in the lap time derby.
And what of the old stalwart? Ford's age-old Crown Victoria did its best, but was still over two seconds behind at 60 mph and a woeful 10 seconds afield by 100. Top speed for the Vic was 129 (with a 3.27 rear end, which was even slower in acceleration tests than its 3.55-equipped brother), and its lap times were well behind that of the Caprice and Charger.
Braking tests also favored the new Caprice and Charger. Chevy's entry posted a projected 60-0 stopping distance of 128.3 feet and the Charger managed to come to a halt in 133.9 feet (133.2 with the V6). For comparison, the Crown Vic needs 141.6 feet to haul itself down from speed.
One final note: If acceleration is really what an officer is into, perhaps he should consider a switch to two wheels. Kawasaki's Concours 14 ABS Police bike hit 100 mph in under 10 seconds and the BMW R1200 RTP did the deed in under 12. See the complete preliminary testing results here at the link below.
[Source: Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluation]