A Cops Wet Dream
Chevrolet turns to a land founded by convicts to turn up the heat on the bad guys.
By Bill Heald

You know that ugly sensation: You look in the rearview mirror because something shiny got your attention, and it turns out it’s the rolling lights of a cop car pulling you over. Only a certified idiot would try to elude such a law enforcement encounter, as they’ll nail you anyway, and you’ll ultimately pay a high price for such tomfoolery.

But maybe you think your badass ride can outrun the heat. Chevrolet has just made things much bleaker for your criminal aspirations, and much more satisfying for the boys and girls in blue. Finally fed up with Ford’s domination of law-enforcement vehicle fleets, General Motors has built a cops-only pursuit machine to alter the Crown Victoria–dominated landscape that’s ruled the roost for nearly two decades. The fact that the Crown Vic is now out of production will help, but no matter. The Chevy Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) is the auto equivalent of bringing a howitzer to a knife fight, and the baddest dude on the block when it’s time to put the hammer down and whip out the badge.

As is so often the case, though, there’s a dark side for us civilians. Once you see what’s really going on here, you’ll realize the cops are getting something we used to have, but has been taken away. Frankly, we have a right to be pissed off. Remember the excellent rear-drive Pontiac G8 GT back in 2009? That hot V-8 muscle car with four doors was basically a reworked Holden Commodore, which was built deep in the heart of Australia. The GT (like Pontiac itself) is gone, but its six-liter V-8 has found a home in the new Caprice PPV, which is directly based on the Holden Caprice (re-badged for police duty in the United States, of course) and built in Elizabeth, Australia.

Oh, fine.

So why did GM hand the police this renegade from the outback, with its 355 horsepower and growling predator attitude? Maybe they realized Mad Max was a cop (or started out as one in the first movie, anyway) and wanted to somehow repeat history. Max would love this thing, too, as it’s designed from the ground up to be everything the cops ask for, and more. The triedand-true rear-drive architecture is still preferred in most performance driving situations, as it makes the car easier to handle at the limit. The six-speed automatic transmission is reinforced against the hammering it will undoubtedly get while on duty, and a standard limited slip differential helps keep the law moving, even under slippery conditions. In the interests of durability, there are engine-oil, transmission, and powersteering coolers, as well as electric cooling fans and high-strength EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer) coolant hoses.

The new Caprice has a sizable interior (112 cubic feet, they say), so as to “provide officers with more comfort for long hours on patrol. The front seats are sculpted to ‘pocket’ the equipment belt, which greatly increases the comfort for a great range of police-officer sizes.”

Indeed, and another benefit included in this big-ass sedan is the fact that even the more massive gendarmes out there will never look as if they’re emerging from a clown car when they arrive at a crime scene (a problem with some smaller patrol vehicles in the past). No doubt the K-9 version of the car will make the German shepherds who serve happy, too, as they’ll have more room in the back to stretch out and nap during a long shift. The trunk has a whopping 17.4 cubic feet of space for all the lovely bundles of ordnance, SWAT gear, and other bits of paraphernalia cops desire.

Speaking of things cops like, I’ve described this new police vehicle without ever mentioning any small fried cakes of sweetened dough, and I think that’s laudable. Maybe when one of these awesome PPVs pulls me over, I’ll just get a warning, right? I know, fat chance.

SPECIFICATIONS
Body style Four-door sedan
Engine Six-liter V-8
Power 355 horsepower
Torque 384 foot-pounds
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Front tires 235/50 R18
Rear tires 235/50 R18
Curb weight 4,259 pounds
 
PERFORMANCE
0–60 Step out of the car, please
Top speed 148 mph
Fuel capacity 19 gallons
EPA mpg Not available
Base Price $30,995
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  • Gooney7

    31k is WAY too much, by the time it’s wired, equipment installed, decals applied, and many department requirements are met the car wil cost 50k and quickly go past the SET amount of money for each car can have spent, including purchase price before it’s sold at auction. Too expensive for taxpayers!

  • do know harm

    What do you think a crowne vic with the police package went for? Base price was about the same.
    In the US a police car needs to be reasonably fast, heavy enough to push and shove if needed, be rear wheel drive, and large enough to transport 4 adults comfortably (two police officers and a couple prisoners) it also needs uprated suspension, speed rated tires, a second alternator and battery (radios, spotlight, and gumball machine and other tech. really suck down amps at idle)
    This means a big V8 four door saloon.
    No car company makes a suitable vehicle that will serve as an adequate police car for under 25k.

    Id like to see someone in a front wheel drive econo box try and P.I.T a chevy impalla on the freeway at 80mph.
    not everyone pulls over like a good little sheep when the heat lights them up. Because of that, the american law man NEEDS a good car.
    Dead law men, and roadkilled innocent motorists is bad for the taxpayers too… no?

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