By on October 8, 2010

Chevrolet’s new Australian-built Caprice PPV killed the field at the Michigan State Police trials for 2011 models, winning 0-60, 0-100 and top-speed comparisons, the braking competition and turning in the fastest average lap time. Dodge’s Charger nipped at the Caprice’s heels, but the day belonged to Holden. As predicted [unofficial results including Ford's Taurus-based cruiser available at Jalopnik].

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60 Comments on “MI State Police: Caprice Cruiser Creams Competition...”


  • avatar
    segfault

    How does the pricing of the Caprice compare to the other vehicles?  I doubt if they will be as cheap as an Impala or Crown Vic.  It will be interesting to see used Caprices for sale in a few years–I’m not sure how attractive the price will be, as I suspect a lot of enthusiasts will be on the hunt for them.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    strange. i was sure that ford would be the fastest 0-60. there so much money at stake, that the real winner will always be decided somewhere else, never on the test track. i always assumed that ford would be the winner in all those comparos – all weather superiority with awd, modern economical direct injection twin turbo v6, modern suspension  and handling etc.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      They weren’t testing it against the Taurus; those accel numbers belong to the Crown Victoria. Besides, I don’t believe Ford is offering the EcoBoost in the Taurus Police Interceptor. I could be wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Yes…they did test it against the Taurus…
       
      And the Caprice still clobbered it.  A high-strung V6 is no replacement for a proper V8.

    • 0 avatar
      dkulmacz

      The Taurus lost on top speed, but the officers said that was not a very important metric.  It held it’s own in the lower speed “0 to …” times (first for 40 and 50, competitive in the rest), which was deemed more important.  And it creamed the competition in handling and braking.  And interior space, said to be an important measure.  All while still being an early pre-production vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      “…all weather superiority with awd, modern economical direct injection twin turbo v6…”
       
      Those are things that will work against it as a police car.  AWD, for whatever benefits it may bring, it also adds cost, weight, mechanical complexity, handling compromises, and possible long term durability issues.  The complex engine may bring long term durability issues, though that is conjecture and not fact, at least at this point in time.  it will add cost no matter how you look at it.  It will not bring substantial benefits at the fuel pump because most officers will be heavy in the throttle.
      Police need easy to repair, durable, and cheap as possible.  The panther was a good fit into that profile.

    • 0 avatar
      f grantham

        Brock, I would not get to concerned over the Chevy numbers. If you notice Chevy sent a car with a 6.lo
      for this test, larger engine than Ford or Dodge. Dodge could have sent a larger Hemi to tame the Chevy if they thought it was necessary but, they sent a Hemi that can be purchased at any dealership.  And I doubt that law enforcement will order this Special Order 6.lo for police vehicles because of…cost; less fuel economy.                                               Thanks, Sonny G.

  • avatar
    jaybird124

    Any word on if and how the Carbon Motors E7 will fit into this mix?

  • avatar

    So where’s the Taurus in these tests?  I only see two variations of the CVPI.

  • avatar
    Alexdi

    You know what, I don’t think I want them in 6L cars that can do 150. These guys aren’t Nascar drivers. They have have radios. I can’t see any purpose for this capability but pursuit, and I’d rather see the fleeing party get away than to have a single car at sixty become two at a hundred.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Interesting to anyone but the police fleet managers themselves.  All they really care about is size, price, and (in some cases) curb-hopping durability.
     
    As for zero-to-60, my father (the former sergeant) always laughed and said nobody ever out-ran his Motorola.

  • avatar
    James2

    What’s the old saying? Nothing outruns Motorola.

    The Honolulu Police Department is testing a handful of Camry Hybrids, not exactly rocket ships. I suspect police depts. are becoming more concerned with costs of operation rather than pure performance.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Alls I know is, just about anything looks 10x better in MI State Police’s excellent all-blue livery…and this Caprice will be no exception.

  • avatar
    iggysmalls

    What I can’t figure out is how a Tahoe can run similar number to the CVPI and Impala … boggles the mind.

  • avatar
    Wagen

    Interesting that the Charger V6′s times in the “dynamics testing” are so close to the V8′s. 

    And I can’t even bear the thought of needing to steer/change lanes/avoid an accident in a Tahoe going 100mph.  After having driven a Holden Commodore, however, I’d say bring it on in the Caprice.

  • avatar
    EEGeek

    As a taxpayer (not in MI, thank goodness…) I’m more interested in purchase price as well as maintenance and operating costs.  I’m guessing a 6L V8 is the thirstiest of the bunch while idling on the side of the road waiting for someone to chase.
     
    In my view, all this performance testing is pretty much moot once the vehicle is “good enough” for its purpose.  Who cares if another car is fractionally faster around the Top Gear test track?  If a department needs a dedicated pursuit vehicle, buy a Mustang GT (built in Michigan), or a Shelby GT500.

    • 0 avatar

      They evaluate fuel consumption of the vehicles they test.

      http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/2010_Vehicle_Test_Book-Fuel_Economy_304543_7.pdf

      All of the cars regardless of engine cylinders and horsepower use about the same amount of fuel overall – mid to high teens per tank.  The cars run on E85 and fullsize SUVs use significantly more. 

      Just as the Fire Dept uses specially built apparatuses (instead of buying “more efficient” small trucks or whatever vehicle people think Police should use) Police cars like the police themselves don’t perform singular tasks, they perform multiple duties which is why they buy RWD sedans.  They have to be fast enough to pursue and easy enough for all sorts of people to drive them and large enough to carry equipment and people who’ve been arrested. 

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      +1
       
      Pursuit work probably accounts for less – much less, I suspect – than 1% of a police cruiser’s duties.  And when a pursuit does happen, the outcome is determined by local police department policy, the determination of the perp to get away, driver skill, luck, radios, spike strips and other factors.   0-60 times are much further down the list of important factors than the teenage mind realizes.
       

  • avatar
    Slowtege

    Looks like the Caprice and Charger were a wash on accel tests, the Caprice was a second faster on average around a track, and it stopped 5 feet shorter (not a whole lot, but probably a crucial length no matter what). Maybe it creamed the competition save for one vehicle. Maybe this shows my rooting for the Mopar car, but I try to be fair. I think the Caprice would make a killer undercover car. The visually loud Charger is fine for the crazy paint and lights.

    If I recall the results via Jalopnik, the EcoBoost Taurus police vehicle was right up there with the Caprice and Charger. Service protocol and training will be very different on the boosted Taurus than the other two, but I think AWD has substantial benefits in winter and less-than-optimal traction conditions, as some have concluded. I would hope they hold up to the rigors of police duty.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      If I recall the results via Jalopnik, the EcoBoost Taurus police vehicle was right up there with the Caprice and Charger.

       
      The Caprice was fastest to 60 and 100, it had the highest top speed, and it was a FULL SECOND faster to 100 than the Taurus TwinForce.
       
      The Taurus did win the braking and lap times…however they were so close, switching the tires could change everything.
      V8 > High strung, mediocre V6

      “but I think AWD has substantial benefits in winter and less-than-optimal traction conditions”

      No…AWD is a disaster waiting to happen. Any competent fleet manager will skip the expensive, unreliable AWD system and go for a set of snow tires. UNLIKE AWD, snow tires will not only help you while accelerating, but they will assist you with turning and stopping. And the tires will be far more reliable than AWD.

      AWD is a gimmick…and highly unnecessary.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Silvy, in this case you are right. A v8 is a much better choice than a boosted 6 for police work. A non-boosted 6 would be very adequate for 99% of police work though.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      That’s assuming they’re not too cheap for snow tires.  I’ve seen the Northwestern (or maybe it was Evanston) police running Chargers with big alloys in several inches of snow with normal tires.

    • 0 avatar

      re:I think the Caprice would make a killer undercover car.

      If the Caprice isn’t going to be available to the public, then it would be impossible to use it undercover, no?

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      “AWD is a gimmick…and highly unnecessary.”

      Right, we should also inform all those rally-drivers in Europe of this little known fact!

      (I too was surprised to learn here how a system with all wheels driven, with limited-slip functionality from front to back and side to side, combined with traction and stability control, is still inferior to full-on RWD systems which are not far different from what was available in the Panther platform 20 years ago!)

      (I was even more surprised to learn here that snow tires will make a RWD set-up superior to that of an AWD system, and the apparent existance of a law of God, nature, or man that precludes the installation of winter-meats on AWD.)

      (I was blown-away to learn here that the performance difference between Ford’s and GM’s offerings could be clearly ascribed to a “difference in tires” … does this mean that GM is showing-up to the big show-down with less than adequate tires, or on such a high-buck vehicles, that they would equip it with less than the best tire?  Or that Ford was gaming the system by using some exotic rubber that will not be available to, or affordable by, law-enforcement fleet managers?)

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I’m not sure what all the “Jalopnik Exclusive” statement are about.

    Results are also available on the MSP web-page…

    http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,1607,7-123–16274–,00.html

    • 0 avatar

      MSP won’t release the Ford Taurus results because it won’t be in production until next year. Jalop has the “unofficial” results showing the Taurus hanging close to the Caprice. They figure the Charger has the advantage, and the fact that the nameplate has been proven in service doesn’t hurt. Also, it’s built in Canada, not Australia. That might matter more than sheer speed to some police fleet buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      How can it be that MSP won’t release, but then Jalopnik can claim “an exclusive”? 

      This means somebody released something to someone.

      Since MSP is the creator and holder of the data, they must have some holes in their data gathering, retention and/or release policy.  Or an OEM has violated a non-disclosure agreement to receive confidential data for development purposes but not for public release.

      In any case, once the leak occurred, the MSP should have prosecuted the leaker, and, possibly, made the data available to all (with the appropriate qualifications of the Taurus being a pre-production model.)

      FoIA-request anyone?

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    ford ecoboost is not high strung, not even near. it can take at least +20% hp and torque with a ecu  reflash easy. factory stock condition they have been as reliable as any GM LS engine. what is this talk with awd being unreliable? hallo? its not the 60′s anymore! i live in the part of europe where there is 5 months of snow during a year – i can promise you, awd is no gimmick :) it is time for US to take their police interceptors to 21st century, twinturbo direct injected economical v6 awd is the way to go instead of oldschool rwd v8.

    • 0 avatar

      Brock, both the Caprice and Charger are thoroughly modern cars in every respect.  Or are German BMW and Mercedes sedans considered old school now?  Not only that, both are built on proven and durable structures that have been in production for many years.  The Charger since 2004 and the Caprice since 2007. 

      The Taurus is a huge grey area.  It is FWD and it has an unproven powertrain.  RWD handling and performance is preferred for police use (not to mention just plain better in every respect, apparently the Germans know this already).  It literally just came out within the last year. 

      Plus a turbo V6 is high strung by nature.  I know, I owned one for 9 years.  You have to spool turbo engines to get the performance, not to mention the intense heat they generate while doing so and the huge amount of fuel used when under boost.  Turbo V6s in fullsized cars used as intended use just as much fuel if not more than a lazy V8.  Not to mention the complexity of the turbo setup and AWD powertrain the car comes standard with.  The Taurus is also the heaviest car at 4400lbs and the civilian version is the most expensive.

      The powertrains in the Caprice and Charger barely sweat to do any work and that’s reflected in the amount of fuel they will average which should be in the high teens.  The Taurus won’t return any better than that and it doesn’t have the interior room, handling characteristics or any performance advantage aside from AWD, which coincidentally, will also be offered on the Charger. 

    • 0 avatar
      dkulmacz

      Trishield,
      Read the article.  The Taurus interceptor whooped the competition in handling and braking, and also won kudos for the best interior room.

      Also . . . the EcoBoost is not your typical turbo V6.  It doesn’t have to spool up for power . . . max torque is available at around 1600 rpm (and flat from there up).  The low pressure twin turbos do not generate excessive heat or stress the engine.

    • 0 avatar

      I read the article weeks ago, Jalopnik said the Caprice would be the one they take overall.  It also has the most interior volume. 

      The Taurus turbo was barely faster than the Caprice in the lap time, the difference of which wasn’t enough to really matter (even with AWD!).  Braking was the only thing that really stands out about it.  I haven’t driven a SHO yet but I have never, ever driven a turbo engine that did not need (and you didn’t have to wait) for it to spool.  That’s how turbos work no matter what Ford wants to say about it in a press release.

      It still remains the also-ran in the tests but might find a northern audience due to available AWD.  The again the price, complexity and FWD bias of it could kill it there too.  Police all over the nation have been using RWD for decades in summer and winter.  They now have two killer RWD cars to choose from. 

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      The Taurus interceptor whooped the competition in handling and braking, and also won kudos for the best interior room.
       
      BULL.
       
      The TT Taurus stopped 1.7 feet shorter and had a better lap time by LESS than 1 second…both of which comes down to tires.
       
      ——————————————————-
      time for US to take their police interceptors to 21st century, twinturbo direct injected economical v6 awd is the way to go instead of oldschool rwd v8.
       
      The TT Taurus is no more economical than a V8 RWD sedan.  Look at the 355HP MKS and the 385 HP Genesis.  Both have the same weight…and the Genesis gets the same 17/24 as the MKS.  Ford’s V6 gets V8 mileage.
       
      ——————————————————–
       
      The Taurus is a fat bloated clown of a car.  It’s mediocre at best…and a high-strung V6 and AWD that is more expensive to maintain and repair and not nearly as durable will be a no-go with a lot of PDs.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The EcoBoost has no noticeable turbo lag, power is there in a smooth linear fashion from 1500rpm on up, and I’ve driven plenty of them.
       
      Reliability shouldn’t be an issue, Ford is using the engine in the F-150, and wouldn’t put it in the bread and butter truck if it wasn’t up for hundreds of thousands of miles of service without issue.  There are no special maintenance requirements for the EcoBoost cars.
       
      AWD does add complexity, but it also improved handling and grip.  The EcoBoost and the Chevy V8 are both overkill for what 90% of the officers will be doing in the cars anyway.
       
      Considering the amount of time police cruisers spend idling, the EB 3.5 will likely spend the majority of time off of boost, and thus offer greatly improved fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      @Trishield:
       
      Remarkably, the Ecoboost doesn’t lag in the Taurus (there is a hint of lag in the Flex though). Beyond the incredibly stupid name and the disappointing, wheezy Duratec 35 exhaust note it is a wonderful engine.
       
      Now the SHO’s lazy transmission, schoolmarm-derived AWD system, and Xanax-inspired road experience are a whole other story.
       
      One can go quite fast in a SHO, but it isn’t any fun, and there really isn’t any point to it.  I guess driving excitement isn’t an important part of police work though- so maybe the SHO interceptor will find some success.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Reliability shouldn’t be an issue, Ford is using the engine in the F-150, and wouldn’t put it in the bread and butter truck if it wasn’t up for hundreds of thousands of miles of service without issue.  There are no special maintenance requirements for the EcoBoost cars.
       
      Yeah…it’s not like the 5.4 had any problems with spark plugs in the 12 years or so it was on the market…oh wait…
       
      Just because the mediocre F-150 gets the engine does not mean it is durable and/or reliable.  They are NOT mutually exclusive.
       
      AWD does add complexity, but it also improved handling and grip.
       
      No…it doesn’t.  The Taurus PI was less than ONE SECOND faster than the proper Caprice…a difference that comes down to tire choice.  AWD did not give the Taurus any appreciable advantage.

  • avatar
    V572625694

    Two key parameters not evaluated here are number of cupholders and level surface area for doughnut boxes.

  • avatar
    daga

    Hyperbolize much?  “kiiled the field” – Perhaps in other tests, but their numbers above look basically the same as the Charger’s.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Obbop Motor Corporation is contemplating hopping up the Segway and entering the competition for police pursuit vehicles.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Check out the 3900 holding its own against the Pentastar in acceleration tests.
     

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    As Highway Patrols across the country quickly ditched the Mustang 5.0 LX “pursuit” cars because the PO’s were just getting into trouble with them, a cop car that goes 150 is nothing but a liability.

    As the average cop thinks they’re not only above the law, but Mario Andretti as well, there is absolutely no reason to give them more thsn 200 HP.

    Looking for evidence? Merely look at the IL SP accident where the ‘officer’ was responding (when he didn’t need to) at well over 100MPH and texting and talking on his cell when the accident that killed two innocent teenagers on the opposing lanes of I-64 happened…

    This ‘cops need the best and fastest’ crap makes me want to puke. A turbodiesel Rabbit will get a cop to any part of his/her PZ running code within seconds of a turbo Viper running the same route.

    I’m not here to pay for this BS…

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    My family owned a Firestone repair shop for many years and we had the contract to service the local police agency’s vehicles. The above poster is 100% correct: Fast cop cars get the bark beat off them in short order. The urge to flog somebody else’s hot ride is too irresistible for anyone, even a police officer. Especially a police officer. Ever seen the exam that you need to pass to become a cop? Well, enough said.
     
    We also saw the Mustang pursuit cars and they lasted like a year. Most were written off in short order. The rest were so badly beaten up they were pulled in very short order. The Canadian 9C1 spec pursuit cars were the same story. The drivers ran the bag off of them and they were constantly in for front end work, at like double the rate of the regular models.
     
    Most of what police do is really mundane. A Crown Vic is hardly a rocket ship by today’s standards. The Taurus with twin-turbos is a service nightmare, not to mention the AWD. From a service point of view, the Tahoe would be the winner, being tough and RWD. The Charger V-6 would also be a good choice, again from a service point of view.

    An addition: This test was in Michigan, the historical centre of the domestic car industry. In the 1950s and 60s this police car test was an annual ritual and raised a lot of interest. I am sure it sold a lot of Bisquanes with 283s under the hood, while the owner pretended it was a 348. I’s also wager most of those cop cars had a 283, too.

  • avatar
    Bergwerk

    One thing this test shows, is that if you simply want to replace your fleet of Crown Vics, the V6 Charger is all you need.

  • avatar
    coatejo

    Somebody’s got say it…the Government Motors Caprice will bomb no matter how good it is (and I’m betting it is not that good after a few hard miles of police duty in the US) because it will be an imported car with very little if any US content. At least Fiatsler has the good sense to ‘assemble” their offering in Canada with some US content. US police fleets will be determined by politics, and the US municipal governments are not going to equip their Police departments with imported Caprices. All Ford has to do is market the Taurus accordingly, and they will do just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      None of that is true.
       
      You clearly have spent ZERO time studying how and why city’s buy what they do.  It’s about what’s cheap.  And the Caprice in both V6 and V8 forms will be far more reliable and durable than a FWD/AWD Taurus with the reg. V6 or the high-strung V6.
       
      No matter how you slice it, the Taurus is a loser.  Terrible visibility, overly complex, and no better than the (cheaper) competition.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      coatejo:  If you are going to rely on such simple considerations for sourcing police-/municipal-fleet vehicles, then consider this:

      Canadian v. Australian military support:
      - Afganistan: Both  (ca. 150 and 21 casualties respectively)
      - Iraq:  Australia only (2 casualties)

      Given that many LEO and municipal types are former military types, wouldn’t the lack of support in Iraq by Canada then be of significant importance in sourcing decisions?  (maybe not shown on a sourcing matrix per-se, but at least in the heads of those creating the matrix and justifiying the decisions?)

      Regarding my above comment, please bear in mind, that I’m only speaking abstractly, and in response to the above comments, and that I’m a) 1/4 Canadian, and b) not really interested in getting into a generic who did/did not support whom argument…

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    The choice is going to come down to price, and to a secondary extent, looks.  On both, the Charger will take the prize. The hotrod 6.1 V-8 is too expensive, but I’m sure Sergio will offer bargains on the 5.7 V-8 for highway patrols and the economical pentastar V-6 for everything else. The Charger looks more muscular and intimidating, and that’s important for the police, and every cop driving one will be sure to tell you “it’s got a hemi in it.”

  • avatar
    brush

    Then they will update to the E3 series of the HSV Grange, luxury and killer performance, and enough toys to keep the playstation generation occupied!

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Ahh yes, the reality of the PS/MS/FB generation.
       
      The tech has rewired their brains to not be able to handle life for more than about 30 seconds without stimulation. The studies are already out and scare the crap out of me.
       
      Save a massive timeline disruption, the future is very, very Borg.
       
      The saddest part is that just like 1984, the average chump goes not only willingly, but enthusiastically.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Given that idle-specific fuel-consumption, for some of the police fleet, would make as significant a contribution to overall vehicle fuel economy than actual rolling-mpg then can anyone tell me why there appears to be no cylinder-deactivation, or fuel-cut-off, available in these vehicles?

    We’ve come a long way from V-8-6-4, and IIRC Chrysler offered it in their Jeep GC engines… or is it there and I’ve just missed it?

  • avatar
    AJ

    And it is important, as they do have to have fast cars when pulling out from those speed traps. :(

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    This post is getting ridiculous. PDs will buy the Charger 3.5 V-6 to replace the Crown Vics. It’ll be the cheapest, and Fiatsler will be very happy to write up those sales.
     
    Without retail sales. the Caprice is a stupid idea and I don’t know why GM goes to the trouble to Federalize.
     
    Taurus is too complex and expensive to compete with Charger. Ford is almost as stupid as GM. At least they have retail.
     
    Back when I was taking college criminal justice courses, the Erie County Sheriff was our guest lecturer. He said his deputies were angry when he took away their Mustangs and Camaros and gave ‘em Diplomats and Crown Vics. They said, “how are we supposed to catch the bad guys?” His response? “Use your radios, you dummies.”
     
    The most sensible thing I’ve read here is “you can’t outrun the Motorola.”

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    @AJ, low end gearing and engine torque will peel any of those cars out from behinf the billboard quickly. ;-)
     
    I’m guessing it’ll be the Charger burning rubber, because that gunsight grille is the most intimidating, the hemi reputation will add to it (whether the car is equipped with one or not), and Chrysler needs the sales volume and will offer the lowest price.


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